The Global Agenda

The Network of Global Agenda Councils (later called Global Future Councils) was launched by the World Economic Forum in 2008. It brought together the world’s foremost experts around the most pressing issues on the global agenda.

As a Knowledge Manager at the World Economic Forum (2008–2009) during the launch of the Network I

  • set up and lead five Global Agenda Councils on Entrepreneurship, Microfinance and Financial Empowerment, Mitigation of Natural Disasters, Empowering Youth, and Philanthropy and Social Investing
  • was part of the organizing team of the inaugural Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai in November 2008.
Participants at the Summit on the Global Agenda. Copyright (cc-by-sa) © World Economic Forum ( Norbert Schiller)

The Councils covered topics ranging from Alternative Energies to the Welfare of Children. Each had members representing a mix of world-class academics and top-level practitioners from business, the public sector, and civil society.

The Councils met each year in person during the Summit in the United Arab Emirates. In between, they interacted using an online platform that provided video conferencing facilities and other collaborative functions.

The Councils challenged prevailing assumptions, monitored trends, mapped interrelationships, and addressed knowledge gaps. They proposed innovative, new solutions to global problems and devised strategies to implement actions and to evaluate their effectiveness.

Opening of the Summit on the Global Agenda 2008

What made the Network unique was the ability to develop ideas by reaching beyond the closed circles of specialists. Councils could use the Network to easily connect to experts on a wide range of related issues. In a world marked by short-term orientation and silo-thinking, the Global Agenda Councils fostered interdisciplinary and long-range thinking to address the challenges on the global agenda.