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Our Vision and Statement of Purpose

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” ~ Henri Matisse

Our approach

is to develop long-term strategies in several key policy areas to help create a sustainable future. We envision this process as a journey, where exploring often overlooked questions can yield new insights and fresh approaches to ongoing challenges.

Fundamental to Action 2030's mission is to incorporate ideas and integrate information from a broad spectrum of sources to find innovative and workable solutions. Our projects and initiatives often take us to remote regions where we research first hand the local impacts of ongoing global transformations. Local solutions grounded in everyday practices provide new insights. Further, through our sponsored events, such as round table policy discussions, we draw together people from diverse perspectives and positions, forging new partnerships and collaborations. The result is a rich and growing network of those committed to finding and implementing solutions to our greatest contemporary challenges.

Building upon the co-founders decades of policy experience through engagement with a network of policy-oriented thinkers and actors, the Institute aims to reach new audiences with accessible policy-relevant ideas and strategies that provide innovative framings and new approaches as well as stimulating ongoing discussion and action.

China

Three decades of reform and global integration have transformed China into a global power whose policies, both domestic and international, have important impacts and consequences in China and around the world.

China’s rapid transformation and growth have created an immense new pool of wealth and dynamism, while simultaneously exacerbating a wide range of complex challenges, including rapid environmental degradation and rising socioeconomic inequality.

Global warming, pollution, food insecurity, limited traditional energy sources, biodiversity loss, and rural vulnerability are problems shared by many countries around the world. How China fits into the global puzzle is key to finding a sustainable future for us all. China’s own experience offers diverse lessons and new opportunities to contribute to solving these challenges. 

The geopolitical impacts of China’s global integration are more frequently being portrayed internationally in terms of competition and conflict. This outlook generally overlooks the participation of Western countries in the evolution of the ‘China model’ as well as the international benefits of China's rapid development accrued by many of the same actors. Ultimately, such perspectives may foster a new global arms race, diverting immense resources away from the many pressing needs of the world's majority, while benefiting a select few.

This analysis highlights the importance of understanding the role of national and international policies in new ways—the starting point for Action 2030 Institute’s primary mission of fostering innovative policy thinking to help solve our contemporary and future challenges today.

Idea Driven/Ideas Lab

An important foundational activity for the Institute is the Ideas Lab. This reflects our focus upon an ideas-driven agenda, allowing a less-fettered approach to problem analysis and forward thinking in policy strategies.  The Ideas Lab is a forum in which people from divergent perspectives come together to engage in frank discussion, generate ideas, and clarify positions on the key issues impacting our future. top

Doing What Won’t Get Done Otherwise

A key tenet of the institute is to leverage our position by focusing on the key points of policy analysis and facilitation that will not happen otherwise. While not an exclusive criteria, this tenet helps focus our mission and avoid redundancy with the many institutions and actors involved in parallel and complementary activities. Simultaneously it allows us to choose partners for collaboration that we feel are best positioned to undertake innovative work. top

Unique Methodology and Approach

Our policy analysis methodology is one of our unique contributions in this arena. We combine an array of approaches to facilitate conversations and exchanges that would otherwise be unlikely to occur, and out of which new policy strategies and outcomes may emerge. For example, re-framing fundamental questions and challenging basic assumptions provides new impetus for change. How a problem is defined determines the potential range of solutions. Explicit recognition of this focuses discussion on a foundational level, and thereby increases the potential for structural impact. top

Activities and Outputs

Through small-scale roundtables and workshops the institute brings together diverse voices on issues related to our core policy themes. These private gatherings provide unique opportunities for frank and creative discussion amongst actors that rarely meet, with creation of new ideas and innovations for policy the guiding point of agreement. top

Vulnerability and Access as Key Metrics of Development ‘Success’

A key metric the institute promotes for analyzing development success is the impact of policies on the most disadvantaged peoples and places in terms of access to resources, and their subsequent levels of relative vulnerability. This approach focuses attention upon the inequality that is often a product of various development approaches by asking the questions development for whom, by whom, how, and towards what goals? In the same vain, asking these questions in terms of access to tangible and intangible resources clarifies existing inequalities of power and resource distribution. top

Leapfrog Mentality

An explicit goal of the institute is to leapfrog the status quo and existing policy ‘answers’, as well as the structures of existing approaches. The necessity of this comes from the near universal acknowledgement of the failure of global efforts at poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. Despite rhetorical statements and significant allocation of material resources, most identified ‘problems’ have only worsened in the sixty years of the post World War 2 ‘development project’. Substantial aid flows from Northern countries to Southern countries during this era have not only failed to alleviate poverty and provide the basis for sustainable development, but by many accounts have exacerbated it though misguided policy interventions, projects and programs. The dominant aid regime carries with it not only institutional constraints, but constraints on what is considered to be possible inherent in the dominant approaches and ideologies. To overcome such constraints and achieve new thinking is no easy task, but maintaining a ‘leapfrog’ approach is an attempt to suggest that the current policy needs fundamental re-framing so as to achieve dramatic transformations in outcomes. top

 

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