Explore the Themes of the Digital Global Solutions Summit 2020

The Digital Global Solutions Summit 2020 will center around core sessions that contribute to the agenda of the G20 and T20 by addressing the following Task Force areas plus an additional area dealing with policy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Underlying all topics is the Global Solutions Initiative’s narrative on Recoupling. All panels deal with the connections that are made with this narrative to the G20 on specific topics. In addition, the visions are highlighted in further keynotes and panels.

Policy Briefs that contain recommendations and visions that cover policy areas that are of interest to G20 policymakers, can be found on the G20 Insights Platform. The majority of the Policy Briefs has been developed by a corresponding Think20 Task Force.




Global Tables



In the last four decades, globalization and technological advances have generated significant growth of GDP, but have been accompanied by rising inequality, climate change, a rising sense of disempowerment and social alienation among various population groups. In many countries around the world, economic prosperity, environmental performance and social prosperity are no longer aligned, they are decoupled. To stop the fragmentation of our societies and to shape a sustainable economy, the recoupling of economic and social progress is needed. What can the G20 do to promote the recoupling of economic and social prosperity?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the economic impact and the social and public health consequences are taking hold across borders. The international community’s only hope for defeating the virus is to eradicate it everywhere; hence international cooperation through the world’s multilateral institutions is required. Can the G20, with its flexible agenda and powerful member countries, take a global lead in mitigating the crisis? How can the G20 support the pooling of resources necessary to communicate about and contain the virus? How can the G20 be enabled to reignite its capacity to fight the crisis, which it has done so successfully during the 2008 financial crisis?

The world trading system is facing various challenges such as rising protectionism, unequal opportunities to engage in global value chains, and legal systems that are ill-equipped for digital trade and international trade in services. To address these issues, the task force will discuss policies to strengthen the World Trade Organization as a negotiating forum and both restore and reinforce the WTO dispute settlement procedure. The task force will also focus on goods and services trade policies and socially just and environmental-friendly investment policies that mutually benefit developed and developing countries and mitigate the negative effects of globalization in order to achieve sustainable, balanced and inclusive development. Finally, the task force will explore how to establish well-balanced global rules that promote the free flow of data while also ensuring that personal information is protected in the era of digital trade. Through these discussions, the task force aims to foster a common understanding on global issues and provide policy recommendations to G20 officials from a research perspective. 

Climate change is an urgent global challenge. Scientific evidence suggests that man-made greenhouse gas emissions have already contributed to 1 degree Celsius (°C) of global warming above pre-industrial levels over the past 150 years. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. The Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #13 (Climate Action) recognize the importance of collective mitigation and adaptation actions by developed and developing countries in tackling climate change at various levels.

Since the Paris Agreement came into effect in 2016, Parties to the Agreement have submitted nationally determined contributions (NDCs), setting out their climate mitigation and adaptation ambitions, and have made progress in developing climate policies. The challenge now is to translate these ambitions into actions and raise the ambition of NDCs on a five-year cyclical basis starting from 2020. Importantly, without ratcheting up NDC ambitions, current NDCs will not collectively achieve the Agreement’s aim to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, let alone its aspirational target of limiting this rise to 1.5°C.

Indeed, Parties are challenged by their unique socioeconomic and environmental contexts, which necessitate different climate mitigation and adaptation approaches. It is important to acknowledge equity and common but differentiated responsibility as the key drivers of global climate change action. It is also important to recognize the spillover and negative impacts of response measures to climate change on developing countries. These countries – especially those vulnerable to climate change – shall focus on adaptation as a priority and enhance their resilience to climate change impacts. They will also contribute to climate change mitigation if adequate finance, technology and capacity building are provided.

The concept of a circular carbon economy has emerged in the climate policy debate as a way to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. T20 Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity to communicate pressing global issues to the G20. The work of this task force will therefore contribute toward speeding up nations’ climate actions while ensuring environmental protection and economic growth.  >>To the original description source

Public and private investment in infrastructure is needed to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure globally and to reduce the infrastructure gap between advanced and emerging economies. Many countries need better access to basic services and global connectivity needs to be improved. Financing such large-scale projects and promoting climate-resilient and sustainable infrastructure investment remain key challenges.

This task force aims to promote a discussion of the key barriers to and opportunities for improving public and private infrastructure investment. It will identify which public policy changes are necessary to boost infrastructure investment. The task force will also examine the essential role of the private sector in providing long-term finance and consider innovative frameworks that help bridge the infrastructure investment gap within and among countries. It will also identify and evaluate infrastructure needs and opportunities for investment based on their efficiency, sustainability, and economic development. >>To the original description source

This task force will discuss innovative policies to deal with multiple forms of inequality, including income, gender and generational divides. 

