For the past 15 years, the Brookings Blum Roundtable has explored various facets of global poverty, with an emphasis on how technology and innovation can be harnessed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing development challenges.
To find out more about past roundtable forums—including agendas, participant lists, conference reports and other resources—please explore each year’s theme below.
On July 31-August 2, 2019, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted its 16th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. This year’s roundtable considered what narrative and practical proposals will not only maintain current levels of U.S. development leadership and investments, which have remained static in recent years, but respond appropriately to rising global challenges.
On August 1-3, 2018, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted its 15th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. Experts continued the conversation from August 2017 on challenges to and opportunities for U.S. foreign assistance and global leadership.
On August 2-4, 2017, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted its 14th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. This year’s event, titled “U.S. Development Assistance Under Challenge,” brought together development and foreign affairs experts to discuss the challenges presented by the Trump administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget and organizational restructuring, along with the intransigency of bringing stability and economic growth to fragile states.
On August 3-5, 2016, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted its 13th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. At this year’s event, titled “The future of work in the developing world,” Brookings experts and colleagues discussed how the twin forces of technological change and globalization are reshaping the global economy.
On August 5-7, 2015, the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted its 12th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. Participants discussed how the emergence of a new digital economy is changing the ways in which businesses and development organizations engage in emerging and developing countries.
On August 7-9, 2014, Brookings Global Economy and Development hosted the 11th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. This year’s roundtable theme, “Jump-Starting Inclusive Growth in the Most Difficult Environment,” brought together development experts to discuss what strategies exist for promoting inclusive economic growth in the world’s most least-developed economies.
On August 4-6, 2013, global leaders, entrepreneurs and practitioners gathered in Aspen, Colorado for the 10th anniversary of the Brookings Blum Roundtable on Poverty. This year participants discussed and debated the role of the private sector in the post-2015 development agenda and how private sector investment may help solve the financing gap that confronts many development challenges.
The 2012 Brookings Blum Roundtable examined how technology and innovation can be seized to help solve some of the world’s most pressing global development challenges. Discussions focused on the roles of recent innovations, new media, and private/public sector development in advancing policy debates, forging global efforts and identifying the most promising pathways for reform.
At the 2011 Brookings Blum Roundtable, experts explored how best to reframe and modernize global development cooperation. They discussed the need for investment, rigorous evaluation and collaboration on achieving technological breakthroughs — from mobile to green growth — and the G-20’s role in reshaping the global development agenda.
The 2010 Brookings Blum Roundtable explored the relationship between efforts to promote aid effectiveness and the anticipated shape of the global development agenda over the next decade. The roundtable discussions provided an opportunity to look beyond questions of increased resources for anti-poverty services to the effectiveness of different approaches and to systemic issues associated with the delivery of development outcomes.
The 2009 Brookings Blum Roundtable addressed efforts to restore sustainable and balanced global economic growth and reduce the risks of climate change. The roundtable discussions forged sustainable solutions to solve the climate crisis in a way that revitalizes the global economy and lifts the lives of the poor.
At the 2008 annual gathering, Brookings Blum Roundtable participants examined the common challenges between climate change and development. The roundtable established a solid foundation for collaboration among the climate change and development communities and fostered ideas for policy action.
The 2007 meeting of the Brookings Blum Roundtable explored development’s changing face, drawing on the perspectives of some of the leading new players as well as those with experience in the official sector and those engaged in cross-cutting analysis. Participants evaluated both the immense potential of these new players and the challenges they face in achieving sustained and effective solutions to poverty and fundamental insecurity.
In 2006, the Brookings Blum Roundtable explored the complicated connections between poverty and insecurity. The roundtable examined the practical implications for public and private organizations operating in developing countries, identified areas of greatest need and highlighted best practices.
The Private Sector in the Fight Against Global Poverty
While the public agenda for global poverty alleviation has generally focused on boosting official aid assistance and canceling debt, the role of the private sector is also critical to economic development efforts. In 2005, the Brookings Blum Roundtable centered on the private sector’s role in global development, noting opportunities for further synergy, collaboration and impact, as well as challenges.
America’s role in the fight against global poverty was the focus of the first annual Brookings Blum Roundtable in 2004. Discussion centered on the imperative of political will, using foreign assistance, trade and financing for development, and how best to reinforce commitment and sustain development efforts.