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See how GES solutions can be implemented

November 19, 2012

“Climate Change and Economic Development” has been discussed at the Global Economic Symposium. One respective GES solution of this session is "Deploy renewable energies in developing countries by learning from advanced examples." This solution has been implemented:

The Implementation: Solar Shops in the Philippines

When the sun goes down on Mindoro Island in the Philippines, villages are plunged into complete darkness. People here have no access to electricity, and generators are too expensive, so solar lamps present an affordable and eco-friendly alternative.

See how GES solutions can be implemented

November 11, 2012

Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders Escaping the Informal-Employment Trap in Developing Countries” has been discussed at the Global Economic Symposium. One respective GES solution of this session is "Where there is wage discrimination, give informal workers a stronger voice and remove the stigma attached to informal employment." This solution has been implemented:

The Implementation: Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders
Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) is a national alliance of street vendors, hawkers and informal traders in Kenya. The vision of the alliance is to transform street vending and informal businesses into corporate establishments. ... The Implementation: Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders

Shared Society: The State We’re In

October 22, 2012

by Robert Phillips, in Citizen Renaissance
I headed to Rio de Janeiro last week for the Global Economic Symposium, with the opening paragraphs of a new book in my head. The (2013) follow-on from Citizen Renaissance is set to examine the rise of City States in the Twenty First Century, just as their namesakes had originally blossomed in the Fifteenth. With echoes of ...

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Quotes from "Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic Ocean"

October 18, 2012

Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic OceanI ask myself if the Arctic Ocean will become just a regular ocean, from which these resources will certainly be produced sooner or later.

The assumption that it is inevitable that we will extract hard-to-get-at fossil fuels carries its own danger. Once a company has invested in the infrastructure to extract, it is locked in. Then it must change or maintain the political economy such that continued extraction of that fuel is profitable. This is incompatible with our management of dramatic climate change.

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Some Solution Proposals: Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic Ocean

October 18, 2012

Exploring Energy Resources in the Arctic Ocean_21. All stakeholders need to start a new international dialogue about the ‘math’ of offshore oil extraction in the Arctic.

To date, the business case for Arctic oil or gas has been made under assumptions abut world energy demand and a cost/risk assessment that have been disputed. Under the scrutiny of the general public, companies should transparently re-estimate the costs, risks and potential benefits of Arctic drilling.

This assessment has to include external costs and risks that are so far not under the liability of the firms, such as some of the risk to the Arctic ecosystem. Special attention has to be on the risk of a blowout. The past teaches that if drilling happens, an accident will happen sooner or later. Naturally, producing firms will have to be liable for the whole cost that may incur after a spill. Chances are high that under such a perspective, drilling in the Arctic is not economic anyway.

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Protecting and restoring the world's forests

October 17, 2012


Protecting and Restoring the World's ForestsPanellists agreed that REDD is a suitable tool to preserve forests that should be further supported even though its strong connection to climate policy is difficult without a valid climate agreement. To get REDD to be more effective, international funding and engagement of governments is essential. Furthermore degradation of forest needs to be better included.

Brazil is an example where the coordination of measurements to prevent deforestation between different ministries where the key to decrease deforestation rates. An effective monitoring system together with short-term law enforcement are key elements of the measurements taken.

The role of international certification schemes such as FSC for companies to prove a sustainable source of their forest products should be strengthened.

Local communities have shown to be a key element for forest protection as forests provide them, for example, with income possibilities and food.

Strengthening the land tenure rights of the local communities is therefore crucial to prevent deforestation.

Reassessing renewable energies

October 17, 2012

Solutions on which the panelists agreed:

Reassessing Renewable Energies_2Renewable energy has to be seen in a broader context than just climate change. There are many associated benefits that renewable energy can bring about, such as reducing air pollution in developing countries.

The ecosystem as a whole has to be looked at – ‘climate is critical, but not the totality.’

Countries currently using domestic oil and selling subsidised energy (including developing countries) can finance (part of the) the transmission to renewables by selling the precious resource rather than using it at home. In addition, the US$500 billion of annual energy subsidies could be used for financing.

The longer we wait, the higher will be the cost, as the capital stock of power plants is very long-lasting. In fast-growing countries, it is important to build the ‘right’ capital stock as it will be in place for decades and will pre-determine future emissions.

Different countries will have a different energy mix: some might be more suited to use ‘agri-energy’ (the preferred term for biofules), others will be better off using solar and/or wind power.

