CGP Workshop Series

The CGP workshop series is a seminar series where CGP members present their G20 relevant activities to inform other members and discuss about current research initiatives. Participation is upon invitation only, please reach out to sarah.john@global-solutions-initiative.org if you are interested. Selected sessions and their outcomes are available below.

On 13 June 2022, the third workshop of the series of the Council for Global Problem-Solving (CGP) dedicated to the T20 Communiqué 2022 took place. In this workshop CGP members met for consultations with the Indonesian T20 leadership team regarding the final T20 recommendations. CGP members had conveyed input to the T20 secretariat in advance of the meeting and discussed the T20 Communiqué during the workshop. 

The workshop was kicked-off with an introduction by T20 Indonesia Lead Co-Chair Djisman Simandjuntak (CSIS Indonesia) and an overview of the T20 Indonesia process was provided by Executive Co-Chairs Yose Rizal Damuri (CSIS Indonesia) and Riatu Mariatul Qibthiyyah (LPEM FEB UI). The communiqué is planned to evolve around important topics such as Fostering Recovery and Resilience, Greening the Economy, and Making the Economy More Inclusive and People-centered. After the introduction an open consultation with the CGP members took place, during which expert opinions on recommendations in accordance with the Indonesian G20 priorities were shared. This was followed by an open exchange led by Dennis Snower (GSI/TNI). The workshop was moderated by Katharina Lima de Miranda (GSI/TNI). 

On 25 April 2022, the second series of the Council for Global Problem-Solving took place. CGP members discussed The implications of the war in Ukraine for Global Problem-Solving

The workshop was framed in the spirit of Global Solutions: What strategies and outcomes are desirable to create the possible chances of global cooperation on global challenges, such as climate change, with the theme of recoupling in mind?

The workshop was kicked-off with short input statements by Markus Engels (GSI), Andrés Ortega (Elcano), Cayley Clifford (SAIIA), Munir Khasru (IPAG), Colin Bradford (Brookings), Wang Wen (RDCY), Vladimir Safatle (University of São Paulo/TNI), Nicole Deitelhoff (University Frankfurt/TNI), Creon Butler (Chatham House), followed by a discussion among the CGP members led by Dennis Snower (GSI/TNI). The workshop was moderated by Katharina Lima de Miranda (GSI/TNI).

CGP members came together and discussed the implications of the war in Ukraine for global problem solving in the spirit of recoupling: 

  • Other global issues are still urgent and need attention 
  • Focus on feasible, actionable proposals 
  • Act as global citizens, although most power lies in the hands of nation states 
  • What “flexible geometry” (i.e. which actors and institutions we know and could mobilize through our large network of contacts) can be used to find ways forward? 

Markus is the Secretary General of the Global Solutions Initiative and has worked as a senior scientific advisor at the German Federal Parliament, the European Parliament and the Executive Board of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. 

We need to keep a rules-based international world order and our international institutions working and avoid doing only bilateral or small deals. Preserve multilateralism instead of thinking in terms of a multipolar world. 

The G7 should be urged to invite India, Indonesia, China and other important players to spearhead a ceasefire initiative for the Ukraine. The G20 must become active in this context to avoid a new East-West divide and conflict. 

Andrés is Senior Research Fellow at the Elcano Royal Institute. He has also served as a Director of the Department of Analysis and Studies at the Spanish Prime Minister’s Office, and worked as counselor at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. 

Plans have to be made for a post-war European and global order, that include Russia and avoid a bipolarity that is not felt nor followed anymore by much of “the rest” of the world. 

It will take time, and should be part of a peace settlement. While it comes, the EU has to design a reconstruction plan, kind of Marshall Plan, for Ukraine.   

The war has a significant impact on governance: as both the UN and the G20 seem paralyzed. The world is becoming less orderly, more multipolar, multi-actors and more divided. 

The war has an impact worldwide but especially on the Global South. It exacerbated the food crisis and food price rises and will have long-term effects even if the war stops soon. This applies especially to the MENA region, which is highly dependent on wheat and fertilizers from the Ukraine. 

We should develop new ad hoc cooperation between Gulf countries and Europe or the G7 to palliate the effects on food security in the MENA region.

Cayley is a researcher in the African Governance and Diplomacy programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs with a country focus on Botswana, Namibia, Russia, South Africa. 

