Representatives from over 40 different countries representing 50 different think tanks attended the 4th annual Asia Think Tank Summit, held in Seoul, Korea from June 8-10, 2016. This summit was co-hosted by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), the Korea Development Institute (KDI), the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), the Think Tank and Civil Society Program (TTCSP), and the Asia Development Bank Institute (ADBI).
The thematic undertaking of this year’s summit in Seoul, Korea was to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated by the United Nations in September 2015. These Sustainable Development Goals engendered a model for sustained development with an agenda of objectives to be achieved by the year 2030. The main strategic aims of this summit, in regards to these SDGs, were to develop relevant policy proposals and to cultivate partnerships to ensure that these goals could be worked towards collaboratively with other global organizations. The Summit focused on Asia and builds on the Global Think Tank Summit in Geneva 2014 which launched this initiative and the publication of Think Tanks and SDGs Catalysts for Analysis, Innovation and Implementation in 2015.
The format of this global think tank summit included four plenary sessions (Revitalizing the World Economy: Role of Asian Countries, Achieving SDGs: Asian Perspectives and Challenges, Facilitating Regional Cooperation on the SDGs: Role of Asian Think Tanks, and the Think Tank Innovations and the Implementation of the SDGs), four break-out sessions (Embedding Ecosystems in the SDGs, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Asian Context, Education as a Driver for Attaining SDGs, The Role of Migration for Socioeconomic Development) and an additional session concerning “Korea’s Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative.”
In addition to Dr. McGann’s work with the 4th annual Asia Think Tank Summit, he also contributed to and participated in three additional think tank forums in China, which included the 2016 Xiangshan Global Think Tank Forum on June 5, 2016, the 2016 China Think Tank Innovation Summit on June 6, 2016, and the 2016 China – United States University and Think Tank Forum on June 6-7, 2016.