Coffees of the Secretary-General

 


Since 2010 some of the world’s foremost thinkers–economists, historians, environmentalists, writers, artists, photographers–have come to the OECD to meet Secretary-General Angel Gurría and chat about the world over a relaxing cup of coffee. 

People like Yanis Varoufakis, Mariana Mazzucato and Thomas Piketty, or indeed photographer Sebastiao Salgado, who challenge conventional wisdom, provoke fresh ways of thinking, and, like the OECD, are passionate about the future.  After coffee, the conversation then opens out into a lively discussion with a packed audience of OECD experts. Launched in November 2010, the Coffees of the Secretary-General are a stimulating and enriching way of inspiring better policies for better lives.

Previous invitees to the Coffees of the Secretary-General

Martin Jacques

"Understanding the Rise of China: How to Make Sense of it from a Western Perspective"

Read the full transcript here

Best-selling author of "When China Rules the World," Martin Jacques is an academic and a journalist for the Guardian and the New Statesman. He was a co-founder of the think-tank Demos. 

 

Lord Robert Skidelsky

"The Risks of Austerity in Times of Slowdown"

Read the full transcript here

A British economic historian, Lord Skidelsky is the author of a major, award-winning, three-volume biography of British economist John Maynard Keynes.

Sebastião Salgado

"Presentation of project Genesis and Instituto Terra"

Read the full transcript here

A social documentary photographer, photojournalist and environment advocate, Salgado has travelled in over 120 countries for his photographic projects. He has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2001.

Alan Kirman

"The Crisis in Economic Theory: How we got here and possible ways out"

Read the full transcript here

Professor emeritus of Economics at the University of Aix-Marseille III and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Alan Kirman is a member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He was awarded the Humboldt Prize in Germany. 

Yanis Varoufakis

“There is no such thing as a Debt Crisis: The Euro Crisis, Asia's Woes and America's Dilemma in a Global Context”

Read the full transcript here

A Greek economist, academic and politician, Yanis Varoufakis served as the Greek Minister of Finance from January to July 2015. He has since appeared in numerous debates, lectures, and interviews. 

Johan Rockström

“The Science Case for a Global Transition to World Development within Planetary Boundaries”

Read the full transcript here   

Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a professor of environmental science at Stockholm University, Johan Rockström is an internationally recognised scientist for his work on global sustainability issue.

Dambisa Moyo

“A New Vision of Emerging Markets and their Policy Challenges.”

Read the full transcript here

The Zambian-born international economist and author who analyses the macroeconomy and global affairs visited the OECD on 14 October 2013.

 

Thomas Piketty

“Capital in the Twenty-First Century”

Read the full transcript here

A French economist whose work focuses on wealth and income inequality, Thomas Piketty is a professor (directeur d'études) at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and associate chair at the Paris School of Economics. 

Marianna Mazzucato

“The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths”

Read the full transcript here

Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London (UCL), Mariana Mazzucato is the author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths.

Boyan Slat

“How the Oceans Can Clean Themselves”

Read the full transcript here

A young entrepreneur, Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013, when he was 19. The Ocean Cleanup's mission is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

George Soros

"A Conversation with George Soros"

‌Read the full  transcript here

The Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, philanthropist, political activist and author visited the OECD on 8 April 2015. Soros is one of the world's most successful investors.

James K. Galbraith

"Inequality in the World Economy"

Read the full transcript here

An American economist who writes frequently for the popular press on economic topics, James K. Galbraith is currently a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and at the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin.

Samantha Cristoforetti

‌"FUTURA: 200 days on the International Space Station"

Read the full transcript here

European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti visited the OECD on 26 October 2015, sharing her experience at the International Space Station with OECD staff.   

Naomi Klein

"This Changes Everything"

Read the full transcript here

Canadian author, filmmaker and social activist Naomi Klein visited the OECD on 24 November 2015, giving a talk on why climate change changes everything.

Malene Rydahl

"What the Danes Can Teach Us About Happiness and Living Better Lives"

Read the full transcript here

Happiness expert Malene Rydahl visited the OECD on 24 February 2016, giving a talk and sharing insights from her book Heureux comme un danois ("Happy as a Dane"). 

Peter Georgescu

"Capitalists Arise: Defining the Problems and Consequences of Inequality"

Read the full transcript here‌

Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam, Peter Georgescu visited the OECD on 3 May 2016 and gave a talk on inequality. 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“Ethics for a Sustainable Globalised Economy”

Read the full transcript here

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of the Global Forum for Ethics in Business. He visited the OECD on 19 October 2016, giving a talk on ethics and sustainability.

Javier Goyeneche

‌“Because there is no Planet B”

Read the full transcript here

Javier Goyeneche is the founder of ECOALF, a fashion brand that turns discarded fishing nets, post-consumer plastic bottles and coffee into clothes. He visited the OECD on 19 October 2016, giving a talk on his sustainable fashion company.

Seth M. Siegel

“Can a Desert Nation Help Solve the World’s Water Shortage?”

Read the full transcript here

Seth M. Siegel is a businessman, activist and the author of Let There Be Water. He visited the OECD on 31 January 2017, giving a talk on solutions for water scarcity.

Fernando Reimers

“Educating Citizens in Uncertain Times”

Read the full transcript here

Fernando Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Master’s Program at Harvard University.

Mel Young

"Homeless World Cup: How football can change the world"

Read the full transcript here

The President of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young, is recognised as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and is a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum. He was named a Senior Fellow by the Ashoka Foundation in 2014.

 

Lucy Crehan

“Cleverlands: Lessons from Top Performing Education Systems”

Read the full transcript here

Lucy Crehan is a qualified teacher, an education explorer, and an international education consultant. After completing her studies, she set off on an ethnographic, educational exploration of the world’s ‘top-performing’ education systems. The result of this insightful voyage has been her book – Cleverlands – named one of The Economist’s ‘books of the year’ within a week of its release. 

HRH Princess Laurentien

"An interactive dialogue with children: A new perspective on Inclusive Growth"

Read the full transcript here

HRH Princess Laurentien is the founder of the Reading & Writing Foundation, which focuses on preventing and reducing literacy difficulties in the Netherlands and in Europe. She is also the founder of the Missing Chapter Foundation which facilitates open and equal dialogue between children and decision-makers. 

Ian Goldin

“Renaissance 2.0: Globalisation, Disruption and Policy”

Read the full transcript here

Ian Goldin is the author of 21 books including, ‘Age of Discovery: Navigating the Storms of Our Second Renaissance’. He is the Oxford University Professor of Globalisation and Development, the Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change and the founding Director of the Oxford Martin School