The effects of the war in Ukraine are reverberating across the world’s regions, including in Africa. The impact on Africa is higher than expected, with a high dependence for food and energy. With the continent depending heavily on the import of wheat and fertiliser from both Russia and Ukraine, rising food and energy prices are putting pressure on already weak economies, and in turn exacerbating social tensions. The war is an additional setback in the pursuit of already compromised SDG goals 

The geopolitical landscape is changing, Africa’s response to the war has revealed a continent divided. African countries seem no longer bound by traditional partnerships, they no longer can pick a side depending on their interests. 

The unwillingness of several African countries to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine demonstrate this changing environment and that political, economic and security considerations rule the day. A continent growing closer to Russia has domestic implications for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, as well as global implications for multilateralism and good governance.   

The African response to the war must be seen in the context of growing political, security and to some extensive economic ties Russia as well as its successful use of soft power and media. 

Munir is Chairman of the international think tank The Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance (IPAG). 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDG Agenda 2030 was already under immense strain with a projected shortfall of USD.1.7 trillion in 2020. Following the pandemic, approximately 124 million people across the world were forced into poverty with an additional increase in people suffering from hunger by 83- 132 million in 2021. 

Spillovers from the Ukraine war is causing a detrimental ripple-effect across the world’s economy as the US, UK, and EU continue to impose severe sanctions against Russia with Russia retaliating spitefully. Subsequently, the disruption of trade routes is compromising global food security as prices of agricultural commodities are set to skyrocket this year, threatening to exacerbate the food shortage across conflict zones such as Yemen and Syria. 

Likewise, oil prices are projected to remain around $100 per barrel until the course of the war whereas price of gas is set to rise by at least 50%.  As expected, the economic shockwave of the war has been felt hard among developing and developed economies. If the Ukraine war persists, the rate of global inflation may rise to 6%. 

In light of the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, this would be an opportunity to share insights into the short, medium, and long-term challenges facing the SDG Agenda 2030 which already is hanging by the thread and what policy responses are available to put the agenda on track in the post pandemic era.   

The Ukraine war is yet another threat to not meeting the SDGs. Putting the Development Agenda back on track requires to develop short, medium and long term proposals (until 2035 for instance) and give G20 leaders sets of possible solutions.

Colin is a Non-resident Senior Fellow of the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings and the Lead-Co-Chair of the China West Dialogue. He was a political appointee in the Carter and Clinton administrations for six years and served on the staff of the United States Senate for four years. Colin is also a Global Solutions Fellow. 

Potentially link two papers, when published (G7 – G20 and multilateral world order) 

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Chair of the G20 Finance Ministers, “If there is no forum at all, then the world is going to be in a much worse place”, with each country setting policy without regard to others.  (Reuters , April 22, 2022 Washington) 

The G7, under the German presidency, needs to make an internal decision involving all seven G7 members to prioritize the G20 as a unique platform for bringing together the leaders, ministers and senior officials of the major economies throughout the G20 year to make the G20 the premier forum for global problem solving precisely because it embodies, embraces and expresses the global cultural, political and institutional diversity of the 21st century world. 

The G20 provides a unique opportunity to bring China and the West together in the context of other major countries for professional exchanges and work on global problem solving. China will respond in kind to a new tone and commitment, which do not need to be made public.  

The G7 must realize the stake it has in strengthening the G20 process throughout the year and the G20 platform for bringing together senior officials and society leaders.  The G20 is the most promising means for strengthening global governance when serious engagement across the membership of the G20 is threatened not just by the war on Ukraine but by other divisions and divides which must be managed and not be allowed to destroy the G20.  

The G7 must signal to Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa that the G20 is a priority for the world and for the G7, and that G7 members intend to “showing up in force” with quality senior officials with ambition and preparedness throughout the year and would welcome similar efforts by all G20 members so that the professional exchanges deepen and drive G20 relationships, despite rhetorical divisions. 

A central issue is the relationship between the G7 and the G20. The G7 lost importance since the G20 emerged. The G7 should take the G20 more seriously and send a signal to the Global South and China, not just at the G20 summit but in general. 

We need to figure out how to make the G20 work; the war and Russian participation are a minor issue for G20 operational matters. 

Vladimir is Professor at the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Psychology at the University of São Paulo. At THE NEW INSTITUTE, he contributes to the programmes “The Foundations of Value and Values” and “The Future of Democracy” as a fellow. 

