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Conversation with Dennis Snower, President, Global Solutions Initiative and Colm Kelly, Global Leader, Purpose, Policy and Corporate Responsibility, PwC
Moderated by Declan Curry, Business Journalist and Conference Speaker

Keynote by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD)

As the world continues to face tremendous upheaval wrought by the global pandemic, the urgent need for policy makers, business leaders and civil society representatives to come together has perhaps never been greater. COVID-19 has accelerated and exacerbated the many underlying trends that were already impacting communities around the world and has created a period of radical uncertainty. Communities and economies around the globe have to improve their resilience to withstand and absorb shocks and to recover from them. For that, many policy areas need a realignment.
The challenges we face, among them rising inequalities, climate change or the lack of trust in and between governments, are symptomatic of a deeper root cause that was true before the pandemic and unless action is taken, will continue to be true once the current crisis has passed. The economy is no longer working for society. Every aspect of the current economic system has been intentionally designed and geared towards growing GDP rather than ensuring the wellbeing of people and the sustainability of our planet. Likewise, businesses operating in the economic system have been intentionally designed to deliver profit against shareholder expectations rather than meeting broader stakeholder needs. We have a design problem – and it is contributing to the challenges we are experiencing rather than addressing them. We need to put people and our planet back at the centre of decision making and focus on systems-level change that will enable us to arrive at coherent responses to the profound challenges shaping our future.
This session points out limitations of our current model and advocate changes that are required for a system that addresses the challenges rather than contributes to them.

Our economy should serve human needs. For that, it must not be entirely geared towards economic progress but has to improve social progress and environmental sustainability as well. This is the vision of a recoupled economy: where social, economic and environmental prosperity grow together and not apart. Achieving a recoupled economy requires complementary action in policy and business; a commonality of purpose. This session discusses elements and examples of a recoupled economy. It determines implications for policy-makers and business leaders and how their actions can support and reinforce each other. It will also address specific ways in which our economic system must evolve in order to align policy decisions and business action to achieve a resilient, sustainable recoupled future.

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