Re-Creation: A Global Strategy for Revitalizing, Adapting, and Defending a Rules-Based International System

Re-Creation: A Global Strategy for Revitalizing, Adapting, and Defending a Rules-Based International System.  Atlantic Council. Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig. October 30, 2019.

In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the United States and other leading democracies built an international system that ushered in an almost 70-year period of remarkable peace and prosperity. Founded on democratic and open-market principles, its institutions and rules have promoted global economic growth and development, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, and advanced the cause of freedom. After three decades of largely uncontested primacy, however, this rules-based system is now under unprecedented challenge, both from within and without. In March 2018, we launched an initiative under the auspices of the Atlantic Council aimed at revitalizing the rules-based international system and reinvigorating support for its core tenets. We were joined by a distinguished group of former officials and strategists in creating a Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Peace, and Prosperity—offering seven statements that we believe are foundational for a revitalized international system and reflect the common aspirations of the human spirit. The principles are intended to provide a clear and compelling statement of values—a “north star”—around which political leaders and the broader public can rally in demonstrating their support for the rules-based system. But principles alone are not enough. We need a new strategy—one ambitious enough to meet the moment, and one innovative enough to fit the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. In this paper, Present at the Re-Creation, Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig propose a visionary but actionable global strategy for revitalizing, adapting, and defending the rules-based international system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 76 pages].

Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure

Transforming Infrastructure: Frameworks for Bringing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Infrastructure. World Economic Forum. November 3, 2019.

The technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have fundamentally altered society in ways both seen and unseen. This digital transformation has changed how people live and work, and everything in between. One area of daily life, however, seems to be largely missing out on this revolution: infrastructure. It remains one of the least digitally transformed sectors of the economy. While individual examples of highly advanced infrastructure systems exist, the sector at large lags behind others in innovation, a fact made all the more apparent by infrastructure’s ubiquity. When the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Infrastructure gathered for its annual meeting in Dubai in November 2018, it sought to understand why.

As it began to think through solutions, the Council found a situation full of opportunity. Infrastructure is far from being a staid industry devoid of innovation – indeed, new technologies and ideas are flourishing. Integrating these innovations, which could change the way infrastructure is designed, developed and delivered, requires aligning stakeholders, implementing effective strategies and creating fertile enabling environments. This will allow existing innovation into the space and provide opportunities for new ideas.

The Council thus decided to create a guidebook, contained here, that explores major questions about how to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to infrastructure. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages].

The Economic Benefits of a More Physically Active Population: An International Analysis

The Economic Benefits of a More Physically Active Population: An International Analysis. RAND Corporation.  Marco Hafner et al. November 5, 2019.

It is estimated that about 30 per cent of the global population is considered to be physically inactive. Such inactivity is of high concern when the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity are well established, and that research shows that regular physical activity is associated with lower onset rates of a range of disease conditions. Research also illuminates the stark fact that physical inactivity is associated with more than 5 million deaths every year. With the global rates of physical activity diminishing, and the associated costs to humankind increasing as a result, the insidious and dangerous nature of such global inactivity is becoming increasingly exposed.

In recognition of this, and in order to explore how these high levels of physical inactivity drive cost in economies, the Vitality Group asked RAND Europe to conduct an economic analysis of the potential economic benefits associated with getting people to be more physically active. Using a multi-country computable general equilibrium (CGE) macroeconomic model, RAND Europe examined the potential global implications of insufficient physical activity and changes of physical activity levels at the population level across different countries. The overarching aim of the study was to explore the main economic costs of physical inactivity and to identify the key benefits to improving activity rates. By presenting this data via the three modelled scenarios, the consequence of higher inactivity compared to improved activity rates may be better understood. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 189 pages].

Trends in Forced Migration

Trends in Forced Migration. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Erol Yayboke. November 5, 2019

Global forced migration has important security, environmental, economic, political, and human rights implications that could lead to future global instability. Future trends in forced migration show increasing and deepening issues with significant global consequences. Although this phenomenon is disproportionately challenging the developing world, its implications are global. CSIS explored these implications in detail in its May 2018 report “Confronting the Global Forced Migration Crisis.” Building off its previous findings, CSIS releases this backgrounder, where it explores trends in forced migration and identifies innovative solutions to address future crises. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 50 pages].

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans. World Resources Institute.  Taryn Fransen et al. September 2019.

Published by WRI and UNDP, Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans is designed to help practitioners think through how to structure their country’s enhanced NDCs across three dimensions: strengthening targets to reduce emissions (mitigation), enhancing climate resilience (adaptation) and clearly communicating their actions to build trust and facilitate effective implementation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 76 pages].

From Saving to Spending: A Proposal to Convert Retirement Account Balances into Automatic and Flexible Income

From Saving to Spending: A Proposal to Convert Retirement Account Balances into Automatic and Flexible Income. Brookings Institution. David C. John et al. July 31, 2019

Converting retirement savings balances into a stream of retirement income is one of the most difficult financial decisions that households need to make. New financial products, however, offer people alternative ways to receive retirement income. We propose a default decumulation solution that could be added to retirement plans to simplify decumulation choices in much the same way that automatic choices have simplified enrollment, contribution, and investment allocation decisions for millions of savers. Our proposal centers on pooled investment accounts known as managed payout funds that deliver monthly income that is likely, though not guaranteed, to last a lifetime. Coupled with longevity annuities that begin to make payments when the owner reaches an advanced age and a separate fund for emergencies and extraordinary payments, managed payout funds could help protect retirees from longevity risk without unduly reducing their current living standards. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].