About Meridian 180

Meridian 180 is dedicated to transforming the Asia-Pacific dialogue—an absolute prerequisite for transformative policy change. Founded in 2012 and coordinated by the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture at the Cornell University Law School in Ithaca, New York, Meridian 180 is a nonpartisan multidisciplinary community of academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the Pacific Rim and the world.

With about 670 distinguished members, Meridian 180 gives voice to a wide range of views from the Asia-Pacific region. Members delve into significant issues – from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the rule of law in China – and share ideas via our multilingual online platform, e-book series, policy papers and briefings.

Our ambitious goal: to incubate and nurture new ways of thinking that will lead to the best policy solutions for the next generation of Pacific-Rim leaders. Compared to the magnitude of the region’s problems, the current state of the Asia-Pacific dialogue is impoverished with the result of continued policy stalemates, spiraling misunderstandings and little hope for “game- changing” breakthroughs.

To catalyze long-‐term, transformative policy change in the Asia-‐Pacific, Meridian 180 is launching programs that will engage transnational networks of experts including scholars and policy-makers in collaborative explorations of critical policy questions and issues, offer novel solutions for those issues and construct new ways of thinking about longstanding intellectual and policy challenges taking place in the region.

Our most important feature to achieve these important goals is harnessed in the power of translation. Meridian 180 has the unique strength of rapid turnaround translation and dissemination which speeds the exchange of ideas. Unlike academic journals and conferences, where responses of the academic community to new ideas lag behind discoveries for years, the ability to accurately and quickly translate members’ thoughts into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English makes Meridian’s online and face-to-face forums exceptional platforms for robust real-time exchange that fits into the lives of its busy membership. Because our on-line Forums are only accessible to members, participants express their thoughts freely, making Forum discussions deliberative, incisive and, at times, controversial. The new thinking germinated on-line will further be cultivated in face‐to-face meetings, and blossom into Meridian’s annual Idea Summits.

By providing a groundbreaking platform for the exchange of new ideas which are critically needed to effect change in the Asia-Pacific, Meridian 180’s mandate and ability to provide a diverse and technically advanced platform to have frank and intensive discussions that draw on the breadth of its members’ collective experience and expertise makes it a highly valuable resource. Most importantly, these dialogues demonstrate that language and distance are not obstacles to deep intellectual engagement and lasting change.