The Constructive Powers Initiative (CPI) seeks to bring new thinking, resources, and political will to bear on regional security challenges that have global significance, and help make existing global governance institutions work better.

Beginning in 2011, the initiative was launched on the premise that existing global governance institutions while necessary are not sufficient to address new and emerging security challenges effectively. The world has a clear need for cooperation and new partnerships among capable, concerned, and constructive countries, countries that are not “great powers” by traditional definition, but nonetheless have strategic interests in a stable and prosperous world. These countries have a history of creative diplomacy, and the capacity to make a positive difference, particularly through cooperation and partnerships with other constructive powers. Participants in the CPI include Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey.

At Toronto, we envision the workshop being in two parts. The first part will explore emerging political/security/governance issues of common interest and, where possible, identify medium-term global trends and prospects for further collaboration, research and policy development among participants. The second part will aim to deepen participants’ understanding of the policy issues created by internet governance, including cyber security in its various forms, as well as digital diplomacy’s impact on global governance and foreign policy. The intention for both parts is to find common ground and to explore the feasibility of developing inter-regional coalitions of the policy- and research-willing.

The workshop’s specific questions and themes will include:

  • What are the world’s medium-term foreign policy trends and challenges?
  • Are the world’s multilateral governance institutions up to the task of managing 21st century’s complex problems? What are some other multilateral or minilateral arrangements that can make the existing global governance machinery more efficient?
  • What will the future of internet governance look like? What should it look like? What are your country’s interests in the way the internet is governed?
  • What are the security implications of current and future internet governance arrangements?
  • What challenges do digital media and the internet pose to conducting diplomacy? How are diplomats and foreign ministries changing the way they do business (for example, with respect to open-source policy formation)?