The verities of an older world order do not apply today. Grasping for a newer growth model, the world is looking at India to aid in the navigation of the development challenge and its associated opportunities. At the helm of the G20, India aims to focus on the 4Ds—of decarbonisation, de-escalation of conflicts, digitalisation and equitable development. Think20 (T20), the ideas bank of the G20, represents a unique forum set to lend analytical depth to the G20 priorities.
Initiated during the Mexican presidency in 2012 and expanded under subsequent presidencies, the T20 convenes cross-sectional voices to lend their expertise to enhance global governance. Independent of national governments and comprising prestigious think tanks and academics from the international community, the T20’s recommendations are synthesised into policy briefs and presented to G20 working groups, at ministerial meetings, and leaders’ summits to help the G20 deliver concrete policy measures.
The main activities of the T20 are spearheaded by seven task forces. Each task force commits to curate the best solutions from a global pool of experts and researchers to address specific priority issues. This year’s task forces build upon India’s priorities for its G20 presidency.
TF-1: Macroeconomics, Trade, and Livelihoods: Policy Coherence and International Coordination
Since geopolitical issues are bleeding by the week into economic ones, the priorities for this task force include a range of concerns from improving financial inclusion to revitalising global supply chains and regulating the political environment to restore global stability.
TF-2: Our Common Digital Future: Affordable, Accessible and Inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure
William Gibson’s words echo the premise of this task force, “the future is already here, but it is unevenly distributed.” Incubating a framework for global digital commons, it is set to deliberate upon the future of digital public infrastructure and concerns regarding interoperability and digital entrepreneurship.
TF-3: LiFE, Resilience, and Values for Wellbeing
Every conversation today is inextricably linked to the concept of sustainable consumption and production. Integrating ethics into the architecture of financial institutions, this task force aims to identify cross-sectional solutions to attain sustainability. Moreover, addressing the inadequacy of GDP-based measurements, a new measurement matrix of wellbeing will be explored.
TF-4: Refuelling Growth: Clean Energy and Green Transitions
With ‘green transition’ increasingly becoming a cornerstone of economic development, this task force is set to highlight technological and financial developments in the sector. Segments that were previously deemed niche and optional like sustainable and green financing have now become a vital part of the emerging principles for policymakers and investors to ensure optimal societal outcomes.
TF-5: Purpose & Performance: Reassessing the Global Financial Order
Remodelling the global financial architecture, this task force aims to instil a new sense of vigour into financing mechanisms to reflect contemporary realities. Deliberating upon climate finance, infrastructure finance, and social sector investments, it aims to influence regulatory and policy changes that can encourage investments from the multilateral institutions and the developed world into emerging and developing countries.
TF-6: Accelerating SDGs: Exploring New Pathways to the 2030 Agenda
Aimed at enhancing cooperation in food and energy security, climate change, and promoting holistic outcomes in health, this task force will also address concerns relating to gender-sensitive SDG programmes and investing in children. Also on the agenda are deliberations regarding the developments concerning the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) and the Agenda 2030.
TF-7: Towards Reformed Multilateralism: Transforming Global Institutions and Frameworks
Building the roadmap for ‘Multilateralism 2.0,’ this task force aims to revive the political will that appears lost amidst the multilateral fora. With the global multilateral project in open disarray, the compelling necessity is rejuvenated multilateralism that reflects contemporary realities. Exploring the functional necessity of the reform agenda for the WHO, WTO, and the ILO, this task force aims to identify solutions to the threats of impending recession, high inflation, and interrupted supply chains. Moreover, digital global governance is a key issue on the agenda.
Addressing the T20 Inception Conference at New Delhi, Sous Sherpa, G20, Amb. Abhay Thakur said, “In every challenge lies an opportunity.” The T20 is redefining the development challenge by galvanising consensus on contentious issues. Moreover, by engaging the multiple folds of the society—the public and private sector, the youth, universities, business professionals—India aims to take its presidency to the masses, which Amb. Thakur identified as a step towards “Jan-bhagidaari” or “People’s G20.”
With multiple Main and Side Events, the T20 is primed to engage in long and careful consideration over all known vectors of a globalised world ranging from technology, energy to trade and multilateral institutions. The strategic implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will play a critical role in achieving social inclusion and responsible investment and consumption. Moreover, India’s promotion of Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) as a key agenda at the G20 fits the aim of a shared global future with joint prosperity.
The shifting realities of global engagement require us to look to the future, today, more than ever. It is imperative that we foster global partnerships to meet our goals. There is a need for a new mission-oriented approach that aims for transformation rather than incremental change.