Global Leadership Initiative

The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) is led by a group of academic researchers and students who attend, monitor and conduct real time policy analysis at major global summits such as the Group of Seven (G7), the Group of Twenty (G20), the International Labor Organisation’s Governing Body meeting (ILO), the International Land Coalition’s Biennial Global Forum, The Architecture Sans Frontières’s International General Assembly meeting (ASF) and others.


The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) publishes small articles and blogs that offer credible academic analysis of global summits and their implications for global politics. In particular, the GLI focuses on the furtherance of needed leadership (or lack thereof), holding world leaders to account, but also stressing new opportunities and past successes.


The GLI is based within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield and was first initiated by academics from the Department of Politics and the School of East Asian Studies who attended the 2013 G20 summit in St Petersburg and discovered that there was a significant gap in informed analysis of the topics under discussion. Academic experts and student policy analysts were therefore sought out to provide media briefs and to clarify policy issues.


To fill this gap, the GLI seeks to fulfill two aims. First, the GLI provides up-to-date and real time policy analysis of global decision-making at the highest level, holding global leaders to account. Second, the GLI offers an exciting opportunity for high achieving students (undergraduates and taught postgraduates) from the Faculty to attend summits and to collaborate with academic researchers. This is an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience in international policy debates, to attend press conferences and to produce outputs visible to an international audience thereby enhancing their research skills and employability.


The GLI’s outputs, including on the spot analysis and policy briefs, will be published here. Please check back regularly for updates or sign up to Global Policy’s newsletter at the top right of this page.



Creative Commons Global Summit


The Creative Commons is an organisation which describes its mission as one which, “helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world”. Best known for its content licences, Creative Commons is in fact a global movement which encourages open sharing and creativity in commercial, educational, public and cultural settings. It aims to “unlock the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity”. Its Global Summit is a forum to discuss key developments in these areas.

The GLI team attend the Creative Commons Global Summit will consist of eight students (four undergraduate and four Masters students) from across the Schools of the Faculty of Social Sciences: Architecture, Economics, Geography, Information, Journalism, Law and Management. The team comprises Nathan Allaby, Julie Baldwin, Leila Eddakille, Kirsty Franks, Laura-Grace Holliday, Amy Lees, Stefanie Lo and Jessica Rees. They will be joined by Professor Stephen Pinfield (Information School) and Dr Julia Davies (School of Education).


Summit Blogs


The GLI Sheffield Team at the Creative Commons summit in Toronto!








The HABITAT III conference is the single most important international event on cities and urban development in the past 20 years, following previous events in Istanbul in 1996 and Vancouver in 1976. Coming just after the announcement of an ‘urban goal’ among the UN’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ announced in 2015, HABITAT III comes at a time when urban issues have risen to the top of the global policy agenda.

The GLI team attending Habitat III consists of eight students drawn from the departments of Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning, Politics and Economics. They are Clara Mazetti Classen, Lydia Darby, Amartya Deb, Aidan Kidder, Jose Lagunes, Rowan Riley, Simeon Shtebunaev, and Frances Thompson. They will be accompanied by two academic staff, Dr Beatrice de Carli (School of Architecture) and Dr. Tom Goodfellow (Department of Urban Studies and Planning).


Summit Blogs


HABITAT III Team - Meet the Sheffield GLI policy team attending the UN Habitat III conference in Quito

Housing at Habitat III: First Impressions - Frances Thompson

People-Centric Solutions for Safe Public Spaces and the New Urban Agenda - Cara Mazetti Claassen

Throwing the Poor a Rope: Why the New Urban Agenda needs a more Active Rhetoric on Inequality - Aidan Kidder

Paradigm Shift? The Role of Local Governments on the World Stage - Simeon Shtebunaev

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: The Importance of Disaster-Risk Reduction Strategies - Lydia Darby

Integration of Informal Settlements in Urban Areas – Messages from Habitat III - Amartya Deb

Talking Migration and Refugees at Habitat III – What is Missing? - Cara Mazetti Classen

Better Together: The Changing Face of Humanitarian Relief Programs - Lydia Darby

Building Resilient Environments at all Levels - Jose Roberto Lagunes Trejo

Cities and Corruption: The Elephant in the Room Blocking the Way Towards Inclusive Cities - Aidan Kidder

The March of the Smart City at Habitat III - Simeon Shtebunaev



G20 Hangzhou Summit


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The GLI team consists of Garrett Wallace Brown, Hugo Dobson, Rishabh Kumar, Lu Yanrong, Evelyn Mantoiu, Jessica Peppiate, Melissa Pilgrim, Eleni Ravanis, Annemie Zimmerman.


