The Global Ideas Center (GIC) is a non-profit, independent and virtual think tank. It works with a global network of practitioners and civil society actors to feature their insights into critical issues of national and international concern in a solutions- and reform-oriented manner.

The analysis provided by the Global Ideas Center often involve cross-border comparisons. The principal purpose is (1) to contribute to improving/optimizing relations between countries and (2) to highlight lessons to be considered and potentially learned from other countries for domestic implementation.

The mission of the Global Ideas Center is to act as a catalyst to help solve real problems which countries and societies face via “The Power of Comparisons”. The GIC tackles powerful interests and conventional wisdom to drive an open, honest, educated and results-oriented debate.

We look forward to you joining us on this journey.

Our key focus areas

Democratic openness and accountability

  • Democracy is increasingly in peril – not just from the authoritarians, but also from within. And there, not just from the hard-right or hard-left. What perhaps matters most is strengthening the transparency and accountability of our political institutions.

Equitable and sustainable economic development

  • Is globalization truly the source of so much evil? And what about economic growth? The Global South is probably keener on both phenomena than the Global North. Either way, we are far from having found an equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development globally.

Values-based global cooperation

  • In the face of mounting systemic threats globally, it is more valuable than ever before for nations to set aside petty grievances to band together and rise to the challenge by leveraging common values. Or do we need to set aside ideological differences, no matter how sharp?

Our theory of change

We live in an age where across the globe, individuals as much as nations are grappling with decreasing levels of certainty and an increasing number of challenges.

But even though today’s world is more global and more complex than ever, most nations still construct their national politics around them. As a result, most nations often find themselves constrained by the political economy of their home country.

That reality isn’t the only one that obscures the pathway to implementing smart solutions that are equitable, innovative and productive.

There also is the temptation to offer false solutions or peddle mantra-like short cuts. The result has been a rise in populism around the world. Some seek salvation in the arms of the nation state or within the even narrower confines of group identity. Others point to abstract concepts like neoliberalism or globalization as an explanation for the problems that exist.

In fact, these approaches often tend to obscure, rather than help solve, the underlying real-world issues. Simply put, we live in a world that is shaped by so much complexity that the old faultlines of political ideology – the left and the right – are no longer adequate or useful.

Cross-border learning

We are aware of the challenges that go along with making a case for cross-border comparisons. However, we firmly believe that, at a minimum, this approach represents a creative stimulus.

After all, many societies are coping with similar challenges, some of which may already have found promising solutions to what elsewhere are still unresolved problems.

Being open to looking at solutions that have been tried and tested elsewhere has long been a key part of human progress, long before the emergence of the nation state. In modern times, this applies to almost every sector – from democracy, economic growth and the environment to health and housing, food and educational systems as well as to social security.

Faced with that reality, we are convinced that a key part of the solution lies in thinking much more – not less – about the connections between the local, the regional, the national and the global dimensions of our lives. In our view, this holds true for nations, societies and companies as much as for individuals, families or other groups.

Once we look beyond our national borders, the odds are that we will find much inspiration.

At the end of the day, readiness for change and a focus on effectiveness and implementationare what matter. Regardless of the nature of the challenge, the task ahead is to develop flexible, responsive and common-sense solutions.

However, these are precisely the kinds of solutions rarely proposed by professional bureaucrats or politicians. In fact, the inclination of professional politicians is to maintain the status quo.