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Roundtable on Governance & Law: Challenges & Opportunities


Roundtable on Governance & Law
Challenges & Opportunities

World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC
November 5-6, 2018 – 9 am to 5:30 pm

The World Academy of Art & Science and World University Consortium are partnering with The World Bank to conduct this 2-day roundtable on Governance & Law.

This roundtable will explore the governance challenges and opportunities generated by the complex nexus of forces impacting on human aspirations for freedom and development, peace and security, employment and equality, technological advancement, access to education and information, immigration and multi-culturalism, ecological stability and security in rapidly globalizing society today. Special emphasis will be on the effective role of law, governance and public participation for achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The rapid evolution of society continues to outpace the development of institutions to guide, monitor and manage the increasing range and magnitude of the opportunities and challenges that arise. The growing gap between the needs of humanity and its prevailing system of institutions severely retards our collective progress and threatens to undermine the developmental gains of the past half century and achievement of the ambitious goals set for in the SDGs.

This meeting will explore the underlying drivers of social evolution and human development, the broadening array of actors and stakeholders impacting on the distribution and exercise of social power, the impact of technology and economic globalization on employment and inclusiveness, the impact of education and the media on public awareness and citizen engagement, the role of money and corporate power, threats to electoral democracy, the reconciliation of private interest and public good, the role of social movements and civil society organizations, and the impact of social theories on public perception and government action.

We live in an increasingly globalized world, yet our instruments of governance remain anchored in antiquated, flawed and largely ineffective national level institutions guided by narrow perspectives, misguided priorities, competitive strategies and mutually exclusive objectives. The meeting will also explore the challenges of national governance in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent world.


The program is open to participants from all disciplines and occupations. The meeting will consist of facilitated discussions centering on 10-12 major groups of issues plus an introductory session and a final discussion to frame conclusions and next steps. The format will be highly interactive: short presentations combined with open discussion. Each session will be introduced by a moderator making brief opening remarks posing fundamental questions to be explored during the session. The remainder of each session is reserved for moderated discussion among all participants. The conclusions of this session will be drawn upon to identify key issues for systematic examination in future programs of WAAS and WUC. Selected papers will be published in Cadmus Journal and Eruditio.

Session Topics (tentative list) 

  1. Introduction: Goals, Challenges & Opportunities
  2. Drivers of Social Evolution & Equitable Development
  3. Cast of Actors & Stakeholders in National Governance
  4. Governance, Social Culture and Human Rights
  5. Peace, Employment, Inclusiveness & Human Security
  6. Public Conscience, Rule of Law and Social Justice
  7. Money, Social Power, Capture and Accountability
  8. Electoral Democracy, the Media & Citizen Engagement
  9. Private Interest, Public Good & Social Equity
  10. Social Organization, Institutional Effectiveness & the SDGs
  11. Public Awareness, CSOs, Social Movements & Good Governance
  12. National Governance in a Global Society
  13. Power of Ideas: Governance Theory vs. Practice
  14. Conclusions & Recommendations