Global Leadership Initiative

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 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.

World Urban Forum 9

The World Urban Forum takes place every two years bringing together multiple stakeholders to discuss and share knowledge about the goals for sustainable urban development. Addressing the theme, “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda,” the World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018. WUF9 builds on the resolution of Habitat III when 167 countries agreed the New Urban Agenda, which sets a common vision and global standards for sustainable urban development in the coming decades.

A team of GLI policy analysts will attend WUF9, consisting of eight students (two undergraduate and four Master’s students) from the departments of Geography, Politics, and Urban Studies and Planning in the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Social Sciences. The team comprises Sadia Amin, Michael Berry, Francis Clay, Xiaowen Dai, Nusha Haghpanah, Sandra Kundeya, Ashwini Maheswaran Foster and Alice Preston Jones. They will be joined by Dr Gabriel Silvestre and Dr Zheng Wang from the Department of Urban Studies.

Policy Briefs


Ashwini Maheswaran Foster - Water and the New Urban Agenda – Tapping into the importance of partnerships between local government and NGOs

Sadia Amin - Blurring the Formal-Informal Dichotomy Is Self-Help the Answer

Sandra Kundeya - Youth empowerment and sustainable development

Xiaowen Dai – Spatial Planning and Gender Equality Challenges of Creating Safe Cities for Women Girls

Alice Preston-Jones - Three Pathways for Urban Change

Francis Clay - Right to the City flipping planning on its head

Michael Berry - Squaring the circle

Nusha Haghpanah - Integrating migrants and refugees


Summit Blogs


Sustainable Urbanisation and Economic Development: Youth on the move to make the dream a living reality - Sandra Kundeya

Steering Clear from Difficult Conversations – Welcome to WUF9 - Sadia Amin

Faraway, So Close! Is the World Urban Forum Bridging Differences and Building Collaborations? - Francis Clay

The Smart City Paradigm is “coming whether you like it or not” - Alice Preston-Jones

Can the New Urban Agenda move from Rhetoric to Reality? - The GLI Team

Traffic Jams the World Urban Forum - Michael Berry

Implementing the NUA - Can we use Big Data to Create Safer Public Places for Girls and Women? - Xiaowen Dai 

Has the WUF9 Gone Far Enough to Move on the ‘What’ to the ‘How’? - Nusha Haghpanah 

The Smart City Paradigm is “coming whether you like it or not” - Alice Preston-Jones

The Organic World Congress

The Organic World Congress (OWC) was held in New Delhi, India from 9 to 11 November 2017 to promote and celebrate the inevitable turning of global agriculture to organic farming methods and to measure progress. This open forum offered a global platform for exchange, benefitting a number of different organic stakeholders, including local and global organic movements, farmers, governments, international development agencies, policy-makers, researchers, scientists, and trade.

The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team attending the Organic World Congress. The team consists of Emilia Law, William Matupi, Brogan McCawley, Eleanor Nash, Karolina Sliwinska, Laura Yoshimoto Turpin. They were accompanied by two academic staff, Dr Juan Miguel Kanai (Department of Geography) and Dr Sanjay Lanka (School of Management) of the University of Sheffield.

Policy Briefs

Turpin - Brazil’s Need for a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Assistive Body

Sliwinska - The Harmful Truth of Bt Cotton1 Farming Promoting Awareness Schemes

Nash - The Uses and Challenges of Sustainable Methods in Organic Agriculture

McCawley - Healthy Farms for Future Generations – Methods, Research and Education in Managing Soil Quality

Matupi - Reconciling India’s Insurance System and the Organic Paradigm

Law - Reducing the Organic Stigma

329th International Labour Organisation Governing Body

The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team attending the 329th Governing Body meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva in March 2017. The GLI Team consists of Gemma Bray, Megan Buxton, Sarah Hake, Isobel Jenkinson, Ciara McQuillan Bridson, Edward Pemberton, Grace Wallace, and Grace Whitfield. The team was accompanied by Professor Jason Heyes of the School of Management at the University of Sheffield.

Policy Briefs

Occupational health: Carrot or Stick Approach? - Bray

The Informal Economy – How the ILO has planned to tackle this ‘Hidden’ Workplace - Hake

Workers’ rights in Myanmar - Buxton

The Skills Shortage and Green Jobs Challenge - Jenkinson

Climate Change and Labour Migration: Challenges for Decent Work and Opportunities for a ‘Just Transition’ - McQuillan Bridson

Reimagining Social Protection in Response to New Forms of Work - Pemberton

Can the ILO Protect Women in the Informal Economy? - Wallace

The Trade Union Act and the ILO: Implications of a Widening Ideological Chasm - Whitfield

G20 Hamburg Summit

The 12th G20 summit will place in Hamburg, Germany from 7 to 8 July 2017 with the goal of shaping an interconnected world. The G20 is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and economics issues.

This was the first G20 summit for several leaders including US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. It was also the first major summit of leaders following Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the G20 Hamburg Summit. The GLI team consists of George Ashley, Lucy Branford-White, Hugo Dobson, Remi Edwards, Johanna Greco, Emilija Lazarevic, Helia Nazari, Henry Poust, Joseph Richardson and Gregory Stiles.

Summit Blogs

Hamburg and Hong Kong: A Tale of Two Cities

Setting the Mood Music of Global Summitry

The G20: A Clash Of Civilisations?

