OECD World Forum in Busan to explore new ways to measure and foster progress


06/10/2009 - Assessing the progress and failings of our societies requires a far broader set of measures than just economic indicators. This is why international experts in fields as diverse as the environment, development,business and social affairs will be meeting in Busan, South Korea from 27-30 October 2009 to discuss and develop the statistics needed in a range of areas affecting quality of life.


The OECD’s World Forum on"Statistics, Knowledge and Policy: Charting progress, building visions, improving life" will respond to the call by G20 leaders at their September 2009 summit in Pittsburgh  for measurement methods “to better take into account the social and environmental dimensions of economic development.”


 The Forum will also aim to advance the recommendations of a commission of international experts set up by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.


Chaired by the Nobel prize-winning US economist, Joseph Stiglitz, the commission has called for a change in emphasis in how we measure economic performance and social progress – to move away from a system of indicators based on production to one based on people’s wellbeing.

Joseph Stiglitz will be among nearly 200 speakers in Busan. Others include;  Angel Gurría, Secretary General, OECD; Danilo Türk , President of Slovenia; Steve Killelea, Founder of the Global Peace Index; Jenny Klugman, Director, UNDP Human Development Report Office; Tae-shin Kwon, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Republic of Korea; Lord Richard Layard, London School of Economics; Eduardo Lora, Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank; Yanghee Lee, Chair of the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child; Bader Omar Al Dafa. Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; and Roger Ricafort, Director, Oxfam Hong Kong.


The sessions will cover a broad range of themes: from inequality to urban development; from climate change to wellbeing.  A number of international organisation will be presenting specific plans for improving the development and dissemination of social, economic and environmental indicators.


Organised in cooperation with the European Commission, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference,  the UN, the World Bank and in partnership with Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), the Busan World Forum forms part of the OECD-hosted Measuring the Progress of Societies project. It looks at the central role that key indicators can play in underpinning democracy and effective government policy-making. Two previous world fora were held in Palermo, Italy in November 2004 and in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2007.


All sessions of the Forum will be open to the media. Separate press briefings will also take place during the event. Journalists can register for the Forum online at:


Further information for journalists about the Busan World Forum on Charting progress, building visions and improving life, is available at or from the OECD Media Division (tel: + 33 1 4524 9700).


Related Documents