OECD’s Gurría calls for overhaul of economic thinking to address global challenges

gurria.jpgThis article is brought to you in association with OECD.


The challenges we face in our era of rapid, disruptive change are daunting, but we are starting to develop the tools, techniques and concepts to meet them, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said.

Speaking at a NAEC conference on Averting Systemic Collapse, he said: “Our economic systems should change, as they are destroying our environment, threatening life on earth. They are also creating huge social challenges, and the high level of inequalities is impacting social cohesion and trust.

“We need to completely overhaul our economic thinking and the policy advice that flows from it.”

He added: “Safeguarding our common future requires a coherent, systemic approach based on putting people at the centre of climate policy; pursuing environmental justice within and between countries; and ensuring long-term prospects for future generations. We need an economy that puts the well-being of people and the planet at the centre”.

The OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) initiative brings together leading authorities and research institutions to challenge traditional thinking. OECD Chief of staff and G20 Sherpa Gabriela Ramos, who leads the initiative, said NAEC findings confirm the need for economic policy to give equal importance to equity and environmental sustainability as to efficiency objectives – and that they need to be integrated from the outset.

“NAEC,” she said, “is not an academic exercise. It is about how do we help produce better policy answers.”

At the two-day conference, economists and other experts from leading institutions and disciplines ranging from climatology to palaeontology agreed that fundamental shifts in current policy approaches and ways of thinking would be needed to address the increasingly complex, interconnected and dynamic nature of global problems. Without an understanding of how our strained social, environmental and economic systems interact, the risks of a systemic collapse will increase.

Central to the discussions was the concept of systemic thinking. According to a draft report on Systemic Thinking for Policy Making, presented to the conference by the OECD and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a systems approach can help us understand critical linkages, synergies and trade-offs between issues generally treated separately, and thus reduce unintended consequences. It also helps us understand feedback loops and tipping points that traditional economic frameworks fail to capture.

Closer trade cooperation combined with robust land use strategies could, for instance, increase the resilience of global food markets to the impacts of climate change. Similarly, managing water, energy and land in a more integrated way – giving equal weight to each sector – would provide experts and policy-makers with a more precise understanding of the benefits and difficulties of meeting future demand for resources in a sustainable way.

Linking education and demographic change is cited in the report as another example of how research and policy can be guided by viewing issues holistically. Lifelong education strategies, starting from early childhood, can promote productive working lives and healthy ageing.

Michael Jacobs, Professorial Fellow at the University of Sheffield, said incremental changes to existing economic modelling and thinking are insufficient to tackle the deep challenges our economies now face. “We can’t anymore simply do supply-side reforms which make labour markets and planning systems more efficient and then a bit of ameliorative social and environmental policy after the event,” he said. “We have to build these objectives into the structure of the economy.”

In discussing how to build safeguards to economic, social and environmental shocks, the conference heard that resilience strategies could address systemic risk in more useful ways than traditional approaches based on risk management, which attempts to anticipate crises. Resilience strategies are concerned with how systems behave after disruption has hit and are based on the assumption that systems are complex and constantly evolving. To be effective such strategies have to encompass four functions – planning, absorption, recovery and adaptation.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Record-high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan: UN Report

China is among the 20 most innovative economies for the first time

Main results of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) – 18-19/10/2018

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

Is 2019 the beginning of the end for coal in Europe?

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Ozone on track to heal completely in our lifetime, UN environment agency declares on World Day.

Making the most of our ‘extra time’ – for ourselves and society

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Sudan: UN rights chief alarmed over ‘excessive force’, alleged use of live fire against protestors

7 steps to becoming a ‘CEO Academy’

The European Sting Cookie Policy

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

Palestinian students ‘compelled to drop dreams because of financial cuts’

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

The Linde Group Logo (Source: The Linde Group website, Press Services, 2018)

EU starts in-depth investigation of Linde-Praxair merger over competition concerns

EU–Canada Summit: strengthening the rules-based international order

Monday’s Daily Brief: UN chief talks climate action at G7, WFP official visits camp in Central African Republic, Deadly violence at Lesvos migrant centre, Security Council meets on AU-UN Darfur mission

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

MEPs adopt revised rules for road haulage operations in another EU country

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

US-North Korea summit ‘an important milestone’ towards denuclearization, says Guterres

UN chief laments ending of Cold War-era disarmament treaty

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

Global aid appeal targets more than 93 million most in need next year

FROM THE FIELD: Free tutorials in Mali, ‘a life-saver’ for Fatouma

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

Environmentalists have removed nearly 40 tonnes of trash from the Pacific

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Devastating storms like Hurricane Florence ‘unusual this far north’: UN weather agency

Nordic companies prove doing good is good for the bottom line

It’s time we took a seat ‘at your table’: Guterres calls on world youth to keep leading climate emergency response

This tiny new grain could save the planet

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

Why Europe’s high productive performance is discredited?

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Radio still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’: Guterres

This cheap, 700-year old solution could change billions of lives

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Let the Italians have it their way, it may be good for all Eurozone

The Council of Europe adopts Recommendation on young people’s access to rights

Infrastructure around the world is failing. Here’s how to make it more resilient

How young people are shaping the future of sustainable fashion

North Sea fisheries: MEPs back EU plan to sustain stocks of demersal species

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s