New Approaches to Economic Challenges



The OECD launched its “New Approaches to Economic Challenges” (NAEC) initiative back in 2012 to reflect on the lessons from the financial crisis and to look into the shortcomings of analytical models, and to promote and adopt new policy tools and data. Led by the Chief of Staff and Sherpa Gabriela Ramos, the initiative has become more relevant than ever providing a space to question traditional ideas and methods as well as challenge group-think and compartmentalised approaches.


Debate the Issues: New Approaches to Economic Challenges

To capitalise on the new international resolve epitomised by COP21 and the agreement on the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a renewed effort to promote new policy thinking and new approaches to the great challenges ahead. Responding to new challenges means we have to adopt more ambitious frameworks, design more effective tools, and propose more precise policies that will take account of the complex and multidimensional nature of the challenges. The goal is to develop a better sense of how economies really work and to articulate strategies which reflect this understanding. The OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) exercise challenges our assumptions and our understanding about the workings of the economy. This collection from OECD Insights summarises opinions from inside and outside the Organisation on how NAEC can contribute to achieving the SDGs, and describes how the OECD is placing its statistical, monitoring and analytical capacities at the service of the international community. The authors also consider the transformation of the world economy that will be needed and the long-term “tectonic shifts” that are affecting people, the planet, global productivity, and institutions.

"A Policy Pathfinder for the Sustainable Development Goals" by Ron Gass








New Perspectives


NAEC is a journey with concrete deliverables:

‌ NAEC Reports:

 NAEC Projects: Learn more about the deliverables of the 29 projects undertaken as part of NAEC.

NAEC ROUNDTABLE                    

14 December 2016 - OECD, Paris

The OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) Initiative launched in 2012 is a comprehensive organisation-wide reflection process to renew and strengthen the OECD’s analytical frameworks, policy instruments and tools in the face of the rapidly evolving and challenging social and economic environment. The initiative has helped to improve policy analysis by enhancing the understanding of the complex and interconnected nature of economic, social and environmental systems, by identifying synergies (e.g. between growth, inequality, stability and the environment) and by developing better ways to manage policy trade-offs and complementarities in a multidisciplinary context.  NAEC is also mainstreaming the use of new data, methodologies and approaches (e.g. complexity, strategic foresight and behavioural economics) across the OECD.

NAEC is by definition an ongoing process, and this timely event will assess our progress to date and examine how the broader economic and policy debate has evolved in the ten years since the financial crisis. Economies may have recovered, but the scars of the crisis linger. Public trust is at a low ebb as conventional analyses are struggling to explain and address ongoing economic, social and environment challenges. At the same time, a quiet revolution is taking in the social sciences offering new analytical techniques, methods and data and new ways of thinking about how economies work.

Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England, Professor Alan Kirman, Director of Studies at EHESS, John Kay from the Financial Times and Dennis Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, amongst others will join a discussion (including a Roundtable with the Secretary-General, the Chief of Staff and Sherpa and Directors) on how to promote integrated and innovative approaches to address some of our most pressing challenges. The aim is to maintain momentum among the OECD community to advance our thinking and raise the bar of our analysis so that together we can devise better policies for better lives. 

To register: 


The OECD and the Making of the Economic Growth Paradigm

A collection of historic photographs, archive documents and records highlighting the evolution of the OECD thinking on issues related to growth, the environment, inclusiveness and future challenges.

Click here to see the exhibit.


29-30 September 2016, Paris

The workshop, organised by the OECD, the European Commission and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) Oxford, discussed ideas emerging from the theory of complexity. Complex systems analysis, simulation, systems science methods and big data capabilities offer new opportunities to enhance understanding of economic issues that include preventing financial crises, managing systemic risk and interpreting economic growth as a process of evolving ecosystems of technologies and industrial capabilities. Academics, economists and policymakers discussed state-of-the-art policy applications of complexity and made the case for greater use of complexity in policymaking.

Click here for presentations, blogs and publications supporting the workshop.


The Seminar Series offers a programme of discussion on key issues and new OECD work and provides a space for fresh thinking.


23/01 – Fabrice Murtin - OECD TRUSTLAB - [Watch the webcast]

25/01 – OECD/Utrecht University/Bertelsmann Stiftung - Robotics and the Future of Work from a Multidisciplinary Perspective - [Watch the webcast]

02/02 – Veronica Boix Mansilla – Educating Students for the Future - [Watch the webcast]

15/02 – Joint AIA/NAEC seminar - Global Governance and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Complexity, Systems Thinking and Human Well-being - [Watch the webcast]

27/02 – Yves Joanette and Raj Long - Addressing Dementia – The World’s Largest Unsolved Health Problem and a Growing Economic Challenge - [Watch the webcast]

28/02 – NAEC/GOV : OPSI Systems Thinking Workshop - [Watch the webcast]

09/03 – Guy Standing – The Precariat and the Universal Basic Income - [Watch the webcast]

28/03 – Mark Blyth – Preserving Globalisation in an Age of Discontent - [Watch the webcast]


Should you have any questions or queries, please contact




Gabriela Ramos,

Special Counsellor to the OECD Secretary-General and G20 Sherpa



[download the brochure] 

Final NAEC Synthesis Report


[download the report]