GGF 2030 Dialogue Sessions


Over the course of 2018 and 2019, the 27 fellows met in four dialogue sessions, which took place in Washington, DC (May 13 – 17, 2018), New Delhi (September 9 - 13, 2018), São Paulo (January 20 - 24, 2019), and Paris and Berlin (May 19 - 24, 2019).


Session 1: Assumption Check (Washington, DC)

The fifth round of the Global Governance Futures (GGF) program, GGF 2030, kicked off at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC from May 13 to 17, 2018. The GGF program brought together fellows from nine countries, the highest number so far: three each from Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, and the United States. The fellows were joined by three senior fellows who participated in the working groups’ discussions on the futures of global order, the global migration and refugee challenge, and the role of cities in global governance.

During the first session fellows were introduced to the GGF methodology and learned about the first module – assumption check. They met with the invited experts and speakers. Among others, Julie Smith from the Center for a New American Security spoke to the cohort about how Americans outside Washington, DC perceive US foreign and domestics politics.

Big thank you to GGF alum Seth Oppenheim, who kindly invited the cohort for the reception at his home, one of the highlights of this session. We were joined by Washington, DC-based alumni, and our current fellows had a chance to learn about and engage with the growing GGF alumni community.

The fellows got to engage with French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, to discuss French-US relations and European politics. GGF alumnus Ely Ratner spoke to the cohort about how he sees US-China engagement in global politics.

On the last day of the session fellows had a chance to learn more about each other’s countries during an engaging panel with our American and Japanese fellows. The fellows discussed a wide range of topics: from Oprah Winfrey to the current political environment in the United States, and from traditional Japanese tea ceremony to demographic issues in Japan.

Session 2: Scenario Construction (New Delhi)

The fellows reunited in New Delhi from September 9 to 13, 2019 to learn about and engage in scenario planning, the second module of the GGF methodology. During the second session of GGF 2030, the fellows worked on identifying the key influential factors in their respective working groups’ topics and composed scenarios for their future developments.

Fellows met the former Foreign Secretary of India, Shyam Saran, for an engaging discussion on geopolitics, India’s role in the global order, nuclear doctrines, and more.

We were happy hear from local experts in the three GGF 2030 working group topics, who reviewed fellows’ scenarios and gave their input.

On the fourth day, the fellows heard from Rumi Aijaz from the Observer Research Foundation , Aarti Tikoo from The Times of India and Prashant Kumar Singh from the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses at the panel discussion on urban issues, the subcontinent’s perspective on forced migration and India’s role in global order.

The New Delhi session was a week of intense discussions, creative thinking and fun. A big thank you to our Indian fellows for showing the rest of the group around New Delhi - from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate & the Dilli Haat market – and telling us more about their city.

Session 3: Opportunities, Threats, and Policy Projects (São Paulo)

The third session of GGF 2030 took place in São Paulo from January 20 to 24, 2019 and was hosted by Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). During the session, the fellows reflected on their scenarios, identified key actors, opportunities and threats in their respective working group topics, and worked on their policy projects and scenario reports.

Throughout the week, the fellows were joined by experts and guest speakers. Among them was journalist Malu Gaspar, who unpacked what Bolsonaro’s electoral victory says about Brazil.

Matias Spektor’s keynote to the cohort addressed “the populist promise” - what Bolsonaro wants for Brazil and how he will try to achieve his goals.

On the third day of the session, GGF 2030 fellows met Andres Schipani, Brazil Correspondent for the Financial Times, who shared his take on the role that cities will play on the global stage.

The São Paulo session was not just about work and discussions. Fellows also got a chance to tour the city, by foot and by bike, to explore São Paulo’s rich street art and to learn more about the urban challenges the city faces today.

Session 4: Final Feedback and Outreach (Paris and Berlin)

The final session took place in Paris and Berlin from May 19 to 24, 2019. During the week, the fellows prepared to present - and presented - their scenarios for the next decade and pitched their policy ideas for how we might respond to anticipated threats and developments. Guest experts joined them to comment on their reports.

In both cities, the fellows exchanged ideas with experts on the three working group topics. One of their guests at the Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI) in Paris was Sophie Pedder, chief of the Economist’s Paris bureau, who shared her thoughts on Macron and his quest to reinvent France.

Some of the topics our panelists got their teeth into: the politics of German identity, the role of philanthropy in city governance, and the challenge of squaring humanitarian ambition, international obligations and domestic public opinion on spending money overseas.

Among the speakers in Berlin was Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of German daily BILD, who spoke about German foreign policy and argued that, “When it comes to German economic interest, our foreign policy is Germany first…When it comes to standing up for (what we claim to be) our values, our policy is: Germany last, or never, or not at all.”

After jam-packed days the fellows also got to unwind over dinner and drinks. On the last evening, we said "goodbye" to the cohort with a farewell meal and wished them well as they continue their ventures and work toward putting their ideas into practice.