The New Shape Forum and the process beyond


Frequently Asked Questions

As the culmination of the New Shape Prize initiative approaches, the goals of the New Shape Forum - being held in Stockholm on May 27-29 - have taken on greater clarity and shape.

The New Shape Prize was launched in November 2016 as an open call, asking for ideas from everyone, everywhere, on how to reform global cooperation to tackle the most pressing risks facing humanity.

Over the past five months, a group of distinguished regional panels have been assessing over 2,700 entries from 122 countries to select our 14 finalist entries, which will appear before the final jury at the New Shape Forum. This event will mark the starting point of the next phase in the GCF’s efforts to find new global governance models.

We have developed this Q&A to answer the most frequently asked questions of New Shape Forum (NSF) participants.

Q1. What is the purpose of the New Shape Forum?

A1. The purpose of the New Shape Forum (NSF) is to begin a collaborative process towards the design of refined models for global governance that can help us more effectively manage global catastrophic risks.

Q2. How will the submissions to the New Shape Prize be used?

A2. Submissions to the New Shape Prize will serve as the point of departure for the work conducted at the NSF. Those submissions provided GCF with a landscape view of ideas from around the world on reforming global governance, and gave vital insights allowing us to begin the next step in our journey in pursuit of better governance models.

Most of the submissions fall into three broad categories:

  • New models for global decision-making
  • Reforming existing models of global decision-making
  • Global governance ideas beyond traditional political systems and mechanisms

At the NSF, we will dissect the best ideas and explore how they can be refined or combined. Discussions will particularly focus on the following three challenges:

  • Operationality
  • Acceptability
  • Viability and realism

The first order of work at the NSF will be using new and engaging ways to collaborate and co-create to develop existing, enhanced and new proposals.

Q3. How will NSF’s activities be structured?

A3. On Day 1, that is May 28th, NSF participants will join one of three work streams, divided along the three broad categories of governance models:

  • New models for global decision-making
  • Reforming existing models of global decision-making
  • Global governance ideas beyond traditional political systems and mechanisms

The aim of these work stream discussions will be to collaborate on models that address global governance challenges. It is an opportunity to remix, inspire, and iron out new ideas and new thinking as well as build on existing ones.

On Day 2, the work in the respective streams continues. The aim of the second day’s deliberations is to develop the work, as far as possible, so that they address the challenges of operationality, acceptability, and viability. By the second part of Day 2 the work, findings and collaboration in the different work streams will be presented to all participants.

You can find a detailed updated version of the agenda here.

Q4. What happens after the New Shape Forum?

A4. After the New Shape Forum, working groups will emerge to continue developing realistic frameworks for global governance to effectively manage the largest global catastrophic risks. Those working groups will be a main vehicle to carry forward the mission of the Foundation. Selected working groups will further develop models from July through to October, at which point the most promising ideas will be presented at the Paris Peace Forum.

Q5. What is a working group and how can I join?

A5. A working group will ideally be comprised of individuals who can bring different kinds of expertise and perspectives to the models being developed. The opportunity to join a working group will be opened at the NSF. The deadline for applications will be 10 June 2018, after which working group compositions will be finalized by GCF.

Q6. Will the working groups be compensated?

A6. Yes, the working groups will receive financial support from the GCF.

Q7. What is the Paris Peace Forum?

A7. The Paris Peace Forum, to be held in November 2018, is an international forum of 3,000 high-profile attendees, including heads of state. Working groups with the most promising models will be given the opportunity to present them here. Other notable foundations working in partnership with the Paris Peace Forum are the Observer Research Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Getulio Vargas Foundation.