By Martina Gmür*

With the new year just around the corner, I am proud to look back at the exciting and productive 2011 we had with the Global Agenda Councils.

Coming into its fourth year, the Network of the Global Agenda Councils has monitored and addressed many of the most important milestones and challenges of 2011. Over 1,200 experts – Members of our 79 Councils – shared their time and expertise to develop new models that address pressing issues ranging from the Eurozone crisis and youth unemployment to population growth, competitiveness and health. In the spirit of the advent season, I am pleased to share with you 12 success stories where our Network has made a difference in 2011.

In January, six Global Agenda Councils convened in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss how to unleash women’s potential to resolve major development challenges, including education, health, conflict and population growth.

Following the Annual Meeting, the Future of Government Council led a collaborative effort across the Network to develop recommendations on how emerging technologies will affect governments’ ability to execute and deliver. To read the report, click here.

In March, the devastating earthquake in Japan inspired the Design Innovation Council to create a smartphone application that visualizes energy use, thereby contributing to avoiding electricity blackouts in greater Tokyo.

In April, the Rule of Law Council travelled to Boston, Massachussetts, to co-host a half-day symposium with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, exploring contemporary challenges facing the international legal system.

GAC conferenceTo unlock Africa’s travel and tourism potential, the Aviation, Travel & Tourism Council flew to Cape Town for a meeting in May, addressing issues such as competitiveness, inclusive growth and climate change.

In June, the South-East Asia Council leveraged the World Economic Forum in East Asia in Jakarta to present its work on furthering ASEAN integration through leadership education, finance and sustainability to ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan.

In July, the Conflict Prevention Council and the Africa Team brought together experts from around the world in a virtual conference featuring Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe, who gave his personal account of the negotiations that led to the country’s inclusive government.

GAC meetingIn August, during the seventh World Ageing and Generations Congress in St Gallen, Switzerland, the Ageing and Population Growth Councils shared timely recommendations on how society can adapt to demographic change as the world’s population surpasses 7 billion people.

In September, to mark the UN High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, New York City welcomed the Chronic Diseases & Well-Being Council for the launch of their concept, “Wellness Week”.

In October, during the Summit on the Global Agenda in Abu Dhabi, the Fiscal Crises Council collaborated with experts from other Councils to develop a comprehensive strategy to resolve the Eurozone crisis.

In November, the Social Innovation Council published a five-page Q&A roundtable article on impact investing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

In December, Geneva welcomed the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons Council as panellists, advocates and expert contributors to the seventh Review Conference of the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention.

Martina Gmür*Martina Gmür is Senior Director of the Global Agenda Council Team at the World Economic Forum.