Background

The Global Public Policy Institute

The Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) opened its Berlin office in October 2003.

GPPi was founded to develop innovative approaches to effective and accountable governance, promote political and social entrepreneurship and foster a strategic community that brings together the public sector, civil society as well as business.

GPPi is a European-based think tank with a global outlook. GPPi’s founders all experienced the vibrant think tank culture in the US, where they received parts of their graduate education and gained part of their professional experience working among others for different UN agencies, the World Bank and the Brookings Institution.

GPPi seeks to contribute to a more vibrant think tank culture and improved strategic capacity in Germany and Europe. GPPi seeks to support a transatlantic alliance with a global outlook and a focus on contributing to global governance.  

GPPi’s work cuts across the divides that all too often still separate traditional foreign policy (great power politics and international security) and issues such as development, the environment and human rights. GPPi’s work places a particular emphasis on cross-cutting topics such as leadership and organizational learning.

Since its inception, GPPi has conducted a variety of research, consulting and debate projects, released numerous publications, and hosted a number of events through the GPPi Discussion Series. In March 2006, due to an increase in both the size and number of projects, GPPi moved its offices from the Palais am Festungsgraben to centrally located Reinhardtstr. 15. In February 2013, after again outgrowing its office, GPPi moved down the street to Reinhardtstr. 7.

The Global Public Policy Project

GPPi builds on the work of the Global Public Policy Project. Based in Washington DC, this project was undertaken in 1999 under the leadership of Wolfgang Reinicke, who was then with the World Bank’s Corporate Strategy Unit. As part of the UN Vision Project, it was sponsored by the UN Foundation and received additional support from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Aventis Foundation. The goal of the UN Vision Project was to provide strategic guidance to assist the United Nations in reflecting on its global role at the turn of the Millennium.

The Global Public Policy Project's team included Jan Martin Witte, Thorsten Benner, Charlotte Streck and Sören Buttkereit. They commissioned about 20 case studies on new forms of collaboration between the public sector, civil society, and business. Based on these case studies, the project prepared a report for the UN Secretary General on the contribution of global public policy networks to addressing global challenges.  

The Global Public Policy Project’s final report (Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance) was published by IDRC in early 2000.

UN Secretary Kofi Annan took up suggestions from the Global Public Policy Project in his Millennium Report (We, the Peoples. The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century). He stressed that "formal institutional arrangements may often lack the scope, speed and informational capacity to keep up with the rapidly changing global agenda. Mobilizing the skills and other resources of diverse global actors, therefore, may increasingly involve forming loose and temporary global policy networks that cut across national, institutional and disciplinary lines."

In the following years, the team continued its work on a part-time basis as a "virtual think tank" publishing on global governance and undertaking smaller consulting projects. In 2002, the members of the Global Public Policy Project decided to launch the Global Public Policy Institute.

Based in Berlin, GPPi is a non-profit organization under German law.

From Washington to Berlin

Headquarters of the GPP Project in 1999-2000
1610 Crittenden Street
Washington, DC





GPPi's first home in Berlin
The Palais am Festungsgraben













GPPi annual retreat 2011
Schloss Gollwitz in Brandenburg an der Havel, just outside of Berlin