The Council for Global Problem-Solving (CGP) is a circle of world-class think tanks and research institutions committed to providing long-term policy advice to the G20 and associated international organizations. The CGP seeks to support the work of the T20, a network of international think tanks for the G20, on a long-term basis. It is also meant to become an important resource for other G20 groups seeking a research-based exchange of ideas on global challenges.
Each member of the CGP has outstanding research capacity, is committed to providing ongoing advice to the G20 over a multi-year time horizon, is will connected to other think tanks in its own and other countries, and has substantial contacts to relevant policy makers in its own country and in international forums. The CGP is an accessible, permeable organization, open to all world-class think tanks and research institutions that fulfill its ambitious requirements (see below).
The CGP works outside the official T20 processes that are established by successive G20 Presidencies, but it supports these efforts by providing information, analysis of policy proposals and monitoring progress on policy implementation. The CGP aims to work closely with the T20 organizing group of each successive G20 Presidency, in order to ensure that its agenda remains well-aligned to each G20 agenda as well as to long-term G20 policy concerns.
While the T20 brings together think tanks and research institutes from G20 countries in an independent, open network that is steered by the country annually chairing the G20, the CGP is meant to provide a base for long-term thinking on G20 challenges. By providing a stable organization for connecting the complementary analyses of the best think tanks and research institutes dealing with G20 issues, the CGP can provide policy advice that consistently takes into account past policy experiences and is sensitive to global interdependencies. Since the T20 is distinctive among the G20 Engagement Groups in that it is not an interest group, it is capable of providing independent assessments of policy proposals arising from the various workstreams of the G20 process.
Features of the CGP
The CGP includes leading think tanks, academic institutions, and policy making organizations from the G20 countries and beyond, with the common aim of identifying and addressing transnational problems in the spirit of global citizenship.
Council members are chosen with a view to mobilizing best thinking and best practice worldwide to work together in overcoming problems that we all share. The members are to be well suited to introduce new ideas on global problem solving into the public debate of the member institutions and mobilize support for the implementation of these ideas.
The members of the CGP fulfill the following requirements:
- They generate world-class research relevant to G20 problems.
- They seek to provide policy advice to the G20 on a long-term basis.
- They have access to relevant policy makers in their own countries, as well as at the international level.
- They have strong contacts to other think tanks of the T20, enabling them to draw on research and policy expertise in diverse areas of specialization.
Taken together, these three features enable the CGP to support policy coherence from one G20 Presidency to the next, access policy makers in all G20 countries, and draw on wide networks of other T20 think tanks. Thereby the CGP becomes a potentially valuable source of policy advice to the G20 and other international fora.
Outputs of the CGP
The work of the CGP is organized into Task Forces that produce Policy Briefs. These Policy Briefs are to be submitted to the relevant G20 policy makers and can serve as inputs into the official T20 processes.
The Policy Briefs comprise Recommendations and Visions. The Recommendations identify major global challeges and articulate concrete, implementable policy proposals for the G20 governments to address these challenges. These Recommendations are supplemented by research-based analyses. The Visions articulate conceptual frameworks for guiding policy making and help policy makers communicate their broad policy approaches to the public.
The provisional policy proposals, ideas for brainstorming and research in progress by the CGP are disseminated on the CGP website, which is meant as a discussion platform. The finished products, in terms of Recommendations and Visions, are disseminated on the G20 Insights Platform. Scholarly articles on G20 topics are published in G20 Policy Papers.
Each member of the Council has a direct voice in determining in the future development and membership of the Council.
Members of the CGP are chosen to serve for a 3-year terms, renewable. The ongoing selection process to the CGP is open and flexible. Decisions on entry to and exit from the CGP will be taken on the basis of majority votes by existing CGP members. All think tanks and research institutions of the T20 can become members of the CGP, provided that they fulfill the ambitious membership criteria outlined above. Existing members who are no longer in a position to fulfill these criteria will leave the CGP once their term of office has expired.
Joining the Council implies no financial commitment. Council members may volunteer to host workshops and conferences or to organize sessions at the annual conference “Global Solutions.” The current members of the CGP can be found in the column on the right. Other leading institutions, primarily from G20 countries, are to be included in the near future.
The work program of the GSI is conducted through Task Forces that produce Policy Briefs.
The policy advice process of CGP is organized around Task Forces, each pertaining to a major theme on the current or past G20 agendas. Each Task Force comprises a small group of reputed international scholars from the CGP and the wider T20 network, along with other relevant experts, where necessary. Each Task Force is be co-chaired by two to four scholars from different institutions, one from the country of the G20 Presidency, with contacts to the relevant policy makers in their home countries.
The Chairs, in consultation with their members, determine the working arrangements of each Task Force: define the work agenda, arrange workshops, and oversee outreach to policy makers, external researchers and interested parties. All Task Force members are expected to engage actively in the discussions and the preparation of policy proposals, drawing on their research experience.
The primary outputs of the Task Forces are Policy Briefs.
A Policy Brief can take one of two forms:
- Recommendations are significant, implementable policy proposals for specified G20 decision makers.
- Visions are conceptual frameworks to help policymakers develop promising approaches policy formation and communicate these approaches to the public.
There will be an annual conference in Berlin called Global Solutions Summit bringing together policy thinkers and policy leaders from around the world. Global Solutions is focused on the most important recommendations and visions generated by the T20 Task Forces and the CGP networks, plenary speeches and discussions by major international decision makers and thought leaders, and participation of “Young Global Changers,” who conduct an intergenerational dialogue with leading decision makers on solution proposals to shape the future. Global Solutions also includes a multistakeholder community containing leaders from business, policymaking, academia, media and civil society. The main recommendations from Global Solutions are to be submitted to policy makers of the G20 and related international fora.
Global Solutions builds on the annual conferences of the Global Economic Symposium and is meant to be a stepping stone for the T20 Summit in the respective year. Global Solutions 2018 took place on 28 and 29 May in Berlin and brought together over 1,100 participants, official delegates from T20 Argentina 2018 and T20 Japan 2019, Nobel Laureates, as well as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The next Global Solutions Summit will take place on 18-19 March 2019 in Berlin and will serve as a stepping stone to the Japanese T20 Summit in May 2019 and the Japanese G20 Summit in June 2019.
There will also be further workshops and conferences in various countries devoted “deep dives” on special topics that require concentrated attention by specialized groups of researchers and policy makers.
There will be three ways of dissemination:
1. The CGP website:
CGP Members can use the website to float new ideas, debate underlying issues, and publicize their policy work in progress. It should focus on Recommendations and Visions generated by CGP members and permits an exchange of views among these members. The CGP Website reflects a longer-term advice-giving perspective, intent on consistency and coherence from one G20 Presidency to the next.
It is the platform for the finished products, in the form of Policy Briefs, where the recommendations are embedded in the current policy framework, including relevant G20 initiatives (e.g. commitments, agreements, policies, and monitoring reports) as well as background analysis. The G20 Insight Platform includes important proposals from the CGP as well other think tanks and research institutions, pertaining to current and past G20 agendas. The Policy Briefs are clustered into thematic policy areas.
The G20-Insights Platform will complement the G20 Information Centre by the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, the leading source of information on official G20 documents on each G20 Summit. It aims to become a significant source of policy analysis to support G20 policy making, and to inform the global public on challenges, policy options and policies adopted by the G20 to address global challenges.
The CGP members retain the copyright to their contributions to the CGP website, the Insights Platform, and G20 Policy Papers, and these contributions can thus be disseminated through other channels as well, including academic articles in scholarly publications as well as the traditional and social media.