The introductory essay by Richard Samans, Klaus Schwab, and Mark Malloch-Brown provides an overview of the logical framework behind the analysis of Everybody’s Business.
They identify what they see as the systemic crisis in the international system and the way that globalization has changed the world since the post-WWII multilateral institutions were designed. Their perspective includes both normative and practical dimensions. The introductory essay examines both the political culture and the structures of modern global governance today.
The essay is structured around sixteen tightly worded key messages. These messages, formulated as Steps, Special Mechanisms, Tools, and Building Blocks, are intended to capture the necessary transformations needed in global governance. Selected thematic recommendations from the reports of the task forces are introduced in the introductory essay to provide concrete examples of their systemic governance policy framework. Throughout their joint essay, the existing Davos system is presented as a microcosm of what should be the basis of a new global system of multi-stakeholder governance.
Schwab’s forward extends an invitation and an important caveat. Schwab “invite(s) leaders from politics, industry, civil society and academia to debate, refine and adopt these ideas … the Global Redesign Initiative should not be seen as an end in itself but as the beginning of a sustained process to adapt and better prepare the global system for the challenges of the 21st century." 1
At the same time, he also cautions readers that
Many of the proposals presented in this report are of a far-reaching nature and require strong global consensus and cooperation. Just as it is worth mentioning that the opinions and ideas expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Economic Forum or even of all the individual members of the community that developed a proposal, it would be presumptuous to assume that all of them will be immediately integrated into the global decision-making process. 1
This Readers' Guide then bases its analysis of WEF’s proposals on the editors’ introductory essay, drawing, as does the introductory essay, exemplary ideas from the reports of the individual taskforces. References in the text and footnotes make clear when the extracts and concepts are based on the editors’ essay and when they are based on the individual taskforce reports or rapporteurs’ essays.
The Readers' Guide welcomes commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective and the issues involved.