We are arguably entering an era of imperial wars and will need to know how to manage such war scenarios. Currently, the space for mediation is lost, as the UN collapsed, the G20 is inefficient and the G7 only represents a small group of rich countries. It is much needed to understand the causes of the loss of spaces for mediation, looking especially at the UN, and avoid repeating past mistakes. 

A way forward could be a “moving hegemony”, i.e. that countries acting as mediators should rotate, not always be the same ones. 

We need to see beyond the conflict between autocracy and democracy, as we are totally connected economically and as Western firms are active in extractive processes in autocratic countries. 

Nicole is Professor of International Relations and Theories of Global Orders at the Goethe University Frankfurt and a fellow in the programme “The Future of Democracy” at THE NEW INSTITUTE. 

Article in the TNI Ukraine Newsletter: The Future of Diplomacy https://thenew.institute/en/news/the-future-of-diplomacy 

The war reduces the chances for global cooperation and increases the likelihood of a controlled disentanglement of markets and of political institutions. Universal institutions such as the UN will lose importance and regional or functional ones will rise. Cooperation within political camps will be maintained while cooperation between camps will sharply decline. 

We must recognize interdependences, their weaponization and its consequences. In the short-term, we will see more exploitation of coal and liquid natural gas, more fracking and other non-conventional extraction methods, and more partnerships with Gulf states. These developments will hamper the fight against climate change 

Yet, the West is becoming increasingly aware of its problems, and solutions may lie in uniting and using the potential for new cooperation to diminish the overdependence on oil and gas from Russia and on technology from China.  The Western “model” has lost traction, but there is potential to increase its support base again. Western countries must step up to make it more attractive again and uphold its ideals of governance:

Creon is Research Director, Trade, Investment and New Governance Models, and Director, Global Economy and Finance Programme at Chatham House. Before he was at UK’s Cabinet Office where he served as director for international economic affairs in the National Security Secretariat and G7/G20 ‘sous sherpa’ in the UK. 

We are witnessing a worsening of issues requiring international cooperation: climate change and the transition to net zero emissions, pandemics preparedness and response, and international debt for instance. 

Concretely, we should focus on the search for solutions to issues related to international sovereign debt. This is a common issue, although it is becoming increasingly problematic for low-income countries and emerging economies. Many international institutions are involved and could be engaged. 

The G20 seems broken, and the G7 influence on the G20 is very limited. As long as the conflict continues, Russian participation in international forums will be a problem and likely be met by refusal to participate by other countries. We might see the rise of smaller international forums to deal with global problems. 

Wang Wen is the Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies (RDCY), the Deputy Dean and Distinguished Professor of Silk Road School, Renmin University of China, Executive Director of China-US People-to-People Exchange Research Center.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine led to the simultaneous outbreak of five major disasters in human history: war, natural disaster, virus, food shortage and inflation. If the conflict continues, things will get worse. The top priority is to give full play to the great power responsibilities of the United States, Europe and China, as well as the role of the United Nations and the G20, so as to stop the war as soon as possible.  

In this regard, NATO led by the United States should negotiate with Russia. NATO should no longer support Ukraine. The United States should give up its strategic proposition of weakening Russia and Russia will no longer launch military operations. The war should be stopped before negotiation, so as to avoid the deterioration of the situation. The United Nations and the G20 should still play a role and create more equal opportunities for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. After all, negotiation is more important than war. 

Article in South China Morning Post: http://en.rdcy.org/indexen/index/news_cont/id/693267.html

Key insights from the discussion

  • Need to act in the spirit of global citizens to avoid the separation of camps (Adolf Kloke-Lesch, SDSN)  
  • Create links between all G20 engagement groups and align them for a common goal.
  • Do not forget multilevel governance (Nicolas Buchoud, GSI)  
  • Use the G20 and the T20 to address their target issues, which are of economic nature. Avoid paralyzing the important work of the G20 because of the war (Franco Bruni, ISPI; Priyadarshi Dash, RIS)  
  • Work on aligning the agendas of the G7 and G20 (Colin Bradford, Brookings) 
  • Use the still functioning gas deliveries from Russia to Europe through Ukraine as a basis for the needed cooperation on food security, especially for the MENA region.
  • Use high energy prices as opportunity to push forward climate change policies (José Siaba Serrate, CARI). 

