In a rapidly changing world, we face ever more complex and serious challenges. Collective Solutions 2025 is a study and collaboration platform to explore how the World Bank and similar multilateral institutions can best support developing countries to meet long-term sustainable development challenges in a post-2025 world.
This study will tap the perspectives and experiences of people all over the world in order to develop future scenarios for sustainable development in a post-2025 world. We want to know what global challenges are considered most pressing and what is considered to be the most useful role for development financing institutions—perhaps refigured substantially relative to today’s institutions—in supporting the provision of global public goods.
The World Bank initiated this study to understand and explore options to address the challenges that it and other development financing institutions will face in coming decades as they work with countries to tackle global sustainable development challenges.
The study team is particularly interested in hearing insights from young people, as they have a unique perspective that is often under-represented in development dialogues. Today's youth will be the leaders in a post-2025 world and as such, their insight is critical to developing durable long-term strategies.
The Role and Context of this Study
In recent years, the World Bank has been exploring how it can help countries transition to a green economy in which the growth of income and jobs, along with the reduction of poverty and inequality, is boosted by targeted environmental and social investments.
The Bank recently approved a new environment strategy, Toward a Green, Clean and Resilient World for All, that will guide its work on environmentally sustainable development for the next decade. The Bank, together with a number of partners, has also recently launched the Green Growth Knowledge Platform as part of its strategy for inclusive green growth. In addition, the Bank is engaging actively in international discussions in multiple forums about the post-2015 international development goals and about tectonic shifts in the development financing landscape.
Against this backdrop and urgent concerns, as articulated in the recent report Turn Down the Heat, Why a 4 Degree Warmer World Must be Avoided, Collective Solutions 2025 will seek to better understand and explore options to address the challenges faced by the World Bank and other development financing institutions as they grapple simultaneously with global and national development issues.
The study will develop long-term scenarios with a 2025 time horizon, alongside case studies and pathways for the Bank’s transformation into a “green Bank” that supports sustainable economic development in a way that balances support for more immediate, national development priorities with attention to the longer-term provision of global public goods.
A Focus on Global Public Goods
Communities at all scales—from the village, town, and city levels through to the national and regional levels—are increasingly reliant on “global public goods” for sustainable economic and social development. Something is a global public good if its benefits are available equally to all, regardless of borders, such as vaccines for neglected diseases, improved crop varieties for smallholder farmers, coordinated approaches to increasing urban energy efficiency, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, or sustainable management regimes for resources held in common like oceanic fisheries and tropical rainforests. Global public goods are the flip side of global “bads”—like global warming, volatility in international food, fuel and financial markets, urban sprawl, and the unsustainable consumption of natural resources.
In most cases, international cooperation, global partnerships and global institutions will play a central role in delivering global public goods. And in most cases, delivering them will be a long-term process requiring strategic vision, long-range planning and the formation of complex, outcome-oriented partnerships between diverse stakeholders—things that are not easy to achieve in the teeth of today’s crises, even when those crises are harbingers of larger “bads” to come.
Aid donors and multilateral institutions are mostly, for good reasons, intent on helping governments achieve their national development priorities, and particularly their short- to medium-term goals. Multilateral cooperation, often supported by aid, has achieved some notable successes in tackling global, slow-burn challeges—for example in reducing depletion of the ozone layer and developing and delivering drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases—but has yet to make serious inroads into the most fundamental sustainability challenges that the world now faces.
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