Come November, Australia will be the ninth country to host the G20’s assembly of the world’s most powerful leaders.

Representing 19 nations and the European Union, they will be accompanied by an expected 4000 delegates and similar numbers in media and security.

The Head of the School of Government and International Relations within the Griffith Business School, Professor Andrew O’Neil, hopes the G20 is the catalyst for the next phase of positive social, cultural, political and economic development for Brisbane, Queensland and Australia.

“Everyone knows how much Brisbane changed after hosting Expo in 1988. That experience set in train the processes that led to the cosmopolitan city we have today,” he says.

“The G20 is another invaluable opportunity and that’s why Griffith University is taking the lead to explain what the G20 is, why Australia is involved and why the decisions that will be made in Brisbane – on global tax reform, big investment and infrastructure choices, addressing corruption and so on – are such a big deal.”

Professor O’Neil is part of a specially formed team of Griffith academics whose expertise covers all aspects of the G20 and who have devised a summit engagement agenda.

This features a series of academic workshops generating knowledge of the G20’s role in international governance, as well as outreach activities with the aim of attracting government and business representatives within Brisbane.

Underpinning these activities is analysis of how the G20 fits within the context of Asia’s meteoric rise.

Professor O’Neil says the central role in the G20 of China, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan represents a shifting tide of international economic power which strongly favours Australia’s geographical proximity. This is highlighted by the conclusion or near-completion of high profile Free Trade Agreements with key regional economic partners.

Professor O’Neil says the legacy of the G20 cannot be understated and believes Griffith University is poised to be an influential player in the formation of that future.