The Global Economic Symposium (GES) is meant to give a new impetus to global problem-solving. Our world has become increasingly interdependent and its problems—climate change, financial crisis, failed states, vicious cycles of poverty, educational deficits, unsustainable energy demands, water management and many more—are interdependent as well. These problems can only be addressed through global cooperation.
But such cooperation is often not forthcoming for many reasons: policy instruments are predominantly national; voting constituencies are narrow, not global; pressure groups pursue parochial goals; international forums are often articulate national, rather than global, interests. To overcome this global cooperation deficit, we need to create shared visions of the future, inspiring people from different professions, countries and cultures to work together.
However, visions are not enough; they need to be embodied concrete action plans policies, business strategies, civil initiatives and research agenda. These action plans should emerge as the outcome of a dialogue among leading academics, businesspeople, policy-makers and representatives of civil society. For without such a dialogue, the action plans would lack credibility. And the action plans must be based on state-of-the-art research. Our ideas must go through the crucible of rigorous analysis and evaluation.
The GES seeks to meet these needs.
- It is a solution symposium, not a discussion forum. The focus is on solutions to global problems.
- It is a research-based exchange, resting on the Knowledge Base of the Virtual GES (the internet platform of the GES), contain-ing background research, policy and strategy proposals, and discussion forums. The Knowledge Base—which is supported by the German National Library of Economics (the world’s largest economics library)—has the objective to become an international repository of proposed solutions to global problems, together with underlying analysis.
- It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, since it initiates a strategic dialogue between leaders from the worlds of academia, business, politics and civil society.
- It seeks a long-term perspective, as its aim is to make the world a better place for the next generation.
The GES is meant to be daring and foresighted. It values intellectual integrity, not political correctness. We are not concerned with marginal improvements of existing arrangements; instead, we seek radically new proposals that could put our future, as a global economic community, on a better course. These proposals need to be concrete and implementable. In short, the aim is to think out of the box; to be visionary, but simultaneously practical.