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Guidelines and Instructions

Guidelines and Instructions for the Global Economic Symposium 4-5 September 2008 Plön Castle, Germany

Panel Sessions

The GES consists primarily of panel sessions, in which the panelists debate the session topics, after which the audience joins in.

Each panel consists of about four panelists. There are about six session slots per day. Each session slot has about two parallel sessions. Thus over the two days, there are about 24 sessions in all.

Each panel session is focused on a particular global problem, summarized in the Session Descriptions. The aim of the panel session is to discuss alternative solutions to this problem, in order to identify the ones that appear most promising. Thereby each panel session contributes to the mission of the Global Economic Symposium, namely, to recommend strategies and policies for tackling global problems, thereby creating shared visions of the future. In short, the GES is action-oriented; it is not merely a discussion forum. The panel debates are off-the-record.

Each panel of the GES is composed of a Moderator and several Panelists. Each panel session runs for 75 minutes, divided into two phases. The first phase is “Debate:” 50-60 minutes of exchange between the Moderator and the Panelists. The second phase is “Open Floor:” 15-25 minutes of open participation from the audience.

Debate and Open Floor

The Debate phase consists of rapid exchanges between the Moderator and the Panelists. The Moderator leads the debate, asking the Panelists questions, to which the Panelists respond briefly. Panelists are of course expected to respond to one another, so that a lively debate ensues. (There are to be no introductory or concluding statements of the panelists, just questions and responses.) At the end of the Debate phase, the panelists may summarize their main points, if necessary.

In the Open Floor phase, the participants in the audience will be permitted short questions (maximum 30 seconds), followed by short responses from one or more panelists. The Moderator determines what sort of questions to ask for and moderates the resulting discussion.

Submissions to Strategy Perspectives and Virtual Libraries

In order for the Debate phase to be maximally fruitful, each Panelist is required to post a short summary of his or her proposed solutions in the “Strategy Perspectives” section of the Virtual GES, the website of the GES. Moderators as well as experts belonging to the wider GES Community can also submit their proposed solutions, so that the Strategy Perspectives contain a broad, balanced portfolio of proposals for each panel session.

The Moderator studies these solutions in advance and composes his or her questions accordingly. Consequently, by posting their proposed solutions, the Panelists ensure that their ideas will be fully taken into account by the Moderator.


The Virtual GES

The power of the GES lies in its focus on solutions to global problems. This focus is supported through the Virtual GES, the web-based platform of the GES ( The Virtual GES mirrors the GES itself: both are divided into themes, which in turn are divided into panels.

The Virtual GES is a repository of proposed solutions to global economic problems. Thereby it is a useful resource for the GES panel sessions. The GES panels debate the solutions that are described in the Virtual GES.

The Virtual GES has the following components:

  • Summary and Solutions, summarizing the problem and preliminary solutions,

  • Strategy Perspectives, containing short summaries of proposed solutions, contributed by the Panelists are other international experts,

  • Strategy Forum, in which the Panelists can defend their positions and exchange ideas prior to the GES, so that the Panel Debate can proceed efficiently.

  • Virtual Libraries, containing background information (articles, presentations, op-eds, speeches, reports, etc.) to which Panelists and other experts are free to contribute.

The Participants in the GES audience are expected to have familiarized themselves with the relevant material in the Virtual GES, so that they can play a maximally useful role in the Open Floor phase of each panel session.

Contributors to the Virtual GES include both Panelists and international experts belonging to the wider GES Community, the Virtual GES is (i) both a communication platform between the Panelists, Moderators, and a worldwide network researchers and policy makers and (ii) a repository of policy proposals that informs the outcome of the GES.

After the GES has taken place, the solutions that have received support will be summarized in a report entitled Global Economic Solutions, to be at various major international organizations. The resulting input from the policy-making community, as well as from other policy makers, researchers and the GES Community, will be summarized in the Virtual GES and serve as groundwork for the next GES. In this way, the GES is meant to initiate an ongoing dialogue about how to address the major global economic problems of our times.

Plenary Sessions

There are also two plenary sessions, one identifying the world’s major challenges and the other summarizing potential solutions.

  • The Opening Plenary, on September 4, is entitled “The Challenge: The World’s Major Problems and their Sources.” It aims to identify the major global economic problems and examine how they arise.

  • The Closing Plenary, on September 5, is entitled “Potential Solutions: Resolutions for the Future.” It aims to identify solutions to major global economic problems and indicate steps toward concrete actions.

Each plenary consists of a Moderator and several Leaders. At the beginning of the Plenary, the Moderator summarizes the purpose of the Plenary and introduces the Leaders. Each Leader then has the opportunity to deliver a 10-minute statement. The Moderator then asks questions and initiates a discussion among the Leaders concerning the subject of the plenary. Finally the Moderator provides a brief summary of the results of the Plenary.

Working Lunch and Workshop

On the first day of the GES, all Participants will be divided into working groups. Each group has its own table at a Working Lunch. The purpose of each working group is to identify what it considers to be the three most important global challenges (problems) in the years ahead.

Each group is lead by a Group Leader, who organizes the group discussion and formulates the list of three major challenges. The Group Leaders give their lists to the Workshop Moderator.

The Working Lunch is followed by a Workshop, in which the Moderator summarizes the major challenges identified by all the working groups. He can call on Group Leaders to provide short justifications for the choice of specific challenges.

Finally, all Participants vote on which of the identified challenges they consider to be the most important. The result of the vote, a ranking of the challenges, will be made public. It will provide a first foundation for the deliberations leading to the agenda of the GES 2009.


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