From 24 to 26 January 2022, the virtual Think7 Inception Conference took place with about 300 participants. On 24 January, the new G7 Sherpa of the German government, Jörg Kukies, State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery, kicked off the conference with a presentation of the priorities of the German G7 presidency for 2022, followed by a discussion with the experts from the think tanks present. Afterward, the five task forces started their work to develop policy proposals for the G7 workstreams. In May 2022, at the Think7 Summit, the Think7 policy proposals will be handed over to the German government. In the meantime, the Think7 Co-Chairs, Dennis Snower for the Global Solutions Initiative and Anna-Katharina Hornidge for German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), will be in regular exchange with the G7 Sherpas at the invitation of the Federal Chancellery.
The German Presidency has set the following priority themes:
- sustainable planet
- economic stability and transformation
- healthy living
- investing in a better future
- stronger together
Five task forces have been launched on the following thematic priorities:
- Saving the Planet – Climate and Environment: This task force covers a wide range of topics, including climate, biodiversity, water, air, land/soil and oceans, food and agriculture, energy and infrastructure. Policy recommendations for the G7 will focus on high-impact measures for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation that simultaneously promote GHG sinks, employment, and the 2030 Agenda.
- Economic Recovery: This task force will develop research-based policy advice for the German G7 Presidency to formulate national and global policies that not only enable and sustain rapid economic recovery but also contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Targets. The task force will develop policy ideas for scaling up and pursuing green investments, managing sustainable finance, addressing the debt crisis in the Global South, fiscal-monetary interactions, and international coordination to minimize international spillover effects, and revitalizing global trade and building more resilient supply chains.
- Global health: This task force will bring together epidemiological, medical, social, and political science expertise as a good basis for science-policy dialogues and for strengthening health infrastructures for disease prevention. Special attention will be paid to the different health problems and infrastructures across regions, income, and population groups. The role of the G7 in global health governance is reflected upon to suggest a dialogue with other governance formats such as the G20.
- Strengthening social cohesion: This task force is working on issues at the intersection of three pressing challenges – the environmental crisis, the social security crisis, and digital democracy – and will develop specific policy recommendations for the G7. Strengthening social cohesion is fundamental to successfully navigate the next decade: A successful climate policy needs social conditions that foster a willingness to change at all levels. To alleviate the burdens of regional inequalities, deindustrialization, and an aging population, the G7 countries will need to dramatically increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their social protection systems to make them more sustainable, adaptable, and truly participatory. Under democratic conditions, social cohesion must be based on shared perceptions of facts and realities, for which the control of private data and accessibility of public data (data citizenship) is central.
- International cooperation for the global common good: This task force will look at the foundations of international cooperation (IC), the incentives for global cooperation, the opportunities for sub-national actors, and the structure of current institutions of IC. Based on this, policy recommendations will be formulated for the G7 to strengthen multilateralism and improve global governance.
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) have been jointly mandated by the Federal Chancellery to coordinate the Think7 process as part of the German G7 Presidency in 2022. Think7 brings together leading think tanks, primarily from G7 countries but also beyond, to develop innovative, research-based policy proposals for the G7. DIE and GSI attach particular importance to building bridges to Think20, which brings together think tanks from G20 countries.