Key messages of 'Now for the Long Term' debated in US

08 November 2013

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Full and frank discussions on how to break gridlock on major global challenges took place this week at a series of US events on Now for the Long Term, the report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations.

Commission Chair Pascal Lamy, Vice-Chair Professor Ian Goldin and the Oxford Martin School’s Head of Policy, Natalie Day, travelled to New York City and Washington DC to promote the key messages of the report and discuss its implications, meeting policy makers, think tanks, media and the public.

November 5 saw the Brookings Institution and the Center for Global Development (CGD) jointly host a public discussion, chaired by Brookings' Vice President Kemal Dervis. Mr Lamy and Professor Goldin were joined by CGD President Nancy Birdsall, who voiced support for the Commission's emphasis on more bottom-up, voluntary creative coalitions, often made up of non-state actors. Commission recommendations such as the C20-C30-C40 on climate change as well as Fit Cities to fight non-communicable diseases were welcomed as examples of potentially powerful creative coalitions.

A discussion event was also hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the US National Intelligence Council, with Stewart M. Patrick, the CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance Program Director writing afterwards that Now for the Long Term is “a welcome exception” when compared to other reports on global gridlock, which tend to be “short on imagination and substance”.

Mr Lamy also spoke at Princeton University on ‘Harnessing Globalisation’, and at The Next Billion, a forum for global business leaders on the next wave of internet users, hosted by the digital business news publication Quartz.

Reflecting on the US events, Ms Day said: “We had very constructive discussions about the report and it was useful to think about it in the context of the US. The trip took place against the background of voting in mayoral elections, so questions of democracy, accountability and transparency were very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

This weekend will see Mr Lamy take part in the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Weekend 2013 in Addis Ababa, where he will highlight the work of the Commission, of which Dr Ibrahim is a member.