Think tanks of 34 countries participated in the Inception Workshop

The Think 20 seminar signalled the start of the work of the ten Task Forces who will create proposals to give to the G20´s presidency in September. It took place on February in Buenos Aires.

The Inception Workshop: Vision and strategies for 2018 took place on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 of February and was organized by The Argentine Counsel of International Relations (CARI) and the Center for the Implementation of Public Policies for Equity and Growth (CIPPEC). The event took place in the Palacio San Martín and was attended by representatives from 81 think tanks from 34 countries, government officials, international organizations and members from the business community.

Its principal objective was for co-chairs and members of the ten task forces to have their first formal encounter so they could define their work agenda and priorities for the coming months.

Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, president of CARI, and Jorge Mandelbaum, president of CIPPEC, gave the welcome remarks at the start of the event.

“…[Argentina] is the first South American country to organize the G20 meeting, to organize the T20 Summit and this T20 is its first step. This first step is grounded in the solid rock of the Argentine tradition of producing knowledge and theories from the South, and this is a remarkable opportunity to recreate that tradition,” said Rodríguez Giavarini.

For his part, Mandelbaum said:  “Hopefully [The T20’s work]  will inspire our leaders, and help them shape the basis of our future.”

National authorities participated in different sessions at the seminar too. Nicolás Dujovne, the Treasury Minister, and Laura Jaitman, the G20 Finance Deputy, explained the Argentine presidency´s priorities for the international forum. “Think tanks and academia make a significant contribution to the G20 dialogue via the T20, this year will be no exception,” said Dujovne. Argentine Chief of Staff Marcos Peña had an open dialogue with the think tank representatives who attended the event. “We are asking the T20 for help to resolve global problems,¨said the government official.

Throughout the two days, international experts discussed T20 topics of interest during four plenary sessions. The topics discussed were: Global Governance Issues in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture; The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age; The challenges of social cohesion in uncertain political scenarios and their implications for global governance; and Climate Action & Infrastructure for Development. There was also a roundtable where participants talked about the challenges and expectations of the G20 under the Argentine presidency.

Other prominent events include the keynote sessions. On Thursday the economist Jeffrey Sachs talked about the current state of multilateralism, the G20, the role of think tanks and the mission of the T20. The day after, Alfonso Vegara explained his theory of “Super cities” and his vision of modern urban planning.

Following the seminar, each Task Force will focus on drawing up public policy recommendations. A summary of these recommendations will be given to the G20 presidency during the T20 Summit which will take place from 16 to 18 September in Buenos Aires. During the Inception Workshop, Marcos Peña guaranteed that president Mauricio Macri will attend the event to listen to the think tanks´proposals.

“The Task Forces, or working groups, of T20 2018 have launched and they are working to form assessments and policies which will be given to G20 countries. It is a cross-discipline experience which brings together scientists and policy makers from all over the world,” explained Pablo Ava, co-responsible for the T20´s Policy and Research team.

His peer, Martín Rapetti, added: “The work of the ten T20 Task Forces is orientated to create concrete proposals which can be implemented by G20 countries. Our incentive is to help with ideas and evidence to shape a globalization that promotes prosperous, fair and integrated societies.”

Click here to see photos of the Inception Workshop: Vision and strategies for 2018.