Since the term "civil society" first appeared in a summit document at the G8 Halifax Summit in 1995, these organizations have been particularly strategic about their involvement with summit activities. In the past decade, demonstrations and NGO campaigns around the summits have garnered their fair share of media attention, with far-reaching demonstrations becoming increasingly commonplace.
Historically, the G8's interaction with civil society groups can be divided into four general epochs:
1981-1994: Dialogue and interaction
1995-1997: Formal recognition
1998-2005: Well-structured cooperation
2006-present: Formal consultations
Since 2006, civil society organizations have been a mainstay at G8 Summits.
The G7 Research Group is an independent organization based at the University of Toronto. Founded in 1987, it is an international network of scholars, professionals and students that has as its mission to serve as the leading independent source of analysis on the G7. The group oversees the G7 Information Centre, which publishes, free of charge, research on the G7 and also publishes official documents issued by the G7.