The task force will also discuss methods to measure wealth beyond gross domestic product (GDP), as well as ways to improve the governance, legitimacy and accountability of and trust in state institutions. It will also seek to understand the role of cultural capital and the social inclusion of migrants in creating prosperous societies. >>To the original description source

This task force will foment a discussion on the future of multilateralism at regional and global levels. It will examine ways to reform existing international organizations so they are better placed to tackle new global issues. The task force will also discuss the future of politics in the age of populism, economic downturns, and innovative strategies for global governance>>To the original description source

The task force will recommend policies to reform education, and provide opportunities for training and entrepreneurship by addressing the digital continuum within the changing labor market, challenges raised by the platform economy, and the implications affecting the young. It will create a global governance framework for data flows and artificial intelligence while illuminating the impacts of artificial intelligence and technological disruption on employment and workplaces. The proposals will highlight the digital gender gap, and initiatives available to develop practical and self-sustaining solutions to reduce cyber security risks and threats, and enhance data privacy. Motivated by the growing need to humanize technology, these recommendations will provide concrete and sustainable policy measures that maintain individuality, respect confidentiality, and encourage inclusion in the digital age. >>To the original description source

Since the launch of the United Nations’ (U.N.’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, G20 nations have attempted to implement effective means to enhance the achievability of the goals – with limited success. The scale and challenge of the SDGs has meant that the global community has struggled to implement the work programs that have been set out to achieve them. Therefore, the task force will focus on issues that prioritize an implementation-focused agenda. It also intends to develop policy briefs that will seek to incentivize private sector support for SDGs, recognize the importance of universal health coverage and help support regional development initiatives for sustainable and inclusive growth. Further, the task force will focus on developing implementation and monitoring strategies to ensure the accomplishment of the SDGs along with the additional aim of enhancing development cooperation among member nations. >>To the original description source

This task force will focus on the priorities for policy action on global financial governance, including the cooperation between multinational and regional authorities to manage financial stability in developed and developing countries.

The task force will also discuss encouraging inclusive financial sector development via new instruments, including the role of Islamic finance. It will also examine the governance and regulation of cryptocurrency and fintech, their impacts on the international monetary system, their potential use in money laundering and terror financing, and how these activities can be monitored. >>To the original description source

The task force will explore macro- and microeconomic policies that address high youth unemployment and help to provide skills and opportunities for young people. It will examine how to create innovative policies and programs to encourage cross-generational engagement.

Economic and demographic factors, and regional conflicts have driven a significant portion of the global population to voluntarily or forcibly migrate. Much of this migration is from developing to developed G20 countries, with migrants and refugees often encountering problems integrating socially and economically.

The task force will discuss policy options that could enable migrants to better integrate socially and economically, including providing access and education opportunities for migrant and refugee children. It will provide evidence-based research on the social, political and economic impacts of migrants. It will also seek a greater understanding of migration mechanisms and aims to learn from success stories. >>To the original description source

Food, water and energy are core pillars of economic prosperity. As such, affordability, sustainability and security of these three resources are central to geopolitical and economic discourse. However, it remains the case that a substantial portion of the global population does not have sufficient access to modern energy services, adequate nutrition and/or clean water. The challenges associated with eliminating poverty and providing access to adequate food, energy and water are not easily remedied, and can be very different across regions. Nevertheless, addressing these issues is critical to providing platforms for growth and prosperity. 

At the same time, to address concerns related to climate change there is an increasing tendency to transition toward lower greenhouse-gas emissions (GHG). Governments have to find solutions for these transitions that are acceptable to their constituents and, leveraging all available resource and technology options, efficient from an economic perspective. While the various proposals carry desirable end goals, the pathway has the potential to disproportionately affect economies that heavily depend on fossil resource endowments, have scarce water resources, or import food. The G20 can play an important role in addressing these issues to ensure shared and inclusive global prosperity.

This task force will produce policy recommendations to enhance the management of energy, water and food systems and ensure security of supply for the global population in an efficient and sustainable way. The scale of existing networks and value chains and how the deployment of new technologies and contributes to policy discourse will be examined. The task force also aims to provide guidance to achieve efficient transitions that reduce GHG emissions while allowing all economies to prosper. It will also offer recommendations on how to enhance international cooperation, infrastructure and institutions that help to ensure the stability of markets, for the joint benefit of both producing and consuming countries. >>To the original description source 

Explore the Digital Global Solutions Summit 2020

You can navigate to content related to the Global Solutions Summit here. Discover the T20 agenda, an overview of all Global Tables, meet the speakers and read the latest issue of the Global Solutions Journal. Also navigate to the G20 Insights Platform offers policy proposals to the G20: The Policy Briefs, produced by Task Forces from the Think20 (T20) Group and other sources, are clustered in policy areas and describe either recommendations or visions.


Global Tables shape the program of this Summit. With a specific focus within a topic area they consist of keynotes and panel discussions, supplemented by vision statements. Participants are invited to contribute to the contents. 

All Global Tables »


The Global Solutions Summit is a meeting of global problem solvers, including thought leaders and decision-makers from research, politics, business and civil society.

All Speakers »


The Journal for this Summit provides a bridge between visions, recommend­ations and action. Find articles from academics as well as from implementers.

Previous issues »

Policy Briefs

The G20 Insights Platform offers policy proposals to the G20. It is  an initiative of the T20 Engagement Group. 

G20 Insights »

Any Questions?

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As a media representative please contact [email protected] for more information. Please also note our press kitpress releases and comments published on the Digital Global Solutions Summit 2020.

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