Summit Blogs


G20 Team - Mission Impossible: Britain’s Post-Brexit Struggle at the G20

G20 Team - The Role of Culture in Global Summitry: Business before Pleasure in Hangzhou

G20 Team - Steering Spaceship Earth: Can China chart a new course in a warming world?

G20 Team - China’s active role in creating B20-G20 synergy

G20 Team - China’s Soft Power: Open for Business?

G20 Team - China on show at the G20

G20 Team - ‘Thank you for your cooperation’: Welcoming words for the world’s media

G20 Team - Who Feels the Consequences of G20 Decisions?: A Tale of Two Cities

G20 Team - China will lead the way, at least we hope it does!

G20 Team - Beyond Business as Usual?: President Xi’s Opening B20 Speech and Development

G20 Team - Blue skies over Hangzhou: clearing the way for a climate-focused summit?

G20 Team - How to Host a Summit – or Not


Policy Briefs


Brown - The 2016 Hangzhou G20 Summit: Has China Signalled a New Era of South-South Development Cooperation

Dobson - Slightly Less Fear and Loathing in Sino-Japanese Relations

Lu - Gender Parity in the Global Workforce: Working Towards Systematic Improvement

Kumar - A world economy in desperate need of innovation and invigoration - the G20 leaders turn to entrepreneurs

Mantoiu - Infrastructure, China and the Making of the AIIB

Peppiate - Leaving No-One Behind: The G20 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

Pilgrim - Great Expectations, China as a G20 host

Ravanis - Climate Change and the G20: Shaping a New Global Narrative

Zimmerman - The South China Sea: can the G20 play a part in conflict resolution


Oslo REDD+ Exchange


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the Oslo REDD+ Exchange Conference in Norway. The GLI team consists of Dr Anna Laing, Eric Waweru and Thomas Bates.

Eric Waweru - Some Remarks on Environmental Technologies from REDD+ Exchange 2016




G7 Leaders Summit, Ise-Shima, Japan


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the G7 Leaders Summit in Ise-Shima, Japan. The GLI team consists of Garrett Wallace Brown, John Casson, Rachel Claringbull, Hugo Dobson, Elliott Glover, John Jacobs, Magdalena Krakau, Gregory Stiles.


Summit Blogs


G7 Team - Obama Goes to Hiroshima: The Pros and Cons of Lame Duck Presidents

G7 Team - NGOs at the G7 Japan: Keep your friends close and your NGOs… well, further away

G7 Team - Abe’s efforts to win over the World’s Media

G7 Team - Advertising Opportunities Now Available at G7 Summits

G7 Team - Do you love Sake?: Cultural Promotion and G7 Politics

G7 Team - A New Age of Global Summitry?

G7 Team - GLI’s Cultural Exchange in Japan – a warm Welcome

G7 Team - The Political Logic of Logos

G7 Team - Global Summitry and the Beautiful Game

G7 Team - Brexit or Remain: Hope Springs Eternal in Sendai

G7 Team - Japan’s Gender Segregation: A Forward-Looking Policy or an Education Failure?


Policy Briefs


Brown - Global Health gets a Vital Injection at the G7 Japan Summit, but not the Cure

Krakau - Maritime Territorial Disputes and the G7 - the Limits of Agenda Setting

Dobson - Sino-Japanese Rivalry and a Potential Battle of the ‘Gs’

Jacobs - The DPRK at Ise-Shima 2016 – Strong on Rhetoric but Light on Solutions

Glover - G7 Relinquish Leadership on Climate Change to Members’ Discretion

Casson - The Global Economy: Where do we go from Here?

Stiles - Russia and the G7 - Coming Back in From the Cold

Claringbull - Women at the G7 – in need of a Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action






326th International Labour Organisation Governing Body


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the 326th International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body, Geneva. The GLI Team consists of Samuel Ralph, Winona Shaw, Monisha Khanna, Isaac Stovell, Mitali Sen and Asatu Getaweh.


Sam Ralph - The ILO and the Refugee Crisis

Mitali Sen - ILO Strategy and Work with Indigenous People






Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2016


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2016 in Medellin. The GLI team working as policy analysts at the GEC consists of Winnie Liu, Dom Keogh, Elizabeth Kohorn-Hill, Ellen Peacock, Jon Harvey, and Zi Y Huang.


