Monday Motivation: G20 Festival of Thinkers Summit

India has been given the G20 Presidency for the year 2023. While as an Indian, this makes me proud, I also feel obliged to drive the country’s G20 motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- One Earth, One Family, One future. The motto is also close to my heart, as Symbiosis’s motto is the same- Vasudhaiv Kuttumbakam- the world is one family!

As an educationist for over two decades, I know the best way to bring the world together is through education. At Symbiosis International University, we have students from more than 85 different countries across the globe and almost all the states of India. As taught to us by our Founder, Dr S. B. Mujumdar, we constantly endeavour to bring students from different regions together so that they understand each other’s cultures better.

As Symbiosis International University will be hosting several events to bring the youth together, the Y20 event supported by Ministry of Youth Affairs on 11th March 2023. It would be a good time to talk about the importance and relevance of G20.

The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations; it accounts for around 80% of gross world product (GWP), 75% of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and 60% of the world’s land area.

As of 2023, there are 20 members in the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Guest invitees include, amongst others, Spain, the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union and ASEAN.

The G20 operates without a permanent secretariat or staff. The group’s chair rotates annually among the members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries. The incumbent chair establishes a temporary secretariat for its term, coordinating the group’s work and organizing its meetings. The 2021 summit was held in Italy. The 2022 summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia. The 2023 is hosted by India and the 2024 will be hosted by Brazil.

The initial G20 agenda, as conceived by US, Canadian and German policymakers, was very much focused on the sustainability of sovereign debt and global financial stability in an inclusive format that would bring in the largest developing economies as equal partners. The G20 countries account for almost 75% of global carbon emissions. After adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, more “issues of global significance” were added to the G20 agenda: migration, digitization, employment, healthcare, the economic empowerment of women and development aid.

To facilitate the culture of discussions and deliberations at Symbiosis and make our students aware of what India’s presidency of G20 means to us as Indian citizens, we have organized the G20 Festival of Thinkers Summit on the 23rd and the 24th of February’23. Eminent speakers such as Shri Narayana Murthy, Dr S. Jaishankar, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Dr Pankaj Khimji, Mr Lyonpo Namgey Tshering, Amb. Talmiz Ahmad and Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla will be speaking on this platform and bringing to light the real purpose and our national goals as a G20 Presidency.

It also makes me proud to share with you that only fifteen universities have been selected from all over India to host the Y20 Summit, and Symbiosis International University is one of them. SIU is hosting a very prestigious G20 event for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 11th March 2023 called the Y20 one-day seminar (for young adults between 18 and 32 years of age), wherein discussions will focus on ‘Peacebuilding and Reconciliation- Ushering in an Era of No War- the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’ During this one-day event, youth from G20 Countries from all across the world will come together to discuss some of the most poignant issues that are tearing the world apart. The speakers will be chosen from among the world’s young population, and even the attendees will be the youth. The solutions drawn from these discussions will then be sent as recommendations to the ministry for further study and decisions.

In April, we will be hosting the Universities connect Programme, in June (19/20/21) the Vice Chancellors of Universities from G20 countries will meet at Symbiosis international University to discuss on how to transform our universities to make the world a better place to live in. This event will be on the sidelines of the G20 education ministers meet in Pune.

These are only glimpses of the events that Symbiosis International University is scheduled to host, and I shall bring out the details in my later blogs. However, these events will likely spark curiosity and interest in the youth in what India can offer as an emerging economy to the world!