The Global Governance Innovation Network

Building on the UN75 Global Governance Forum (16-18 September 2020) and follow-through to the UN75 Political Declaration, the Stimson Center, Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), Plataforma CIPÓ, and Leiden University are partnering on a Global Governance Innovation Network (GGIN). The Network brings world-class scholarship together with international policy-making to address fundamental global governance challenges, threats, and opportunities. The GGIN convenes and amplifies the voices of a new generation of scholars, policy researchers, and practitioners from the Global South and North, alongside established experts and UN Mission Representatives. Specifically, the network will focus on analyzing and responding to gaps within and across the following global governance thematic areas:

  • (I) Enhancing Post-COVID Recovery and Global Economic & Social Welfare
  • (II) Rethinking the UN’s Approach to Peace, Security & Humanitarian Action
  • (III) Strengthening Rules-Based Governance, Human Rights & Inclusivity
  • (IV) Innovating Climate Governance: The Paris Agreement & Beyond

For all four thematic areas, scholars and policymakers will engage in three workstreams: 

  1. Policy Briefs and Reports
  2. Online Community of Practice
  3. Global and Regional Policy Dialogues

The GGIN gives special attention to: (a.) addressing cross-cutting themes (e.g., gender, poverty, financing and ensuring more inclusive and accountable global institutions), (b.) strengthening linkages between global, regional, and sub-regional governance actors, and (c.) putting-forth ambitious ideas that can be discussed initially in the UN75 follow-through “Our Common Agenda” context of 2021-23, and be brought to fruition in 2025 (UN80) or, in some instances, 2045 (UN100). The network will also encourage evaluation of successes and failures that collective action through the UN system has brought to date, and considerations of such performance against future needs.

The network’s “theory of change” is rooted in an understanding that better results can be achieved when: (1) individual states and non-state actors, provided with evidence-based on solid research and analysis, recognize that their priority issues or institutional reforms can benefit from an inclusive, global coalition that facilitates positive systemic changes; (2) opportunities arise for “package deals” and linkages between innovative proposals across distinct sectors and institutional settings; and (3) momentum for reform is generated and sustained by early wins on less contested issues that lay the groundwork for progress on harder questions.

Knowledge products encouraged and amplified by the GGIN seek to influence the discourse and decision-making of both powerful “insiders,” including the leaders of major governments and the UN Secretary-General, and prominent representatives from civil society, the media, and the business community. For effective global governance to take shape, bringing these different communities together is critical.

Drawing on expertise and international stature from initiatives such as The Elders, Club de Madrid, and the earlier Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, the network’s three core work streams include:

 i. GGIN Policy Briefs and Reports

  • Policy Briefs (5-10 pp.) highlight diverse authors’ writing on topics that stimulate debate and influence UN75 follow-through and wider policy discussions on innovating future global governance, including well-thought out strategies for change.
  • Reports (30-100 pp.) present a deep-dive analysis and elaboration on proposed institutional, policy, legal, and normative advances in global governance.

ii. GGIN Online Community of Practice

Through periodic e-consultations, a robust social media presence, and an interactive online knowledge platform, the GGIN will also forge an online community of practice. Its main aim will be to facilitate a regular dialogue between scholars, policy researchers, policymakers, and practitioners committed to understanding and addressing major gaps in global governance. These regular interactions are designed, in turn, to build a shared sense of community and appreciation for diverse perspectives on the future of global governance.

iii. Global and Regional Policy Dialogues

The (in-person and virtual) global and regional policy dialogues will convene established public intellectuals, former statespersons, and seasoned policy-makers (e.g., UN Permanent Representatives) and practitioners (e.g., from the UN’s higher echelons), alongside a new generation of analysts, policy researchers, and practitioners from the Global South and North, to address—through academically rigorous and thematically focused Track 1.5 policy exchanges—fundamental challenges, threats, and opportunities in both better understanding and enhancing how the world is governed.

The Stimson Center, Academic Council on the United Nations System, Plataforma CIPÓ, and Leiden University, as Co-Sponsoring Institutions of the Global Governance Innovation Network, will soon be joined by Partner Institutions (comprised of interested think tanks, universities, and other non-governmental organizations engaged in UN and broader global governance policy research) and an Advisory Board (comprised of representatives from leading philanthropic institutions, universities and think tanks, media and religious organizations, the UN and Bretton Woods Systems, governments [e.g., the Alliance for Multilateralism], the business community, and independent policy advocacy community [e.g., Coalition for the UN We Need and Together First]) to share ideas and support the network’s programming priorities and publications promotion.

Founded in 1989, the Stimson Center, based in Washington, D.C., is a leading nonpartisan policy research center working to protect people, preserve the planet, and promote security & prosperity. Stimson’s award-winning research serves as a roadmap to address borderless threats through concerted action.

The Academic Council on the United Nations System is a global professional association of educational and research institutions, individual scholars, and practitioners active in the work and study of the United Nations, multilateral relations, global governance, and international cooperation. We promote teaching on these topics, as well as dialogue and mutual understanding across and between academics, practitioners, thought leaders, civil society and students.

Plataforma CIPÓ is a women-led institute based in Brazil and dedicated to issues of climate, governance, and peace, especially in the Latin American and Caribbean context. CIPÓ has a core staff spread across four biomes and working on initiatives combining research, advocacy, and network-building. 

Founded in 1575, Leiden University, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. Located in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice, Leiden University’s Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs focuses on 21st-century issues through a combined perspective of public administration, political science, law, sociology, and economics. This interdisciplinary approach gives the Faculty’s research and teaching its cross-border character and policy-oriented outlook.

To access the Global Governance Innovation Network’s online platform, please click here.

For any questions, please contact Dr. Richard Ponzio, the Director of the GGIN initiative.