Research-based
policy recommendations
for the G7

Publications

The Think7 task forces will produce policy briefs on issues relevant to G7 policy-makers. On the basis of these policy briefs, one or two task force reports focusing on a limited number of key issues of relevance for the G7 process will be produced. This process is led by the Think7 co-chairs. The task force reports will provide a limited number of research-based policy recommendations for G7 policy-makers. The task force reports will be subject to an internal peer review process within each task force.

The finalized publications will be published below by summer 2022.

Think7 Communiqué

The communiqué summarizes about 70 papers of the Think7, in which policy recommendations for the G7 summit in Elmau are made. For example, the authors argue that the G7 should work more closely with the G20 countries to counter a relapse into a polarized world and to work toward an end to the war in Ukraine. A second key recommendation is that the G7 should develop common standards for measuring human well-being that take into account not only economic criteria but also the state of the environment and social cohesion. The third central recommendation of the Think7 to the G7 is that the work of the group of states should be continuously accompanied by science and civil society in the future – until now, the composition and goals of the so-called various G7 Engagement Groups have changed with each new G7 presidency.

A G7 Infrastructure Club – Mobilizing the Transformative Power of Cities to Support Multilateralism and the Agenda 2030 in Post-COVID G7/G20

In the context of an increasing divergence of models, a highly divergent recovery and overlapping and multiple global crises, multi-level governance is critical to address systemic challenges. The benefits of such a strategy, too long ignored by national governments, was well documented during the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, the G7 presidency of Germany has launched a G7 Urban development track to support investments for a better future and a sustainable planet and it has acknowledged the formation of an urban engagement group in the G7. The creation of an infrastructure club, complementing the G7 Germany proposal of a climate club would be an innovative way to support the transformative power of cities in the G7 and nurture a quality dialogue between G7 and G20 in support of the delivery of the Agenda 2030 despite times of uncertainties.

Finding Solutions to Common Digital Economy Challenges under Germany’s Presidency for the G7

Authors:

This policy brief addresses the two goals of better future as well as economic sustainability and recovery goal, which were outlined by the G7 under Germany’s current presidency to the G7. It aims to analyze four distinct digital trends that are existing in today’s global digital economy in both developing and developed countries with various degrees of penetration and adoption. These trends include data as a new type of infrastructure, Cross Border Flow of Data (CBFD), leveraging Private Public Partnership (PPP) business model in the uptake of 5G, in tandem with strengthening the regulatory bodies, leveling the playing field for all market players, and adopting effective market liberalization strategies. Finally, the fifth trend includes ensuring suitable and harmonized governance and regulatory frameworks for digital platforms on a global level.

This policy brief is meant to help developing countries’ policy makers make suitable decisions and drafting appropriate policies in this specific area. By leveraging best practices and international experience distinctively from the G7 context, the findings of this policy brief would help in achieving this goal. Finally, this contribution ends with suggested implementation plan that aims to strengthen the international cooperation and ties between G7 and developing countries by increasing the awareness of the latter with lessons learned and best practices to promote the above mentioned new digital trends in developing countries. This policy brief is consistent with the pillar of strengthening the common good pillar outlined in Germany’s priorities in its presidency to the G7.

Issue Paper: Ramping up Investments in a Better Future: The Need for a Refreshed G7 Approach to Realize the Opportunity of Global Sustainable Development

The world’s systems of international cooperation are facing three great conflicts at once: violent conflict in Ukraine, political conflict between great powers, and a fissure between the near-term priorities of the world’s rich and powerful societies and the long-term needs of both poorer societies and the planet itself. The first two conflicts exacerbate the third. Amid massive investment shortfalls, the global sustainable development agenda is on the brink. Next year, 2023, will mark the midpoint to the Sustainable Development Goal deadline of 2030. It’s high time to start preparations for a better “second half” of the SDG era. The G7 needs to be a two-pronged leader, one that lends all its supportive muscle to mobilize required forms of capital while also leading through the power of its own influential example. Three deep structural changes over the past two decades have shifted the context for G7 contributions: (1) the smaller relative power of G7 countries on the global stage, (2) the more complex and fragmented policy terrain, and (3) the flawed heritage of high-profile G7/8 commitments. Amid the world’s deep practical interconnections between the “infrastructure agenda,” the “climate agenda,” and the “sustainable development agenda,” all G7 countries need to prioritize their domestic implementation of the SDGs. In parallel, they need to help mobilize a massive scale-up of public and private resources for global sustainable development. This includes partnering with other countries to instigate profound changes in the scale and business models of the multilateral development banks, while also taking a leadership role to promote SDG alignment in public and private financing systems. G7 efforts relating to infrastructure should be pursued in the larger context of the 2023 moment for the SDGs and existing efforts coordinated through the G20 and elsewhere. The G7 can further consider a range of proposals to boost a partnership-driven approach to international cooperation on specific issues.