Some solution proposals: Designing intelligent labor migration policies

October 17, 2012

  1. Designing Intelligent Labor Migration PoliciesGlobal training scholarships would allow workers to get education at home and then find employment abroad or at home. Looking at the earnings gain that a nurse will have by training, she can finance her education, for example, through a loan by a hospital network.
    An employer in a developed country could pay for the education of the worker in the developing country. US$11,000-19,000 would be the cost of the education in a developing country, which could be paid off within a year. This would create labour so it would not necessary drain the supply at home.
  1. We should broaden the supply of talent rather than compete for it in order to find a global solution to ‘brain drain’.
  2. We need metrics to figure out the brain balance. Some countries are attractive and others lose. We need to empower countries to enable them to fish in the ‘brain pool’ and play the ‘brain game’.

Reassessing Renewable Energies

October 17, 2012

Reassessing Renewable EnergiesSome unattributable quotes:

‘Saudi is constantly reassessing its energy policy. Already the country meets 40% of its domestic energy needs from gas and not oil – and it is going into solar and nuclear energies.’

‘We're already in red zone for three planetary life support systems.’

‘To tackle climate change, we need to pursue three goals: we need to double the share of non-fossil fuels from 20% to 40%. We need to double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency. And we need to double the share of renewables. These won’t happen through ‘business as usual’.’

Economic Performance Index: An alternative to country-based metrics

October 17, 2012

Economic Performance IndexIt is a joint initiative by the GES and Towers Watson. A bottom-up approach of looking at companies and industries as drivers of overall economic performance. The pilot team has had a first look at 16,000 companies in 17 leading industries in the G20.
Broad determinants of industry performance are as follows: business environment; cost of doing business; financial performance and productivity;  government effectiveness and infrastructure; innovation; and talent availability and quality.

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Shared societies, enviromental sustainibility and the renewal of democracy

October 17, 2012

Keynote AddressWim Kok at the GES in Rio - Former Dutch prime minister and current president of the Club de Madrid Wim Kok delivered the plenary address at the start of the second day of the GES in Rio.

He focused on three related issues: access to energy and climate change, inclusion and social cohesion, and democracy.

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Security in the Face of Globalization

October 16, 2012

1. The global community – private and public – needs to implement a tracking system for weapons and ammunition.

‘While it is possible to track even a bottle of water across the globe and its value chain, weapons and ammunition are still moving out of the sight of state authorities.’

The presence of weapons and ammunition is pivotal in most of the criminal activities that public authorities are concerned about – and certainly in those that cost most lives. Imported weapons and ammunition are used in a majority of incidents.

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Favelas—A Global Challenge and Opportunity

October 16, 2012

Favelas—A Global Challenge and OpportunityInteraction between emerging middle class and rising lower class: inequality is rising in two thirds of countries, especially in emerging countries – and paradoxically the middle class is rising fast in these countries.

People living in favelas have to be empowered – and we need to help them to do so.

Housing solutions fail if they are top-down, designed in an office. In those cases, they do not fit the needs of the population, for example, their social capital, closeness to schools, etc. especially in case of relocation. Self-determination and choice of where and how to live are important.

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Fiscal Consolidation through Fiscal Rules?

October 16, 2012

Fiscal Consolidation through Fiscal RulesThe majority of the panelists agreed that rules are important to achieve fiscal consolidation because they are self-disciplinary and induce a cost of breaking them. Rules should have a constitutional rank and governments should be monitored on a regular basis.

Specific proposals accepted by the majority of panelists:
1. They agreed on a rule that puts a limit on government spending. Only in the case of an emergency economic situation the rule can suspended with a supermajority in parliament (60%). (This is roughly the proposal made by Edward Lazear.)
2. They agreed on a rule that puts a limit on the deficit-to-GDP ratio and additionally defines an upper limit for the overall debt-to-GDP ratio. The exact numbers should be country-specific and should take into account the future economic growth prospects of each individual country.
3. They agreed on the solution to have a safeguard to strengthen the enforcement of a fiscal rule, but there was no consensus about what this safeguard should look like.

Promoting Food Security - The Contribution of Climate-Smart Agriculture

October 16, 2012

All panellists at this GES 2012 session agreed that getting the institutions right is key!

There is a broad consensus that most of the technical solutions are there – so there is a bundle of solutions to choose from to form tailor-made, locally adapted solutions.

Broad consensus also exists that attention has to focus on smallholders and arrangements that work for smallholders. This is inherently more complex and difficult to achieve: first, because smallholders are a large diverse group; and second, because politicians prefer big solutions, which they can more easily sell to voters.

The Future of Central Banking: Inflation Targeting versus Financial Stability

October 16, 2012

The Future of Central Banking-2The panellists agreed on certain tasks for central banks in the future:

Central banks will have to cooperate more among themselves. Cooperation could be organised through a World Monetary Authority.

They have to improve their 'macroprudential' monitoring tools, for example, close observation of asset prices, credit aggregates and other financial indicators.

They agreed that unconventional monetary policies are appropriate in times of a systemic crisis. But in the medium to long term, central banks should focus on their main task: the maintenance of price stability.