Conference Blogs

Elizabeth Kohorn-Hill - Innovation, Productivity and ‘Long Term Economic Plans’

Chay Brooks and Tim Vorley - A Meeting of Minds: Attending the Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Tim Vorley - Reimagining Medellin as an Innovative and Entrepreneurial City

Ellen Peacock - Western bias at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress





EITI Conference 2016


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the 2016 EITI Conference, in Lima, Peru. The GLI Team consists of Greg Chappell Van Gilst, Laura D'Henin, Eleanor Horn, Winfred Syombua, Ahmad Rizky Umar, and Megan Wynne.

Conference Blogs


Jewellord Nem Singh, with Zaheer Khan and GLI Members - EITI at a Crossroads: Can we Deliver Results for the Poor?

Winfred Syombua - Making EITI Inclusive: Parliaments in the Global South

Greg Chappell Van Gilst - From Reports to Results: Unlocking Big Data through Geographical Information Systems in the Extractive Industry

Ahmad Rizky M. Umar - Chinese Investments and the EITI: The Need for Deep Engagement

Eleanor Horn - Getting more out of EITI data: Incorporating Data Standardisation into EITI reporting


Policy Briefs


D'Henin - Community Participation, The Key for Future Success of the EITI

Megan Wynne - How EITI involvement can benefit Corporations

Chappell and Horn - Short term Attitudes in a Long Term Market, The Importance of the EITI in an era of Low Commodity Prices

Wynne - The Role of EITI Reporting in Enhancing Industry Engagement

Syombua - Improving Natural Resource Governance Through Beneficiary Ownership Disclosures





G20 November 2015


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI at the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Antalya, Turkey. The G20 team: Garrett Wallace Brown, Laura Copete, Amna Kaleem, Joanna Moody, Polly Sculpher, Gregory Stiles, Olivia Wills and Megan Wilson. Global Leadership Initiative, University of Sheffield.


Summit Policy Briefs


Brown - Leadership from below, A Strategic Alignment of BRICS at the G20 or Simply Business as Usual

Wills - More Money for Good, Less Money for Bad A Clash of Finance Objectives at the G20

Kaleem - G20 and the Refugee Crisis, Platitudes instead of Promises

Stiles - The G20 and Regional stability - A summit failure or an impossible vortex of violence?

Sculpher - Economic Growth: Inclusive for Whom?

Wilson - Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Climate Finance and the G20 - A Heated Debate to nowhere

Moody - Engagement or obligation: The G20’s commitment to gender equality


Summit Blogs


The GLI team - Security at the G20 Antalaya Turkey: To joke or not to joke?’

The GLI team - ‘Waiting for Godot?: The Theatre of the G20’

The GLI team - Refugee Crisis at the G20 – Day One

The GLI team - The Purge of Free Turkish Media at the G20?

The GLI team - Double Standards or Double Talk?: The Irony of the G20’s Tax Evasion Rhetoric

The GLI team - America’s not the Whole World: The Self-absorbed White House Press Corps at the G20 Antalya

Trujillo - The G20 and Paris Terror Attacks, Upstaging the Turkish Presidency´s Agenda


Glover - G7 Relinquish Leadership on Climate Change to Members’ Discretion

Casson - The Global Economy: Where do we go from Here?

Stiles - Russia and the G7 - Coming Back in From the Cold





G7 June 2015


The following pieces were written by members of the GLI at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany. In each case, the GLI stresses the need for tangible global leadership at these summits and provides analysis examining how this is being advanced or diminished.


Post-summit analyses


Hatiar - G7 Steps Up as a Catalyst of Global De-carbonisation

Gruia - Sustainable Decisions on Sustainable Development

Pedrick - Consistently inconsistent, The G7 and women

Stiles - The G7 summit, A failure of leadership over Ukraine

Dobson - The Curious Case of Japanese Leadership in Global Summitry

Brown - The 2015 G7 summit, A missed opportunity for global health leadership


Summit Blogs

The GLI team - 'Locals Boycott the G7 as Economically Damaging'

The GLI team - 'G7 Protests: Washed out and Dry on Substance'

The GLI team - 'The G7 Media Centre: Big on Talk, Light on Substance'?

The GLI team - Between G7 Leaders and the General Public: Is the Media being Held at Arm’s Length?

The GLI team - The J7 Summit: Youth Participation or Youth Isolation?