G7 Investment in Peacebuilding for the Global Common Good

G7 leaders at the Elmau Summit should commit to investing in peacebuilding efforts through three main avenues: development aid and reform, gender equality, and connecting the local to the global. They should do this through reallocating funds to peacebuilding efforts, tracking their progress on making the world more peaceful, and supporting the reform of UN peacebuilding efforts; focusing on investing in gender equality and access to quality education through peace processes; and supporting local and Indigenous people’s views in a peace process. These actions would directly address the global decline in peace, which the G7, as global leaders and defenders of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, should see as a priority.

This would also build on G7 leaders existing peace-related commitments that have been complied with. Of the G7 commitments that have been assessed for compliance, the average rate of compliance is 73%. The G7 is committed to peace but needs to take strong actions to increase the global level of peace as the global level of peace in 2022 is lower than the global level of peace was in 2008. While different members have different interests to invest in peace, the bottom line is that it is in the best interest of all G7 members to ensure a more peaceful world. Especially now, as Ukraine is ravaged by the illegal full-scale war launched against them by Russia. Conflict and violence do not just cost the world precious lives and resources, but also trillions of dollars annually.

Fostering a Common Approach to Sustainable and Quality Infrastructure

An urgency exists to build sustainable, quality infrastructure to address the world’s infrastructure gap, especially in developing and emerging economies. The solution will require significant new inputs from both the public and private sectors. Two global infrastructure investment initiatives – FAST-Infra’s Sustainable Infrastructure Label (SI Label) and Blue Dot Network Certification – are independently being developed to create market signals that will attract and facilitate private- and public-sector investments in high quality, sustainable infrastructure projects, especially in Middle- and Low-Income Countries (MLICs). Both of these initiatives are built upon available existing guidelines, standards, rating systems, and certifications, with the aim of creating a streamlined, global infrastructure “meta-standard.” The degree to which these two meta-standards will succeed in becoming widely adopted and attracting new investments in sustainable, quality infrastructure will depend on whether they can overcome several critical challenges, including: clarifying the confusion among existing infrastructure standards; facilitating the simultaneous meta-standard adoption by investors, project developers, and client-country governments; and ensuring the MLICs are able to benefit from these meta-standards. The G7 member nations, with their recent pledges to support quality, sustainable infrastructure investments in MLICs through Build Back Better World (B3W), Global Gateway, and Clean Green Initiative, are uniquely well-positioned to catalyze adoption of infrastructure meta-standards. We propose that the G7 build on its Partnership for Infrastructure and Investment Task Force that was established in June 2021 in Carbis Bay to promote meta-standard cooperation and adoption. Specifically, we propose that the G7 Task Force (1) assists with the coordination of requirements, processes, and governance structures between the two recently developed meta-standard initiatives (Blue Dot Network and FAST-Infra); (2) facilitates agreement by development finance institutions from G7 member nations to a common set of meta-standard requirements; (3) supports the development of robust technical assistance and capacity development program for client-country governments and infrastructure developers in MLICs to support infrastructure meta-standard compliance; and (4) convenes a global summit to obtain input, customization, and buy-in on global infrastructure standards from a representative set of creditor and client countries.

Future Design: For the Survival of Humankind

Humanity has been experiencing a breakdown of peace due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, collapses of the Earth’s circulatory system including cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and a collapse of biodiversity. These problems are related to our survival.

At meetings of world leaders, including the G7 and G20, the only discussion has been from now to the future. Discussions about the future have been hampered by the short-term interests of individual countries, which have prevented us from reaching agreements and developing creative visions for the long-term future. As the future generations do not have any voice to bargain with the present generation, the present generation may take civil and military decisions which may unintentionally harm future generations.

