Inspiration: JF Rischard, former World Bank Vice President Europe, wrote in his book High Noon: 20 Global problems, 20 Years to Solve Them: "Exponential changes creating unprecedented global issues mean that complementary solutions to existing institutions are needed. The concept of networks will bring speed, flexibility and action."
Begun by teachers and students from six international schools in Europe, the GIN program is based upon Rischard's book. Rischard describes imminent issues that can only be solved through global cooperation. Among these are water shortages, global warming, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, poverty, illiteracy, depletion of fisheries, peacekeeping, and the loss of ecosystems.
Rischard notes that the existing institutions charged with addressing such issues, namely nation states, government departments and international organizations, are often self-serving, cumbersome and inadequate for the task. He calls for an alternative model of global governance based upon independent global networks that are flexible and super-responsive.
International schools already represent a network of independent organizations that co-ordinate their worldwide efforts toward a common purpose, and are therefore an excellent platform to apply Mr Rischard’s concepts. Students can be encouraged to think systemically about real issues while also taking action to improve the human condition. This approach involves collaboration rather than competition, where students assume leadership of their own program. Their network should promote both face-to-face conferences and on-going communication via the latest technologies.
20 GLOBAL PROBLEMS: 20 YEARS TO SOLVE THEM
Sharing our planet: Issues involving the global commons 1. Global warming 2. Biodiversity and ecosystem losses 3. Fisheries depletion 4. Deforestation 5. Water deficits 6. Maritime safety and pollution
Sharing our humanity: Issues requiring a global commitment 7. Massive step-up in the fight against poverty 8. Peacekeeping, conflict prevention, combating terrorism 9. Education for all 10. Global infectious diseases 11. Digital Divide 12. Natural disaster prevention and mitigation
Sharing our rulebook: Issues needing a global regulatory approach 13. Reinventing taxation for the 21st century 14. Biotechnology rules 15. Global financial architecture 16. Illegal drugs 17. Trade, investment, and competition rules 18. Intellectual property rights 19. E-commerce rules 20. International labor and migration rules