The annual global solutions summit closed its doors on 19th March 2019 after two days of deliberation, idea exchange and networking. The annual Global Solutions Summit held by the Global Solutions Initiative brings together international research organizations, thought-leaders and decision-makers from across political, business and civic communities. Over 1,600 participants from various sectors and 120 countries attended the summit, met with 221 speakers and participated in over 60 sessions. The summit aimed to provide policy recommendations on major G20 issues and thereby served as a stepping stone to the Japanese T20 Summit in May 2019 and the Japanese G20 Summit in June 2019.

The Global Solutions Summit 2019 focused on the priorities of the Japanese G20 Presidency, including policy recommendations on sustainable development, infrastructure finance, financial architecture, trade and investment, climate change, future of work and education, social cohesion and the future of politics, SME policy, policies for aging populations, and more. All discussions linked to the overarching narrative of recoupling economic, environmental and social progress. We furthermore highlighted all relevant issues for the future of multilateralism and strengthened the implementation site in our discussions.

The mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller kicked off the sessions with a call for tolerance, which Berlin as a city embodies. He urged all participants to be respectful of people of all religion, race and welcome everyone to Berlin. Dennis Snower, President of the Global Solutions Initiative, reiterated that we cannot solve the global problems we are facing on our own. It has to be a concerted effort. Currently, the three aspects of human progress: economic, political and social are de-coupled, with economic progress being the centre of the world’s focus. Despite economic progress, political and social aspects of humanity are left behind leading to an imbalance. The world’s policies need to focus on re-coupling. Today recoupling is a dream, tomorrow it could be a reality. The world is like a boat, if one side is leaking, no one is safe. We will have to do something together.

Other sessions focused on the paradigm shift needed to re-couple and the need for international solutions to move forward. We need people-centred growth and new metrics for measurement to move towards recoupling. The biggest change needs to happen in our heads to make ourselves less selfish, less greedy. We can also design frameworks to support this progress such as: embedding SDGs to business reports, changing what we measure, accounting for carbon emissions and policies on executive pay among others.

Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, gave a riveting talk on the importance of multi-lateral collaboration to tackle global challenges. She also emphasized that Africa should be treated as an equal partner by all countries doing business with Africa.

Barbara Chesire-Chabbaga, Director of AB Consultants and CoverApp was invited to share her thoughts on microinsurance and how it can help solve major global problems toward attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Barbara participated in the implementors session that brought practitioners together to share real experiences.