The Think-20 was initiated by the Mexican G20 presidency. The first Think-20 meeting took place in February 2012 in Mexico City, where think tank representatives from 15 countries—including Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, and South Korea—came together to discuss the Mexican G20 Presidency in the run-up to the leaders' meeting in Los Cabos.
During the Russian G20 Presidency, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration continued the Think-20 process. A meeting took place in Moscow in December 2012.
In Australia, the Lowy Institute for International Policy organized the Think20 process. A Think20 meeting was organized in December 2013 with representatives from 30 think tanks. In advance of the meeting, participants were asked to submit papers identifying “specific actions and achievable outcomes that the G20 should pursue in 2014.” These policy recommendations were discussed during the December meeting and subsequently published as Think20 Papers 2014: Policy Recommendations for the Brisbane G20 Summit.
Think-20 has a different character than other engagement groups. The Think-20 is not an advocacy platform that campaigns around specific issues, nor does it seek to negotiate an agreed set of recommendations on the issues to be progressed.
Instead, the Think-20 serves as an "ideas bank" for G20. For this purpose, T20 organizes the analysis of global think tanks and high-level experts in order to provide analytical depth to ongoing G20 discussions and produce ideas to help the G20 on delivering concrete and sustainable policy measures.
T20 conclusions are presented to G20 working groups, minister committees and leaders summit as policy-options, not recommendations.
The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) will lead the Think-20 outreach group during Turkey’s G20 Presidency in 2015.