Meridian 180 was launched in 2012, by a core group of scholars and policymakers from Japan, China and the United States under the direction of Annelise Riles at Cornell University. Its founders wanted to create the conditions for a richer transnational policy conversation, to promote a more cosmopolitan orientation among intellectual and policy elites and to lay the groundwork for the development of new paradigms of academic thought that benefits from the disparate views of thinkers in different parts of the Asia-Pacific region and in different disciplines and professions. The first conference addressed a variety of policy issues raised by Japan’s Tohoku earthquake of March 2011, from strategies of economic recovery to questions of the evaluation of scientific evidence concerning the nuclear disaster. Since that time, our membership has grown to over 800 leading academics, policy-makers and professionals.