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T20 Studies

The Think-20 was initiated by the Mexican G20 presidency in collaboration with COMEXI, the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. Russia and Australia continued the Think 20 process during their respective G20 presidencies. The first Think 20 meeting took place in February 2012 in Mexico City where think tank representatives from 15 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, and South Korea came together to discuss the Mexican G20 Presidency in the run-up to the leaders' meeting in Los Cabos. The agenda covered economic stability and reform, inclusive financial growth, improvement of the global economic architecture, food security, and combating climate change as well as the effectiveness and productivity of G20 summits.

Participants also discussed the Think 20 engagement process and the role of think tanks. The three major ways in which think tanks can make a contribution to the G20 agenda in discussion were:

  • Serving as an ideas bank and providing new ideas and policies for G20 governments.
  • Providing a potential source of accountability, though monitoring how well G20 governments delivered on their commitments.
  • Working to deliver buy-in to the G20 process, through helping to explain the importance of the G20 and of (at least some of) the policies it is trying to promote.

Hence, since its inception, the Think 20 has preserved a different character to other engagement groups. The Think 20 is not an advocacy platform like other engagement groups that campaign around specific issues nor does it seek to negotiate an agreed set of recommendations on the issues to be progressed. Instead, the Think 20 organizes analyses of global think tanks and high-level experts to provide analytical depth to ongoing G20 discussions and produce ideas to help the G20 on delivering concrete and sustainable policy measures. The Think 20 chair does however forward a summary of the ideas discussed at Think 20 meetings to Sherpas.

The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) will lead the Think 20 outreach group during Turkey’s G20 Presidency in 2015.