9 October 2020

 NAEC - New approaches to economic challenges

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Confronting Planetary Emergencies - Solving Human Problems

OECD Conference Centre 

The Covid-19 epidemic has shown how a health emergency can provoke severe economic consequences across the planet. The deep interconnectedness and interdependence of global systems means that any local crisis can rapidly scale up to contribute to planetary environmental, social, economic, and political emergencies. The climate, economic, geopolitical, and social emergencies also interact with and amplify each other.

The economic system is inherently intricate and interlinked through financial markets, global supply chains, social networks and a shared ecological foundation. Complex interactions at the individual level give rise to emergent properties at the macro level. Such a system is subject to crises and cascading failures, which can emerge from a variety of sources including financial crises, natural disasters, geo-political tension, cyber-attacks and pandemics. These risks are amplified by several overarching trends: the intensification of inequality, the hyper-complexity of finance, the rise of digitalisation, concentration of critical capacities and monopolisation and environmental emergencies such as climate change and biodiversity loss. These are not only raising the frequency and intensity of certain shocks, but enabling their impacts to cascade from system to system.

Addressing these problems may need new systemic approaches, new economic thinking and a greater focus on resilience, safeguards and buffers. Building on the 2018 and 2019 conferences on 10 Years After the Crisis and Averting Systemic Collapse, the 2020 meeting of the NAEC Group will discuss the possible changes in analysis and action needed to tackle planetary emergencies and global-scale systemic challenges. Representatives of OECD Committees and Directorates will examine how Member countries are responding to the current pandemic and how prepared we are to confront future planetary emergencies.

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> Agenda (English) ¦ Agenda (French)

> Speaker biographies


photo Michael D. Higgins photo Esther Duflo photo Thomas Piketty photo Kersti Kaljulaid President of Estonia photo Barry C. Lynn photo Gillian Tett photo Andy Haldane Photo John H. Cochrane photo Kenneth S Rogoff
Michael D. Higgins
Esther Duflo
Thomas Piketty
Kersti Kaljulaid
Barry Lynn
Gillian Tett
Andy Haldane
John Cochrane 
Kenneth Rogoff

Draft Agenda


 Opening Remarks


Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General - opening speech

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland - opening speech

PART I: Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery
Session 1: New Economic Thinking and Acting after Covid-19


  • Thomas Piketty, Professor, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Associate Chair, Paris School of Economics
  • Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • David Parker, Attorney-General, Minister of Trade and Export Growth, Minister for the Environment, Associate Finance Minister, Government of New Zealand

Background materials: 

 11:30-11:45 Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia

Session 2: NAEC - Rejuvenating the Debate


Since its establishement in 2012, NAEC has catalysed a debate across the OECD and beyond on how to revise, update and improve policy thinking and action. The Initiative involving Committees, Directorates and representatives of Member Governments, has evolved through three phases. Phase one was the horizontal project phase focused on Lessons from the Financial Crisis (2012-16). Phase two Systems Thinking, Anticipation and Resilience highlighted the interconnectedness, complexity and fragility of human‑made systems and developed resilience frameworks to manage shocks as part of policies and strategies for Averting Systemic Collapse.

Phase three launches as part of the recovery from Covid-19 and will focus on moving from analysis and diagnoses of systemic challenges to policy alternatives. This involves tightening the links between NAEC and Committees, Directorates and Members. It builds on the key strengths of NAEC in 1.) promoting new economic narratives and paradigms, 2.) building systemic resilience of human-made systems and 3.) developing new analytical tools and techniques to simulate crises.

Moderator: Leslie Harroun, Senior Advisor, Partners for a New Economy (P4NE)


  • William Hynes, Senior Advisor to the Secretary General and Co-ordinator of NAEC

Background materials:

Part II: A Systemic Response to the Crisis
14:00-14:10 Introductory remarks: Tyler Goodspeed, Acting Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
Session 3: Lessons from Covid-19 to Address Future Threats

Chair: Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-large, US, Financial Times

A discussion with representatives of OECD Committees and Directorates on how well OECD Member countries are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic; the implications for policy and the contribution of OECD; and policies and strategies for dealing with future planetary emergencies.

Manuel Muñiz, State Secretary for Global Spain, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


  • John H. Cochrane, Rose-Marie and Jack Anderson Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Background materials:

Session 4 : New Analytical Approaches and Covid-19
16:30-17:30 Covid-19 has accelerated the diffusion and adoption of new analytical approaches – ABM, crisis simulation, nowcasting/real time analysis. The session will explore how to protect economies and markets from the kinds of risks it’s hard to foresee – whether a Lehman-style banking crisis or a global outbreak of disease. Agent-based models and an understanding of fear and other human emotions will likely play a big part. 

Chair: Megan Greene, Senior Fellow at Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School


  • Andrew G. Haldane, Chief Economist and Executive Director, Monetary Analysis & Statistics, Bank of England
  • Joshua Epstein, Professor of Epidemiology in the NYU School of Global Public Health

Closing Remarks

  • Manuel Escudero, Ambassador to the OECD, Permanent Representative of Spain
  • Irena Sodin, Ambassador to the OECD, Permanent Representative of Slovenia
  • Erdem Basci, Ambassador to the OECD, Permanent Representative of Turkey
  • Juan Yermo, Chief of Staff to the OECD Secretary General