May 11, 2017
JICA Research Institute Director Naohiro Kitano participated in the discussions at the Global Think Tank Summit 2017, held from May 1 to 3, 2017 in Yokohama, Japan.
The theme of the Summit was “Achieving Balanced Growth in Asia and The World for Sustainable Development: The Role of Think Tanks.” Participants discussed major issues confronting Asia and the world, and identify areas for think tanks to contribute positively to their resolution.
The Summit was held jointly by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the ADB.
There were five sessions on May 2, including “Think Tanks and Civil Society in the Age of Populism” and “Demographic Change and Economic Growth.” Kitano served as facilitator in Session 4 “Poverty, Inequality and Inclusive Growth.”
He pointed out that "quality growth" and reducing inequality are important agendas under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Japan's Development Cooperation Charter. He presented three discussion points: “How do you address the global trend of exacerbating inequalities within countries?”, “How do you enhance capacity development at the individual and institutional levels towards realizing inclusive growth?” and “What is the role of technology and innovation for tackling inequalities in society?”
In that context, panelists spoke about innovation in water sanitation, the significance of action by young people in achieving the SDGs as suggested by the results of the awareness survey of young people, the limitations of GDP indicators and the “Social Progress Index” as an indicator to supplement them. They then discussed with the audience about the role of think tanks.
Participants represented not only think tanks in Europe and the United States, but also included many Asian think tanks. One of the points of discussion at the annual meeting was the role of think tanks in a world where globalization and populism are progressing simultaneously. Another was concerning economic growth in Asia, including Japan. In addition, many participants expressed great interest in learning from Japan, which is facing challenges associated with its aging population.