Brookings-VISION20 Workshop on Social Cohesion

Two MPPGA students, Susanne Beilmann and Tommy Koh were appointed as VISION20 Fellows and joined Professor Yves Tiberghien at the 2018 Brookings-VISION20 Workshop on Social Cohesion held at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC on April 18th, 2018.

Founded in 2016, the VISION20 initiative brings together scholars, think tank leaders, policy leaders, and societal leaders to identify concrete and innovative solutions to nudge the G20 towards its potential of facilitating and sustaining global economic integration.

Susanne and Tommy were two of four Fellows selected from a pool of 60 applicants in a competitive process. Prior to the event, the Fellows produced country memos capturing key trends in social cohesion, innovation, and economic growth across various key countries. They also played key roles in coordinating the planning of the Workshop and preparing a communications strategy.

While on the ground, the four Fellows participated in workgroup meetings and engaged with high-level decision-makers including present and former Ministers, C-suite leaders of global governance organizations, and key thought leaders in the think tank space. The relationships formed at the workshop meaningfully strengthened the Fellows’ professional policy networks.

The Fellows will subsequently produce a Blue Paper based on the takeaways from these engagements which will be shared broadly with the policy and think-tank community through the participants of the workshop and affiliate participants of the VISION20 initiative.

Tommy Koh:

Being a VISION20 fellow has been exceptionally beneficial for my research and future career. As a researcher, hearing the insights of those in the DC think tank space such as Brookings and CSIS seeded new ideas for future research. Forming relationships with workshop participants has also quantifiably strengthened my network; I look forward to tapping on the expertise of leaders at organizations such as the Pew Center to inform my present and future research. As a future Civil Servant, hearing from policy leaders, former Ministers, and top-leaders of global organizations has provided me with invaluable insight into the perspective and considerations of those who have embarked on a similar professional path. I am excited for their continued mentorship and am grateful for the opportunity to have been inspired by these distinguished individuals through the VISION20 initiative.

I am certain that the continuation of this initiative offers a unique and unprecedented opportunity for students to engage in an academically and professionally invaluable opportunity.”

Susanne Beilmann:

Participating in the Vision20 fellowship this year was one of the most stimulating and fulfilling experiences of my academic career so far. Hearing leaders discuss the social and economic challenges that plague society today and offer policy solutions was incredibly interesting and strengthened my understanding of the complexity of policymaking at the national and global level. Having the opportunity to actively participate in the preparation of the workshop as well as during the discussions made this experience all the more enriching. Interacting with experts in the field provided me with both inspiration and knowledge that will help me succeed in my graduate studies and future career as a policymaker.”