“Foreign policy is and must be more than crisis management” – Foreign Minister Gabriel.
The goal of the Vision 20 summit is to bring together scholars from various fields including think tank experts, civil society networks, private sector leaders, and government operatives to generate ideas and actionable items over the long and medium term, while finding ways to initiate such processes in the short-term.
Building on the success of the Vision 20 inaugural event in Hangzhou in March-April 2016 and the Blue Paper based on this event published last July, the Brookings Institution, the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia, the Munk School at the University of Toronto, the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung collaborated to host a second Vision 20 workshop in Washington, DC on February 27, 2017. Foreign policy experts, think-tank leaders, and diplomacy thought-leaders convened to discuss the economic development, political, and institutional challenges facing the G20 community — an international forum between twenty countries that brings government leaders together to engender institutional collaboration on financial, economic, and political issues between twenty member countries.
As an integral part of promoting such discourse around these issues, this annual forum, the Vision 20, or V20, provides a critical basis for key G20 stakeholders — namely, France, Canada, the United States, Germany, India, and China — to debate and ultimately agree upon the institutional priorities of the G20 Summit. The 2017 Vision 20 conference catalyzed think tank leaders, experts, and diplomatic partners to produce a V20 Blue Paper for the German government with realistic policy mechanisms and objectives as the international community prepares for the upcoming G20 Summit in Hamburg in July of 2017.
The three major themes of the German G20 agenda — Building Resilience, Improving Sustainability, and Assuming Responsibility — were addressed during the day-long vibrant discussion in Washington. Participants discussed the prevalent global challenges surrounding labour, digitization, and sustainable infrastructure amid political uncertainty and swelling sentiments of protectionism and populism in the United States and Europe. The emphasis on the role of emerging market economies such as India, the evolving methods of China, and German government leadership were brought to the table as major focal points to consider when reevaluating methods to address global challenges.
The session was fast-paced with political theorists, international economists, finance experts, and former policy makers providing perspectives on global challenges, especially as the international community enters an era where support from the United States is seemingly unpredictable.
Participants emphasized the need to catalyze community empowerment and inclusiveness to prevent further inequality from taking hold in the G20 community. Out of the conference’s discussion, it became evident that countries need to encourage and continue critical dialogues with different stakeholders across all levels to build resilient, sustainable, and inclusive societies. The conference emphasized the need for interdisciplinary thought leadership to address these systemic challenges.
“As a student of economic development policy, being a part of the discussions, processes, and themes that conferences like the V20 promote gave me a frontline perspective from both private and public sector leaders on what we–as students–can do to positively engage in the conversation and discourse on international development.” – Mitch Hulse, MPPGA Student and V20 Participant