Ideas on tackling youth unemployment

October 16, 2012

Tackling Youth UnemploymentHow to fight chronic problems in Europe's youth labor markets?

A number of ‘killer ideas’ as potential solutions to the problem of youth unemployment have been discussed at the GES 2012:

The Austrian ‘youth guarantee’, where the government guarantees that every young person without a job for four months will have either a job or participate in a vocational training programme. The cost of that programme is not too high.

Manpower cooperated with the local government in Shanghai: They surveyed firms extensively on the types of workers and sets of skills they need and then used that information to steer young people in training and education. This indicates the importance of dealing with the mismatch between the skills demanded and skills supplied.

There is a strong need to introduce graded job security in the labour market and avoid an abrupt jump from a temporary contract to a permanent one.

Unemployed young people should be divided into two categories: educated and uneducated ones. Different policies are needed for the two groups.

There is no one single best solution and governments have to use many integrated and coordinated policies to deal with the problem.

A striking quote from the session 'The Future of Central Banking: Inflation Targeting versus Financial Stability'

October 16, 2012

The Future of Central Banking-3"Europe needs growth. If it doesn’t get it, the eventual outcome will be debt default or inflation."

Read and discuss the solution proposal of Pablo Guidotti of the Universidad Torcuato di Tella

October 16, 2012

The Future of Central Banking: Inflation Targeting versus Financial Stability

The global financial crisis has made central banks in the advanced economies “rediscover” the importance of financial stability. In the emerging market economies, in contrast, central banks have always regarded financial stability ...

The Future of

We need a world monetary authority

October 16, 2012

The Future of Central BankingAn unattributed view from the future of central banking session

One of the institutional failures in Europe and the US ahead of the financial crisis was the disaggregation of the roles of financial supervision and monetary policy. In Brazil, for example, both institutions are integrated within the central bank.

It is also essential to orchestrate and coordinate the actions of central banks across the world, not just in crisis times. The current role of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in this respect is too informal and too little.

The BIS needs to evolve over time into a world monetary authority. This could be similar to the evolution of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) into the World Trade Organisation.’

What central banks are doing right now

October 16, 2012

An unattributed view from the future of central banking session

  • Central banks are returning to their nineteenth century position as the biggest banks in their economies.
  • Quantitative easing is the only thing that’s keeping economies in the developed world out of recession – in a world where everyone is deleveraging, someone needs to be on the buy side.’
  • But what assets should they buy? Commercial bank bonds and equity and mortgage-backed securities could be added to sovereign debt.’

GES Speaker 2012: Ambassador Laura Thompson

October 11, 2012

Laura ThompsonAmbassador Thompson is Deputy Director General of International Organization for Migration. She was formerly the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. Further, she acted as Chair of Governing Bodies of the United Nations Compensation Commission, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Labour Organization. As panelist of the GES she will discuss solutions on Designing Intelligent Labor Migration Policies and will present her ideas about The International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) at the Ideas Fair.

Read and discuss the solution proposal of Jörg Dräger

October 10, 2012

Effective Investments in Education
Education is one of the most important issues of our times. But investing effectively in education is a very complex problem – and thus cannot be tackled with quick fixes. Local conditions, difficulties such as deprived neighborhoods or financial straits, and individual resources have to …

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Watch the GES Live Stream

October 06, 2012

The GES 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the culminating point of the GES community’s on-going quest to identify solutions to the most important global problems of our time. You can follow this event live on our website. Selected events with leading decision makers and high-ranking participants will be available to our global audience. See full Program

Open Solution

October 01, 2012

Thank you very much for participating in the Open Solution. We were delighted about every single contribution and we congratulate Aaron Shoresman, he will join us in Rio 2012.

Click here to read his proposal that convinced the jury.

GES Speaker 2012: John Hope Bryant

September 28, 2012

John H. BryantJohn H. Bryant is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE Inc. He was Former Vice Chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy under President George W. Bush and serves US President Barack Obama on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Furthermore he is Chairman of the Council Sub-Committee on the Under-Served and Community Empowerment and author of bestselling business book Love Leadership The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World.

As panelist of the Global Economic Symposium he will discuss solutions on  Improving Financial Education and Literacy.

Read and discuss the solution proposal of Charles Goodhart

September 24, 2012

Presumptive Indicators should be used to drive Macro-Prudential Regulation
Central banks are now being given the task of maintaining financial stability as well as hitting inflation targets. With two objectives there needs to be, optimally, two instruments that can be used separately for those purposes …

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GES Speaker 2012: Ana Llopis

September 07, 2012

Ana Llopis GES 2012 Speaker Ana Llopis is chairperson of the Board of Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación S.A. (DIA). Currently she is, among others, non-executive Director at Société Générale and ABN AMRO Bank. She held various management positions in companies such as P&G, Playtex, Schweppes, Banesto and Open Bank CEO of Grupo Santander. In 2008 she founded ideas4all. As panelist of the Global Economic Symposium she will discuss solutions on  Implementing Board Diversity.