Long-term future design has advanced greatly over the past three decades. Techniques such as Scenario planning, statistical long cycle forecasting and back casting have become popular. UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Labs seeks to improve Futures Literacy as a basic competency that anyone can acquire. It uncovers advanced approaches to designing and using the future to build capacity to discern and make sense of complex emergence. Future literacy can help overcome fear and antipathy towards the uncertainty that is inherent in a non-deterministic universe.

Research has found that in discussing long-term future issues, solutions become more creative and innovative by utilizing “future point of view”. We have developed the method of Future Design (FD) to systematically allow policy makers to imagine policies from a future point of view. When we think about the future from the present, we tend to get caught up in the present. Because the vectors of each proposal have different directions, we cannot reach consensus and have to make compromise. FD can provide individuals, organisations and governments access to a better understanding of the world, and to act in accordance with our values through the consideration of the richness of experimentation, innovation and creativity that surrounds us. We would like to see the leaders of the G7 use FD and become imaginary future presidents or imaginary future prime ministers, to debate and negotiate future policies. We propose to try out the Future Design method on a challenging contemporary issue at a smaller scale.

Let us reduce future failures that burden future generations and make sure that future generations say “thank you” to their ancestors who made bold transformations at Schloss Elmau in 2022.

People First – New Solutions to the Challenge of Displacement

More than 82 million people – equal to the population of Germany – are forcibly displaced across the globe. An increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons are living in long-term situations of vulnerability, dependency, and legal insecurity. This is despite the fact that every displaced person has the capacity and resources to build a new future in displacement but is rarely given the chance to do so by current aid, development, and migration policies. This policy brief makes the case for a paradigm shift towards a people-centred approach to displacement policy that 1) considers the human capital and social networks of displaced people and 2) enables them to use and further develop their potential, including through mobility. As the world’s most powerful countries, the G7 are well positioned to play a game-changing role in reducing the scale of global displacement by:

  • leading global cooperation on displacement;
  • promoting displaced people’s professional expertise so they can make better use of their skills;
  • strengthening human capital by promoting education and apprenticeship opportunities;
  • leveraging the power of family networks so that its easier for them to support one another; and
  • scaling up support for the most vulnerable individuals.

A Global Resilience Council as “UN Security Council” For Human Security Issues Like Climate and Pandemics

The world lacks an equivalent body to the UN Security Council with the authority to lead large-scale collective responses to non-military crises that are significantly impacting humanity and planetary stability, including the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the reason that today’s crises cannot be adequately addressed is that the post-World War II global governance system is organized on the basis of agencies specialized by sector / corresponding to national ministries. To address this, the establishment of a “Global Resilience Council” (GRC) is proposed as a mechanism to bring the various multilateral players together, involving also non-state actors, and ensure coherence in responding to the multi-dimensional and interconnected challenges of today. The G7/T7 has long expressed an interest in improving the global governance system. Supporting the proposal for a Global Resilience Council would be an opportunity to initiate a major upgrading of the UN system and signal support for the UN Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report (September 2021) and its follow-up.

WTO 2.0 – Making the Multilateral Trading System Fit for the 21st Century and How the G7 Can Help

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in its deepest crisis since its creation. This relates to each of its three pillars: 1. trade liberalization and rules-setting, 2. trade policy monitoring, and 3. dispute settlement. Germany’s G7 Presidency will require a careful balancing between addressing long-standing issues such as aligning the WTO with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and reforming the dispute settlement process on one hand side and focusing on the immediate challenges presented by the geopolitical crisis as well as recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This requires, more than ever, multilateral collaboration and innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. The G7 countries, in close cooperation with their partners, have a unique opportunity to articulate a new vision for trade and the multilateral trading system. The G7 can lead by example while also incentivizing and supporting other nations to raise the level of ambition in aligning trade policies with current world challenges. As such, the goal should not be to try to re-establish the status quo but rather to adapt the world trading systems and its rules to the realities and necessities of the 21st century and the new geopolitical context. What is needed is a WTO 2.0 that responds to the world’s peace, health and environmental challenges and proactively contributes to solving them.