In 2016 the German government appointed the Kiel Institute and the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) as co-chairs of Think 20 (“T20”)—the international think-tank network of the G20—during the German G20 Presidency in 2017.
The Kiel Institute was selected in part because of its long-term focus on transnational challenges and its many years of experience with the Global Economic Symposium (GES), which developed research-based solutions to global problems with input from a variety of stakeholders. The T20 mandate increased the scope of the Institute to convert scientific findings into policy recommendations and strengthened its partnerships with influential think tanks in the G20 countries. Experts from the various research areas at the Kiel Institute led task forces on forced migration, global inequality and social cohesion, and the digital economy. Kiel Institute researchers also contributed to many other policy fields. The new task-force-based T20 process established by the Kiel Institute and the DIE proved to be an effective way of developing concrete policy proposals for the G20, the following task forces had been established:
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- G20 and Africa
- Circular Economy
- Climate Policy and Finance
- Financial Resilience
- Forced Migration
- Global Inequality and Social Cohesion
- International Cooperation in Tax Matters
- Resilience and Inclusive Growth
- The Digital Economy
- Toward Ending Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture
- Trade and Investment
The G20 Information Centre at the University of Toronto found that 23 of the 89 most important T20 recommendations were wholly or partially adopted in the Hamburg G20 Leaders’ Declaration in July 2017. Of particular relevance were the T20 proposals on financial resilience, the 2030 Agenda, and digitization. “It shows what can be achieved under an insightful, competent, and globally minded G20 Presidency, combined with a disciplined advisory process, drawing on the expertise of leading G20 think tanks and other research organizations”, said Kiel Institute President Dennis J. Snower.
The Kiel Institute used its co-chairmanship of the T20 during the German G20 Presidency to launch the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI). Providing a long-term framework for international policy advice, the GSI plays an important role in contributing to the policy advisory activities of the Kiel Institute. It brings together leading research institutions and think tanks, representatives from politics, business, and civil society as well as future business-leaders to develop research-based solutions to global challenges and present them to policy-makers. Operating independently, the GSI supports the G20 and other international fora. Thematically, it is partly based on the T20 program under the annually rotating G20 Presidency. Having initiated the GSI, the Kiel Institute now coordinates its research efforts.
When Argentina and Japan succeeded Germany as President of the G20 for 2018 and 2019, its T20 chairs announced their intention to cooperate with the Global Solutions Initiative and to use the G20 Insights Platform to present policy briefs. The Kiel Institute’s Global Challenges Center is responsible for coordinating these research activities.