Read and discuss the solution proposal of Assar Lindbeck

August 27, 2012

Youth Unemployment
The most effective way to reduce youth unemployment is to use a battery of complementary policy actions – more specifically a combination of macroeconomic policies, general labor market reforms and targeted policies to increase the demand and supply of labor for young workers ...

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GES Speaker 2012: Charles Goodhart

August 20, 2012

Charles GoodhartCharles Goodhart is Emeritus Professor of Banking and Finance at The London School of Economics and Political Science. As panelist of the Global Economic Symposium he will discuss solutions on The Future of Central Banking: Inflation Targeting versus Financial Stability, takes part at the roundtable International Non-Profit Credit Rating Agency for Sovereign Risk and the Ideas Fair.

Read and discuss the solution proposal of Mike Orszag

August 18, 2012

Reinventing Financial Literacy after the Global Financial Crisis
Future financial literacy programs need to prepare participants for three broad realities of life after global financial crisis – government bonds can no longer be considered the safest investment option, healthcare costs will rise at a higher rate in the next decade and it will be …

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GES Speaker 2012: Yves Leterme

August 16, 2012

Yves LetermeYves Leterme was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD on 8 December 2011. He is in charge of Social Affairs, Education, Governance and Entrepreneurship. As panelist of the Global Economic Symposium 2012 the Former Prime Minister of Belgium will discuss solutions on Tackling Inequality of Opportunities.

New GES Ideas Brief published: Improving Pakistan’s Political Economy

August 14, 2012

A Report on the Deliberations of the Global Economic Symposium (GES) Working Group on ‘State Building in Pakistan’.
Read the new GES Ideas Brief | Download (PDF, 2 MB) | View on IPhone / IPad

GES 2012 Speaker: László Andor

August 10, 2012

László AndorLászló Andor has been the EU's Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion since February 2010. As panelist of the Global Economic Symposium 2012 he will discuss solutions on Tackling Youth Unemployment and Expanding Job Opportunities for Senior Citizens. Furthermore, he will speak at the plenary  New Approaches to Economic Challenges.

Getting more women on corporate boards

August 06, 2012

Some of the best ideas for encouraging things to change: to end the predominance of male directors and achieve true board diversity. Read the new GES Solutions Brief | Download (PDF, 2 MB) | View on IPhone / IPad

New GES 2011 Solutions published!

August 1, 2012

Solution Proposals from the Session "Board Diversity and Corporate Governance"
Check out the latest GES Briefs and find promising and innovative solution proposals discussed at the GES 2011 in Kiel.

Open Solution

August 06, 2012

We present the Global Economic Symposium's Open Solution! The OS is a non-scientific, open-access document connecting you with international scientists, business-leaders and decision-makers in a revolutionary way. It's your chance to create a global problem's solution which might even be implemented on top decision-level in the near future. Check the details and get involved here.

For the Establishment of National Innovation Centres

July 13, 2012

Developing countries have large MSE sectors which are faced with numerous challenges. In the case of Kenya, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) have been in existence for over two decades and have been a major source of employment, goods and services. Despite this, MSEs face a number of challenges which limit their growth opportunities. Anne Gitonga, a Global Economic Fellow, presented her concrete solution to address these challenges in the Roundtable on Global Economic Fellows Projects in the GES 2011. The Project is currently being implemented. Full project report

Get involved

July 03, 2012

Sheri Markose is co-editor of the new special issue "Coping with Systemic Risk" in the journal Economics. She was panelist in the last Global Economic Symposium (GES), which took place in Kiel, Germany on October 5-6, 2011. Retaining the objectives of the Panel "Coping with Systemic Risk", the Special Issue invites contributions that are prepared to 'think outside the box' in terms of providing solutions to monitoring and managing systemic risk. Call for Papers

June 27, 2012

Global-Economic-Solution-2011-12Check out our new and innovative solutions from the Global Economic Symposium 2011. For further insights visit our repository of Solutions or browse our Knowledge Base.

Veolia Summit 2012

June 22, 2012

The state and the economy: how much government is good for the citizens?

During the Kiel Week there aren't just sailing regattas, but also the Veolia Summit 2012 at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Günter Verheugen, former EU commissioner for industry and Vice President of the EU Commission, Dennis Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Johann Eekhoff, former Undersecretary and Director of the Institute for Economic Policy at the University of Cologne, and Thorsten Grenz, CEO of Veolia Umweltservice, participated in the Veolia Summit. Claudia Kleinert, of German television, moderated the discussions at the summit.

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