Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Participation in the Design of WEF’s New Governance Model

WEF created an impressive team to develop their proposals. The GRI process involved sixty work groups 1 and over 775 experts from 33 countries working over a year and a half under the leadership of the three most senior staff members of the World Economic Forum.

In constructing this team, WEF had access to their wide network of participants from prior Davos and WEF regional meetings. They also an opportunity to demonstrate in practice what the new form of global governance would look like. After all, the legitimacy of a decision-making process can be enhanced by getting the right combination of people and institutions involved. In intergovernmental circles, the composition of experts and advisors is routinely vetted for its geographic balance (to assure those from a particular part of the world that their regional concerns have been incorporated) and for its gender and cultural balance (to convey by practice that the advisory process reflects key global communities in their day-to-day deliberations).

The composition of advisory groups, high level commissions, and special consultancy teams is also important for another political reason. Redesigning global governance is fundamentally a political process. It can be a top-down elite process; it can be a bottom up process; or it can be a technocratic process. In any case, the process itself has significant impact on the nature of the outcome. The acceptance and respect of the outcome from other significant actors in world’s political communities can depend on the composition of the group. 

When it comes to the redesigning institutions, the steps taken and the people involved set the transition track for a new set of institutions and rules. Where, then, did WEF turn to find the advisors and leaders for their effort to re-design the global governance process?     

Annex B has the list of all the advisors and their organizational affiliations as of the time period they worked on the project (2008/9). The following data is based on the GRI report which listed the organizational affiliations of their experts, not their nationalities.

 

Related Ideas: 1994 process

  • 1. ^ The statistical data for GRI workgroups includes those groups listed as “Global Agenda Councils”, “Young Global Leader” groups, “Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Forces” and the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). See Annex A (Annex A – IX) for a complete list.

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