Third Annual Global Forum
World Bank Headquarters, Washington D.C.
July 9-11, 2008
In Partnership with
By Rebecca Kaisler and Damion Blake
From July 9-11, 2008, over 200 young professionals, entrepreneurs, and students from various national and international universities assembled at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC for the third annual ATHGO Athgo Global Forum. The three-day event focused on the core theme of “Miracles of Development: Good Governance and Capacity Building.”
Throughout the event, guest speakers and panelists from the World Bank and other key institutions united around the forum’s theme to focus their attention on corruption and mismanagement within both the international and corporate communities, as well as building capacity in young people. Individual speakers included United States Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and National Defense University Senior Research Professor Dr. Michael Baranick, in addition to World Bank Group officials Dr. Randi Ryterman, Angelica Silvero, and Colum Garrity. Panel presentations further expanded upon these themes by bringing together Ambassadors and representatives from the World Bank, Microsoft, International Daimler, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Question and answer sessions followed each speaker and panel presentation, during which participants were afforded the opportunity to ask questions regarding the presentations and relevant topics.
One of the most popular sections of the forum proved to be the highly informative informal discussion sessions held on the first two days of the event. During these sessions, participants had the chance to ask speakers and panelists questions face to face in a relatively small group setting. Equally popular were the breakout sessions, in which participants were separated into groups for the purpose of developing both a business model and a policy memorandum in response to the challenges posed by corruption, capacity building, governance, and sustainability. On the final day of the event, each group presented one of their proposals to the rest of the participants during the culminating innovative panel. Proposal topics varied greatly, ranging from policies supporting sustainable agriculture in Uganda by creating a seed loan for local farmers to business models for the creation of an organization that would promote women’s empowerment and capacity building in Africa through the publication of locally written, bilingual children’s books.
Overall, the conference addressed on the following topics:
- Good governance and the international community: Ambassadors and representatives from the World Bank discussed the necessity of promoting anti-corruption policies in developing nations in order to maintain macroeconomic stability and assist development. They also reported on both national and international efforts to combat corruption and strengthen governance.
- Capacity building, participation, building young people: World Bank officials and representatives from NGOs discussed the importance of building capacity in stimulating economic growth and development. The speakers also addressed the ways in which their respective organizations help to promote empowerment in young people, as well as the ways in which students and young professionals can enter careers within these (and similar) organizations.
- Good corporate governance and responsibility: Representatives from the private sector, public sector, and civil society discussed the regulations that their various sectors have in place to fight corruption and the ways in which they try to keep their actions transparent. They also identified the ways that corruption can serve as a deterrent for corporations seeking to make investments in developing nations.