Everybody’s Business: Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World is a 600-page report from the World Economic Forum’s Global Redesign Initiative. The World Economic Forum, better known simply as Davos, convenes annual gathering of leaders from the corporate world, government, media, public culture, and civil society in Davos-Kloster, Switzerland and in similar regional locations around the world.
Their report is the most comprehensive proposal for re-designing global governance since the formulation of the United Nations during World War II. The Global Redesign Initiative report also includes a broad array of theme-specific policy options design to repair holes in the current inadequate response to a range of global crises and to experiment with their proposed new global governance principles.
The thematic proposals cover an extraordinary range of public policy areas including global investment flows; educational systems; systemic financial risk; philanthropy and social investing; emerging multinationals; fragile states; social entrepreneurship; energy security; international security cooperation; mining and metals; the future of government; ocean governance; and ethical values.. What sets the World Economic Forum's proposal apart is that it was developedas a cooperative effort of over 750 experts from the international business, governmental, and academic communities working in sixty separate task forces.
This Readers' Guide by the Program on Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston seeks to create an easy introduction to WEF's key governance proposals and to encourage a healthy debate on the future of global governance. It is intended to provide current participants in international organizations with the tools to understand these proposed changes in international governance and to provide to students and faculty in international relations an engaging overview of contemporary governance issues.
During 2009 and 2010, the World Economic Forum facilitated this global, multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future of international cooperation. In May 2010, WEF launched their new ideas for global governance at a high level meeting in Doha, Qatar. The Doha conference involved 1,200 people in the final review of Davos' broad governance proposals and the reports of interdisciplinary task forces. The GRI report presents an alternative conceptual model for the future of global governance, one can challenge others to articulate their own global governance goals. Their four key institutional recommendations would significantly re-order governance. as it is understood through the Charter of the United Nations. Most of their major framework recommendations can be put into place without a formal decision by any existing United Nations body.
The online version of the Readers' Guide is designed to be accessible to the serious and casual readers alike. It does not have to be read in any particular order to be understood: each section contains relevant information that stands alone apart from the whole. The Readers Guide has a series of introductory essays followed a lengthy section of line-by-line commentary on key passages from the final GRI report.
Each page of the online Readers' Guide has a comment feature intended to encourage an open dialogue on WEF’s proposals and to allow users to present their own alternative strategies for a new alignment of global institutions.
WEF as an organization does not lobby directly for its views. 3 One should not expect to hear the recommendations for the Global Redesign Initiative to be presented under a WEF banner. Rather WEF encourages participants to share their reflections from Davos, from WEF's regional meetings, from WEF's specialized industry consultations, and from the WEF's task forces in their own political, commercial, and intellectual circles. This approach is effective because it encourages well-connected and committed individuals from WEF's international elite communities to circulate these ideas under their own organizational names in the media, in conferences, in testimony, and in their policy recommendations to governments and international organizations 4 . What the annual Davos meetings, the various regional meetings, and the workshop program of WEF can and does provide is a continuing push and reminder service to the members of the Davos community that work on global governance needs to be continued 5 .
The goal of the Readers' Guide will be met if this website challenges readers to examine the insights of the Global Redesign process and to articulate their own proposals for organizing a healthy and democratic system to govern the world's myriad communities.
The Readers' Guide was prepared by Harris Gleckman, senior fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Gleckman was a staff member of the UN Centre on Transnational Corporations, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and Financing for Development Office of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In addition to his affiliation with UMass Boston, he is a director of Benchmark Environmental Consulting and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maine Law School and Ramapo College in New Jersey.
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