The summary of the session is available here as pdf.

The recording of the session is available here.

On 21 February 2022,  the first series of the Council for Global Problem-Solving’s workshop took place and dealt with the topic Digital  Transformation: Governance reforms and development opportunities. Dr. Paul Twomey presented the recent work of the Digital Governance working group, which he leads with Dennis Snower. Prof. Syed Munir Khasru discussed how digital transformations will shape the global development agenda in the post pandemic period.

  • Paul is a Fellow at The New Institute and at the Global Solutions Initiative (among others), has held a range of leadership positions in both the private and public sectors, and was one of the founding figures  and prominent leaders of ICANN, the international not-for-profit entity charged with technical and policy coordination of many of the key functions of the global Internet.
  • Munir is the Chairman of the Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance (IPAG). He also serves as Co-Chair of Task Force 2 on Meaningful Digital Connectivity, Cyber Security, Empowerment and of Task Force 9 on Global Cooperation for SDGs Financing under the current Indonesian T20 Presidency.

Further Literature:

Report on Empowering Digital Citizens by Dennis Snower and Paul Twomey.

Policy brief by Prof. Syed Munir Khasru, T20 Italy 2021
Exploring the development-technology nexus via a digital transformation paradigm shift in development strategy in the digital age

The recording of the session is available here. 

Workshops in 2021

In the third workshop of the CGP workshop series, Guntram Wolff presented his working paper “Can climate change be tackled without ditching economic growth?“. He explored whether decarbonisation and economic growth are compatible or whether the world economy needs to grow less to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to reach net zero in 2050, building on recent work at Bruegel. 

The paper is available here.

Guntram Wolff is the Director of Bruegel since 2013. Over his career, he has contributed to research on European political economy and governance, fiscal, monetary and financial policy, climate change and geoeconomics. 
For more information, see: https://www.bruegel.org/author/guntram-b-wolff

In the second part of the workshop, Helmut Anheier and Edward Knudsen talked about “Responsible leadership in democracy”, looking in particular at values and accountability and building on recent work for the Club de Madrid. They discussed the crisis of leadership, especially during the pandemic where leaders showed detached, self-serving leadership styles, failing to find the balance between personal conviction and responsibility.

The paper is available here.

Helmut Anheier is is Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School in Berlin. He served as President of the Hertie School from 2009 to 2018 and is also a member of the faculty at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and visiting professor at LSE Ideas. His research centers on indicator systems, governance, culture, non-profits and philanthropy and organisational studies.
For more information, see:

Edward Knudsen is a Research Associate at Hertie School and a Doctoral Candidate in International Realtions at the University of Oxford.

The recording of the session is available here.

In the second series of the CGP Workshop on international finance José Siaba Serrate (CARI), Akshay Mathur (ORF Mumbai) and Franco Bruni (ISPI) presented their policy briefs and took stock of the work within the T20 Italy Task Force on International Finance and current developments at the G20 level.

The statement on International Finance submitted by the T20 Italy to Italy’s G20 presidency the task force calls upon the G20 Economy and Finance Ministers for a renewed commitment to address the challenge of avoiding moving from the COVID-induced economic crisis to a new financial crisis.

T20 Task Force 9 – International Finance
Policy Briefs

The recording of the session and a transcript are available here.

The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on August 8 has confirmed the critical condition of the climate crisis and how many proven, available, affordable, nature-based solutions (NBS) have an essential role to play in preserving a liveable planet. G20 leaders have recognized the power on NBS but only very recently and in an unduly limited way. Which ones should the G20 Rome Summit act on in a sufficiently ambitious way? After a review of the G20’s record, experts from the important global regions and communities of North America, the Caribbean, SIDS and global south, and Russia and the BRICS offer answers, based on the Policy Brief they helped prepare for the Think 20 advice to G20 leaders this year.  

G20 Governance, North America’s Natural Superpower Solutions
John Kirton, Co-Director of the G20 Research Group and Director of the G7 Research Group at the University of Toronto

NBS for a Healthy Caribbean, SIDS, and South
James Hospedales, Founder of EarthMedic and Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency

NBS from Russia, China and the BRICS
Irina Popova, Researcher, Centre for International Institutions Research at RANEPA

The recording of the session and a transcript are available here.

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