This year’s media laden G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy has generated lots of opportunities for photo ups. It seems like not much has changed since the first meeting took place in 1975 at the Château de Rambouillet, just outside Paris. At the time, the G6 of the main industrialized democracies gathered to informally discuss the economic crisis plaguing the world in the early seventies.  Even though a more inclusive group, the G20, stole some of the G8’s thunder this year, at the top of the G8’s agenda was the global financial crisis.

This year’s G8 agenda has become steadily more ambitious than previous years.

Non-proliferation and terrorism, climate change and energy security, regional crises such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and development in Africa are some of the agenda’s priorities. And recent and upcoming events may yet force themselves on to the G8’s crowded lineup. 

But the biggest discussion around the summit is that of its future. What will be the future of the G8? Will it be the G14 the next time around?  Perhaps. As it stands, the summit of all summits is already including more observer nations on the table. And perhaps the G8 will move completely away from the informal discussions of yester years to an official assembly befitting the world order of today.  Until then, however, we will undoubtedly remember this year’s G8 Summit as the one that changed the course of history of all subsequent summits.


Read an article by CEO and President Michelle Bernard at this year’s G8 Summit magazine edited by Visiting Fellow Ana Carcani Rold.