New think tank report released at Shanghai forum

China Daily
Huang Panyue
2019-10-25 17:42:49

China-US relations, employment issues, poverty and the marine environment are generating heated discussions among global think tanks in 2018, according to a Center for Think Tank Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences report.

The report, released during the Shanghai Global Think Tank Forum held Oct 24-25, is based on research conducted by over 1,000 think tanks from 110 countries in 2018, covering topics like global geopolitics, economic development, social issues, science and technology innovation, energy environment and urban governance.

"We hope the report will show comprehensive and objective trends regarding the development of global think tanks," said Yang Yaqin, executive director of the center, at the forum.

According to Yang, some of the most popular issues related to global conflicts and tensions as well as the increase in military spending across the globe.

In terms of international relations, Sino-US relations was a popular research focus.

As for social development, many think tanks studied employment issues, especially the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, and poverty problems. In Europe and the US, immigration issues were also a key focus.

Innovation and the governance of cities were discussed in many studies, according to the report.

Yang said the report has provided a comprehensive view of the development of think tanks. She said that in today's open and competitive environment, think tanks play an important role in public diplomacy and that transnational collaboration between think tanks has become more necessary than ever to solve global issues.

"Think tanks in China are in the initial stages of development and we are working to play a bigger role in supporting public policymaking," she said.

"The key to attaining this goal is to gather more talents and motivate them to create solutions that will benefit the world."

Sean Randolph, senior director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a leading think tank on economic and policy issues in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley-Bay Area in the US, stressed the importance of having an open platform that allows people to work on ideas.

"In today's world, innovation comes from multiple institutions and moves quickly, and ideas combine and recombine rapidly," said Randolph.

"The more rapidly you can move, the more likely you'll get a vision, and a free and open environment is vital to attracting more entrepreneurs and thinkers."

He added that the institute has had success in changing policies and developing new ones for the state of California and in specific cases related to science and trade.

"Globally, think tanks have the independence and credibility to work with governments, private organizations, as well as different institutions. I believe it's also important that think tanks around the world work together, especially with China," said Randolph.

Themed The New Opening-up of China and the Innovation of Global Think Tanks, the forum gathered nearly 200 experts from over 70 think tanks in countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.


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