Panic on the Streets of Hamburg - The German Right to Protest

Down and Out in Paris and Hamburg: The G20 on Climate Change

“Mother Merkel” Versus the “Axis of Testosterone” at the G20 Summit

The Illusion of Transparency at the G20

Hamburg G20 Summit: A Flattering Inconvenience?

Africa and the G20 - A Summit of Contradictions

New Sunshine Policy under the Nuclear Umbrella?

Policy Briefs

A Chinese Leadership Role in the Age of Trump - George Ashley

A Trump-Putin Bromance at the G20 Will Become the New Sykes-Picot Agreement - Stiles

Asia in the G20 - From Missed to Emerging Opportunity - Dobson

Eyes Wide Shut - The G20 and Open Data - Branford-White

Priority for All or Security for Some - The G20 and Global Health - Poust

The Commitment of the G20 to International Tax Cooperation - Lazarevic

Feeding the G20’s Ego, Food Security and Negligence at the Hamburg Summit - Edwards

Migration at the G20 - Thinking Ahead Without Acting in the Now - Greco

Outsiders at the G20 Table - How Ivanka Trump and the W20 Are Shaping the Future of Women - Nazari

Trading Away Our Future - Economic Nationalism at the G20 Hamburg Summit - Richardson

G7 Taormina Summit

The 43rd G7 summit took place in Taormina, Italy from 26 to 27 May 2017 with the declared mission of ‘Building the Foundations of Renewed Trust’ built on the three pillars of: 1) citizen safety; 2) economic, environmental and social sustainability and reduction of inequalities; and innovation, skills and labour in the age of the next production revolution.

This was the first G7 summit for several leaders including US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The following pieces were written by members of the GLI team at the G7 Taormina Summit. The GLI team consists of Garrett Wallace Brown, Hugo Dobson, Rachael Bunyan, Adam Coles, Jack Hunnaball, Dinora Kruja, Yuma Osaki, Dale Riahi and Jo Weir.

Summit Blogs

Spotting the Difference? The G7 and “Anti-Protectionism”

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty for G7 Gender Equality?

The Universe Stops at Land’s End: The Parochial British Media

Why use One Word when Two will do? The Length of the Summit Communiqué

Add Facebook as a Friend to Fight Terror

When World Leaders Meet: Handshakes and Snubs

The Manchester Attack and the G7: Locating a ‘Strong and Stable’ Response?

The Art of the Meal: The Logistics of Hosting a Successful G7 Summit

Rolling out the Green Carpet for Trump

Pleased to Meet You?: Trepidation for First-Time Summiteers

G7 Bounce? When Elections and Summits Clash

Policy Briefs

What Does the Taormina G7 Summit Mean for MENA Stability - Riahi

International Trade Governance and the G7 in the Trump and post-Brexit Era - Osaki

Terrorism at the G7 - Kruja

Global Opportunity or Fake Smiles_ Automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution - Hunnaball

Gender-based Violence and the 2017 G7 Summit - Ignoring the Most Vulnerable - Bunyan

And the Circus Leaves Town- A Critical Examination of the G7 as a Legitimate Form of Global Governance - Coles

Securitizing the Symptoms, not Causes The G7 Again Misses the Point on Collective Global Security - Brown

The Perennial North Korea Problem at the G7 Summit - Weir

When Bilateralism Trumps Multilateralism Japan-US Relations at the G7 - Dobson

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! - Leila Eddakille

First Impressions - Final Preparations for the Creative Commons Summit - Jessica Rees

The State of the Commons - Amy Lees

The Conference is Open, but is Access to Education? - Grace Holliday

Balancing the Scales of Social and Economic Value of Open Access and CC Material: The Role of CC in Libraries and Museums - Kirsty Franks

What are Open Licenses doing for Early Years Development? 26 Educators, 2 Hours, 1 Platform, 13 Translations - Jessica Rees

Is the Creative Commons the Solution to Advancing Knowledge? - Nathan Allaby

Different Opens - Same Conversation? - Julie Baldwin

Creative Commons – More than just Licensing - Stefanie Lo

Policy Briefs

Cultivating Safe Online Communities and Comment Sections which Protect Contributors and Users from Harassment and Hostility - Grace Holliday

Open Business Models, the Future of Innovation, and the Need for Education - Amy Lees

The Creative Commons and local communities: Challenges and opportunities for community projects within the Creative Commons global strategy - Leila Eddakille

Copyright Law and the Creative Commons – Friends or Foes? - Stefanie Lo

Universities ‘Repatriating’ Publishing: A Critical Review of Radical Open-Access Proposals - Nathan Allaby

The Future of Open Access Policy: Incrementalism v. Disruption - Julie Baldwin

From Licence Provider to Community Builder: The Strategic Shift of the Creative Commons - Jessica Rees

Combating the Culture of Privilege: Ways in Which the Creative Commons, Open Access and Open Educational Resources are Enabling Social Impact in the GLAM Sector - Kirsty Franks


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

Policy Briefs

The Right to Adequate Housing through Government-Resident Partnerships

Urban Culture and Heritage in the New Urban Agenda

Connecting two aspects of Habitat III – Rural-Urban Linkages for Sustaining Opportunities in the Informal Sector

Housing at the centre of Habitat III

Planning for Migration – Policy Recommendations for Cities from Habitat III

Fostering ‘Inclusivity’ in Urban Economic Development


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?