The year 2015 marks 40 years since the first Group of Seven (G7) summit in Rambouillet, France. However, the group’s persistence does not necessarily imply significant contributions to governance. Costly, high-level meetings that lead to policy promises contribute little if members do not ultimately follow through on their leaders’ commitments. If the G7, formerly Group of Eight (G8), policy makers want to solve fundamental global problems such as violence, terrorism, economic crises, inequality, health crises and climate change, assessing whether members comply with their leaders’ commitments and understanding what causes compliance to increase is essential work.