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The GES 2009 Vision

The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2009 addressed the question “Where do we go from here?” Once the crisis is over, the world is not expected to return to business as usual. What new trajectories are we likely to Follow? What dangers lie ahead and what opportunities? What policies, business strategies, and civil initiatives are likely to be globally desirable under these new circumstances?

The GES 2009, for example, addressed issues such as these: The global financial system needs a new framework of regulation and supervision and new forms of macroeconomic coordination. How should the future of global financial governance be structured? What guidelines can we formulate to strike a desirable balance between risk-taking and financial regulation? What exit strategies should governments pursue in the aftermath of the financial crisis? The international trading system is threatened by new forms of protectionism. How can we sustain global trade under global rules? The upheaval of the world economy is likely to create new social divides. How should governments, businesses, international organizations, NGOs and other civil organizations respond? Given the disparities in countries’ national debt burdens, financial sector exposures, export-orientations and raw material dependencies, new forms of global imbalances may arise in the future. The global division of labor is also likely to shift. How are these developments to be addressed in advance? What is the appropriate role of social entrepreneurship in helping the market system serve the public interest? In many different respects, broadly speaking, the world community appears to be suffering from the consequences of failed multilateralism. Are there common causes for these failures, associated with common guidelines toward solutions?

The world community faces ongoing, growing problems – including climate change, failed states, educational deficits, unsustainable energy demands, water management and much more – that must be addressed. We could not afford the global economic crisis to divert us from these challenges. Here, too, the central question posed in the GES 2009 was, what is to be done? These troubled times have been also periods of great opportunity. The problems above are global, whereas political and business decisions are usually made on the firm, national or regional level. Thus what we need are (i) shared visions of the future that will inspire us to work together, embodied in (ii) concrete policies and strategies to achieve these visions, (iii) formulated through a dialogue among diverse leading decision makers. This is the purpose of the Global Economic Symposium.

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