By: B.R. McConnon
Roiling world markets. Bailouts for Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and now Spain. And an election in Greece that will determine the country’s participation in the 17-member euro zone. These events will steal the focus in Mexico at this month’s annual G20 summit—a meeting that follows the G8 summit at Camp David in May where leaders pledged their commitment to reinvigorating the global economy and backed Greece remaining in the euro zone. As discussed in a recent DDCA blog on the euro zone crisis, this situation carries global significance that matters to our clients, and is therefore being monitored closely by our international team.
There’s no doubt the G20 have their work cut out for them—with Germany remaining steadfast in its message of austerity in contrast with other nations’ emphasis on growth strategies. But this situation also shines the spotlight on the G20 itself—and how the democratization of this body, which has grown from a group of five superpowers, reflects our changing world. The very existence of the G20, created to address our international financial system, recognizes how deeply intertwined our world markets are—from heavily industrialized nations to emerging economies.
How did the G-5 evolve and grow to resemble the hyper-connected global democracy we live and work in today? Let’s take a look at a brief history.
A Long Way From the “Library Group”
On the heels of the oil crisis and global recession that hit in 1973, the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan, and France commenced informal meetings in the White House library. The “Library Group,” as they were dubbed, evolved into the G5—expanding quickly from there, adding Italy in 1975 to create the G6, Canada in 1976 to form the G7, and later Russia in 1997 to establish the G8, which continues to convene today.
Globalization, of course, has unleashed a new world economy—necessitating a body that reflects the participation of a more diverse group of nations. 1999 produced two short-lived attempts to convene a larger number of global economic players, when the G33 and G22 ultimately gave way to what is now the G20. This collection of 20 countries represents an economic powerhouse—with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting these nations combined contribute more than 84 percent of the world’s GDP growth.
A Global and Digital Democracy
While world markets are currently turbulent, here’s the silver lining: the expansion of the G5 to the G20 shows how economies beyond the original superpowers have accelerated in recent decades and how inextricably intertwined we all are. This is thanks, in part, to the advent of the information age and its related technologies: Namely, the Internet, which has unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurial and education opportunities. These advancements have given citizens in all countries (but particularly developing ones) a powerful voice, greater integration with the world, and new economic possibilities.
At the G20 summit in Mexico, Mexican President Felipe Calerón aims to use the gathering to more effectively address and advance the vision and policy of developing countries. This leadership is certainly important, but in this new world where digital democracy is strong, individual people of all backgrounds now have a voice and can make a big impact, too. The hard work of these global citizens has propelled innovation, spurred job growth, and shaped crucial policies that have catapulted their countries to prominence on the world stage.
DDCA: Integrating Global and Local
DDCA has built its business on this new world—where the voices of citizens matter more than ever, and technology speeds their messages forward. And today, we are proud to offer our clients global reach combined with a personalized, local approach that gives real people the opportunity to voice their views on key issues, in person and across digital spheres.
The development of the G5 reflects the growth and intersection of our world economies—and all of the local people who ultimately help net big national gains. In advocacy, too, it all comes down to people. And DDCA is expert in bringing crucial voices to bear on issues that win time and again for our clients.
Tags: Advocacy, G20, G20 Summit, G8 Summit