• First event of its kind focused on values within the G20 ecosystem
  • Summit is the culmination of months of work by values experts globally
  • V20 Communiqué to follow, with values-based policy recommendations for world leaders

Riyadh, 11 November 2020 – The inaugural summit of the Values 20 (V20) group concluded yesterday with a clear message to world leaders about making values central to policy-making.

V20 is a global community of values experts and practitioners that has formed during the Saudi presidency of G20, to help leaders find people-centered public policy solutions based on values. V20 hopes, in the long run, to become an official G20 engagement group.

With few days remaining until the G20 Leaders’ Summit, a global online audience of 2,200 saw speakers comprising values experts, business leaders, government officials and others explore the pivotal role of values in helping create a better future aligned with the key 2020 G20 theme of creating a better future in which all people can “live, work, and thrive” in dignity.

Master of Ceremonies, Jason Silva, Futurist and Host of Nat Geo’s “Brain Games” and “Origins”, opened the Summit by saying: “It is time to empower value centered humans.”

The summit’s Act One, on ‘Values In The World’, began with V20 Chair Dimah Al Sheikh noting the “spark that united an amazing group of people from around the globe with a passion to understand and to value ‘values’”. Dr Ghazi Binzagr, V20 Sherpa said: “the 21st century has seen a resurgence in the importance of values.” He added: “by bringing values back to the forefront of the global conversation, it is important to make them a more tangible concept.”

H.E. Majid bin Abdullah Al Qassabi, Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media, Saudi Arabia, said: “If we bring these actors together around a set of shared values, we can lay the foundations for deeper economic, social and cultural transformation.”

H.E. Dr. Fahad Almubarak, Minister of State, Member of the Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers and Saudi G20 Sherpa added: “Having the V20 as a non-official engagement group further reassures the importance of the values within the civil society discussions held during this G20 presidency year.”

Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Sherpa of the B20 official engagement group, from Saudi Arabia, welcomed the introduction of V20 and noted that “in every crisis, there emerges a greater realization for business, government, citizens to work together with a shared purpose.”

Speakers included founding members of the V20. Richard Barrett, Managing Director of the Academy for the Advancement of Human Values said: “We can’t use information from the past to make decisions about the future. We need a stronger anchor, and that is our values.” Rudolph Lohmeyer, Partner at Kearney said: “A tremendous amount of change is happening in a compressed period of time, and these changes are remarkable.” Tor Eneroth, Director of Cultural Transformation, Barrett Values Centre noted the importance of values-based education. He emphasized “creating systems where we become more aware of who we are and what’s important for us, because if we don’t understand that, we will still be blinded by our subconscious beliefs or needs.”

Act Two of the Summit – Values In Action – saw the Misk Foundation’s CEO, Dr Badr Albadr identify that young people “have the values that will enable them to become leaders, to become the architects, not the tenants of the future.” He noted that Misk’s Global Youth Index showed that young people are optimistic and confident that they can change the world for the better. “These are the values of a prosperous future, for youth and for all”, he added. Dr Albadr concluded by saying that “the future is in the making, but through building character based on values, young people will be empowered to write a better future.”

Cecilia Attias, Founder of the Cecilia Attias Foundation for Women and co-founder of The New York Forum Institute, spoke of her optimism: “The COVID-19 pandemic might help us understand our differences and accept them and our future will be much brighter for all our kids.”

Two Nobel Peace Laureates spoke. Ouided Bouchamaoui, said: “A lesson we can learn from Tunisia is that we accepted tolerance, different ideas and the challenge to find a peaceful solution for our country.” Leymah Roberta Gbowee, from Liberia, said: “Our collective humanity has never really been in focus until now. If we harness those values of responsibility and solidarity, we’re on a path to bring the world back stronger and better.”

The V20 Summit concluded with a discussion of V20’s legacy for future years and a handover to individuals from organizations in Italy (the country holding the G20 presidency in 2021). V20 founding member, Dr. Manuel Schubert, spoke of several legacy elements that will “help V20 to grow and thrive as a community” including “a V20 charter, which contains key principles, rules and procedures to govern our work as V20 organisers across the years.”

Italian V20 member Dr Marisa Faccio referred to her role in organizing V20 next year: “We will devote ourselves in the endeavour to make 2021 a year that will bring the V20 closer to the realization of its vision, amplifying the extraordinary work you’ve led this year.”

Concluding the summit, V20 Chair Dimah Al Sheikh said that she was “deeply thankful” to the organizations around the world who had helped form V20, noted the important milestones achieved in a short period, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and added that “the jewel is the people in the V20 community, who have made this effort together, and who have all agreed to commit 100% to being part of V20 next year.” She concluded by saying of V20’s enduring legacy: “May the seeds bloom under the Italian presidency in 2021, and blossom under the Indian presidency in 2022.”

Master of Ceremonies, Jason Silva, brought the V20 Summit to a close with a spoken word performance, saying: “The V20 Summit has highlighted the values that must be forged to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It’s been a magnificent exploration of the ways that we must show up for one another to create a world that is more inclusive, that gives more opportunity for those that need it, to create a world with more compassion, of integrity and heightened imagination.”

The Values 20 Communiqué will be available on the Values 20 website shortly.