Global risks require global solutions. Global solutions require global institutions. This is the premise for the work of the Global Challenges Foundation. In line with this premise, in 2017, the Foundation launched the New Shape Prize Competition to develop a blueprint for new global governance models that might help us address our most pressing challenges. The competition received more than 2700 entries from 122 countries. The winners, selected by a jury of international experts, will be announced to the world on May 29 at the New Shape Forum in Stockholm.
Global institutions, however, cannot be created, updated, or indeed adopted, without global support. Therefore, the work of the Global Challenges Foundation extends beyond the New Shape competition to a range of activities that engage other sectors of society whose support is crucial to new global governance models. These include the present quarterly report series, and an Educators’ Challenge offering ten prizes of 5000$ to develop effective engagement strategies on the topic of global risks and global institutional reform.
Everyone has a role to play in this process. Business leaders, by choosing how companies are managed and what KPIs they use to measure success. Public administrators at all levels of government, by supporting the development of more effective and better aligned policy frameworks. Tech innovators, featured in our previous Quarterly Report, by developing the technological infrastructure that can support new forms of global governance. But an even more crucial role may be that of developing the new narratives that will cement a sense of collective belonging beyond the borders of nations.
For global institutions to gain legitimacy, new global narratives that bind us together are an essential element. The nation state has only been around as a dominant form of social organization for about 300 years, yet the powerful narrative around nations has made innumerable individuals willing to sacrifice everything, including their life, for that idea of the nation. What alternative stories of similar binding force can bring us together and inspire collective action on a global scale at this crucial moment in history, when action on ecological issues alone in the next 50 years will determine the course of the next 10,000?
To address this question, in this report, we turned to journalists, the voice of the people and storytellers of our times. We asked them to share their reality – how their work can ensure that powers are accountable for their actions and lack thereof beyond the short-term, how the dispersed elements of an increasingly connected global story can come together, and how collective action can be catalyzed on a global scale. Journalists, indeed, are the pioneers of our new global narrative, and watchdogs of our collective future.