The OECD Forum, a major international conference for societal discussion, is meeting once again in Paris on 31 May and 1 June. The main theme of this year’s forum is increasing productivity in a manner that allows everyone to benefit from economic growth. The range of topics is broad, extending from the future of work to integrating migrants and cities of the future. The forum will focus on the groups that are most affected by the pressures of global social and economic change: migrants, children and young people, as well as women and older people.
The annual forum hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) brings together experts from government, business, civil society and academia. Nearly 80 panel discussions, presentations and events will be held during the two-day event. Finland is one of the five partner countries at this year’s forum; three experts from Sitra will be attending and contributing to the discussions. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka will be participating in the ministerial meetings being held in conjunction with the forum.
Mari Pantsar and Sir Nicholas Stern to discuss the circular economy
Climate change is one of universal themes of the forum. Mari Pantsar, who leads the Resource-wise and carbon-neutral society theme area at Sitra, will be a member of the main panel on the circular economy theme on 1 June. Other members of the panel include Sir Nicholas Stern, an economist and one of the world’s foremost climate influencers. The expert panel will address the topic of how the circular economy can promote economic growth within the limits of the earth’s carrying capacity and how furthering a circular economy and preventing climate change should be taken into account in legislation.
Pantsar says that Finland has already sets its sights well into the future, with the public and private sectors working together to find solutions that will bring about systemic change. “The world desperately needs trailblazers, because the climate crisis means that societies have to reduce their emissions,” she explains. “The circular economy is a solution to this problem. A circular economy is also a safe choice, since along with solving the climate crisis it will provide Finland with thousands of jobs and billions in added value.”
The action plan for the circular economy being compiled in Finland has also attracted a lot of international interest. “We have everything needed to become a leading circular economy country and share our competence with others. However, we have to be quicker than the others because we aren’t the only country interested in being the leader,” warns Pantsar.
Oras Tynkkynen, senior advisor at the Resource-wise and carbon-neutral society theme at Sitra, is also attending the forum.
Digitisation is changing societies
Although the increasing pace of digitisation makes a lot of things possible, it also presents challenges. While many benefits of the internet can be seen and felt, some of these new phenomena receive less attention. For example, what questions are associated with the privacy and security of personal data? And how can we guarantee that everyone will benefit – not just certain groups?
Madis Tiik, a senior advisor from Sitra, will take part in a discussion concerning the opportunities and challenges of digitisation. “The national data exchange layer, as well as the social welfare and healthcare reform and the related digitisation occurring in the social and healthcare sector, are definitely good examples of this discussion in Finland,” says Tiik.
How can you participate?
You can watch the OECD Forum panels and speeches live on the forum website. You can follow the discussion on social media via the official OECD twitter account @OECDlive and the hashtag #OECDwk. Read tweets from Sitra’s representative Oras Tynkkynen at @orastynkkynen.