P4G launched its Global Hub last month by welcoming international leaders from government, business and civil society to the Initiative’s inaugural Board Meeting in Washington, DC. Over 40 attendees from P4G's eight partner countries – Denmark, Kenya, Ethiopia, The Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Colombia and Mexico – and organizational partners C40 Cities, Global Green Growth Institute, World Economic Forum and World Resources Institute, joined a discussion that underscored P4G’s mission to support innovative public-private partnerships to advance solutions for food and agriculture, water, energy, healthy cities and the circular economy.
The meeting was co-hosted by P4G Board of Directors co-chair Ulla Tørnæs, Minister of Development Cooperation, Denmark and Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, which is the managing partner for P4g.
“Wherever I go, whether home or abroad, when I meet businesses, NGOs, heads of states of government, international organizations and civil society, I have encountered nothing but huge interest in and support for P4G,” Tørnæs remarked.
Steer echoed this international and cross-sectoral captivation with P4G by emphasizing its necessity: “In today’s world, the important initiatives that make the biggest differences are actually multi-stakeholder. They involve the public sector, they involve the private sector. What P4G is trying to do, and will succeed in doing, is to identify some of the most exciting ideas out there and support them, elevate them, encourage them, hold them accountable and move them forward.”
Board members from the public sector emphasized how P4G’s network will be essential to delivering results based on what governments around the world are working to make possible. Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury of Kenya Henry Rotich noted P4G’s foundational role in implementing Kenya’s 5-year sustainable development agenda. Ethiopia's Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Gemedo Dalle Tussie emphasized how collaboration is the only way to achieve any world-wide goals, and thus the “increasing importance of public-private partnerships to help move green growth focus towards shared areas of concern.”
Representing the private sector, Novozymes President and CEO Peder Holk Nielsen expressed that “the SDGs are an inventory of business opportunities,” crystallizing the fundamental relationship between innovation, development and growth. Nielsen continued with his vision for P4G to occupy this area of crossover – and look to “spark interest, grow businesses, create jobs and support the SDG agenda.”
From civil society, C40 Cities Executive Director Mark Watts remarked, “While we’re focused on getting political commitment, political commitment alone cannot deliver the scale and pace of change that’s necessary to tackle the sustainable development goals. Above all else, we’re going to need public-private partnerships to deliver the projects that governments are now making possible. And that’s what I think P4G really uniquely offers as an opportunity.”
Each speaker, from their perspectives at the public, private and organizational levels, shared their understanding that the organizations and governments they represent cannot pursue pervasive success without the buy-in, trust and thought leadership of those on adjacent levels.