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Annual Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM)

CID's flagship event brings together leaders and thinkers from development, government, business, and philanthropy. GEM identifies the major issues and ideas that could potentially revolutionize development paradigms but are not yet being discussed in the development sphere.

The topic of GEM20 was Re-encountering Homo Moralis: Making Sense of a Seemingly Irrational World. Presentations and discussions explored underlying concepts that help better explain human behavior, how these concepts relate to contemporary issues of the day, and what feasible policies can address these issues. Some questions that we explored:

  • How have traditional models of human behavior, based on rational self-interest, failed development?
  • What are the roles of reason and empirical evidence in a “post-truth” world?
  • How do we implement better policies with shared support and common values in the context of populism, fake news, and anti-globalism?

Keynote speakers included Hugo Mercier, cognitive scientist and author of The Enigma of Reason; and Michele J. Gelfand, professor, Director of the Culture Lab at the University of Maryland, and author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World; and Michael Kremer, Abhijit V. Banerjee, and Ester Duflo, professors and joint recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2019.  

Highlights from the GEM20 Conference

GEM Foundations

Alongside CID’s annual conference, the Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM), in 2020, we launched a new effort, GEM Foundations, which is an invitation-only session particularly geared toward enhancing philanthropic impact globally and explore partnerships with organizations that align with CID's mission. Under the leadership of the CID’s Building State Capability program, the inaugural session convened a group of leading philanthropic foundations to share their knowledge, reflect upon their experiences, draw lessons, and discuss strategies for improving their organizational capabilities. We plan to continue these annual gatherings alongside GEM and to expand the community of practice by hosting other foundations meetings throughout the year.