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The World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. Fears that robots will take away jobs from people have dominated the discussion over the future of work, but the World Development Report 2019 finds that on balance this appears to be unfounded. Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. Overall, technology brings opportunity, paving the way to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services. Firms can grow rapidly thanks to digital transformation, expanding their boundaries and reshaping traditional production patterns. The rise of the digital platform firm means that technological effects reach more people faster than ever before. Technology is changing the skills that employers seek. Workers need to be better at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. Digital technology is also changing how people work and the terms on which they work. Even in advanced economies, short-term work, often found through online platforms, is posing similar challenges to those faced by the world’s informal workers. The Report analyzes these changes and considers how governments can best respond. Investing in human capital must be a priority for governments in order for workers to build the skills in demand in the labor market. In addition, governments need to enhance social protection and extend it to all people in society, irrespective of the terms on which they work. To fund these investments in human capital and social protection, the Report offers some suggestions as to how governments can mobilize additional revenues by increasing the tax base.
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151
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Two Degrees of Transformation Businesses are coming together to lead on climate change. Will you join them?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The ‘Two Degrees of Transformation’ report was developed in collaboration with the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders – a leadership community supported by the World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security System Initiative. The run-up to 2020 is a crucial period for delivering progress in line with science if the world is to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Climate change will shape the way in which we do business for decades. Business has a vital role to play in curbing its effects by limiting carbon emissions, but success isn’t just about action from individual companies. Business, sectors, states and regions need to consolidate efforts to create change on a level large enough to halt the crisis. The report reveals what is already happening, bringing together examples from CEOs, companies and sectors from around the world, of smart working, new thinking and innovation. It highlights examples that others can follow, and that will make transformation happen faster than ever before.
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Improving Infrastructure Financing in Brazil

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Many governments are finding it difficult to finance the growing demand for essential infrastructure through public funding alone. With the significant increase of debt in many countries while needs for essential infrastructure continue to expand, private-sector involvement has increasingly been viewed as a potential solution to closing the infrastructure financing gap and ensuring the efficient delivery and operation of infrastructure services. Still, private-sector investment in infrastructure, particularly in developing countries, remains low owing to a variety of real and perceived challenges. This insight report is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Long-Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development 2016-2018. It presents recommendations that incorporate public and private sector input on how to tackle the key challenges in Brazil’s infrastructure market. The goal is to enhance trust between the public and private sectors, so that they may jointly mobilize more domestic and international financing to meet Brazil’s long-term infrastructure needs and increase the participation of long-term investors in Brazil’s infrastructure market. The recommendations in this report build on those in the World Economic Forum report on Risk Mitigation Instruments in Infrastructure – Gap Assessment (2016), and this body of work has provided valuable insights to the Forum’s National Infrastructure Acceleration Initiative. The recommendations herein were developed through the conduct of interviews with working group members from the private sector and were endorsed by selected policy-makers.
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The Future of Work OECD Employment Outlook 2019

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The world of work is changing in response to technological progress, globalisation and ageing populations. In addition, new organisational business models and evolving worker preferences are contributing to the emergence of new forms of work. Despite widespread anxiety about potential job destruction driven by technological change and globalisation, a sharp decline in overall employment seems unlikely. While certain jobs and tasks are disappearing, others are emerging and employment has been growing. As these transformations occur, a key challenge lies in managing the transition of workers in declining industries and regions towards new job opportunities. There are also concerns about job quality. While diversity in employment contracts can provide welcome flexibility for many firms and workers, important challenges remain in ensuring the quality of non-standard work. Moreover, labour market disparities could increase further unless determined policy action is taken to ensure a more equal sharing of the costs of structural adjustment in the world of work. While there are risks, there are also many opportunities – and the future of work is not set in stone. With the right policies and institutions, the future of work can be one of more and better jobs for all.
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OECD‑FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019‑2028

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 8, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global agriculture has evolved into a highly diverse sector, with operations that range from small subsistence farms to large multinational holdings. Farmers’ products are sold fresh in local markets, but also across the world through sophisticated and modern value chains. Beyond their traditional role of providing humankind with food, farmers are important custodians of the natural environment and have become producers of renewable energy. In order to meet the high expectations society places on agriculture, public and private decision makers require reliable information on the likely trends of global demand, supply, trade and prices and the factors driving them. To this end, the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook is an annual reference that provides a comprehensive medium-term baseline scenario for agricultural commodity markets at national, regional and global levels. In addition to providing a plausible baseline scenario for agriculture markets in the coming decade, the Outlook identifies a widening set of risks to agricultural markets that can help policy makers better anticipate and manage them.These include the spread of plant and animal diseases and the growing risk of extreme climatic events, as well as possible supply disruptions from growing trade tensions. This OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028 foresees that the demand for agricultural products will grow by 15% over the coming decade.
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326
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OECD Economic Outlook

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Abstract in English: 
A year ago, the OECD warned about how trade and policy uncertainties could significantly damage the world economy and further contribute to the growing divide between people. A year later, global momentum has weakened markedly and growth is set to remain subpar as trade tensions persist. Trade and investment have slowed sharply, especially in Europe and Asia. Business and consumer confidence have faltered, with manufacturing production contracting. In response, financial conditions have eased as central banks have moved towards more accommodative monetary stances, while fiscal policy has been providing stimulus in a handful of countries. At the same time, low unemployment and a slight pickup in wages in the major economies continue to support household incomes and consumption. Overall, however, trade tensions are taking a toll and global growth is projected to slow to only 3.2% this year before edging up to 3.4% in 2020, well below the growth rates seen over the past three decades, or even in 2017-18. While growth was synchronised eighteen months ago, divergence has emerged between sectors and countries depending on their exposure to trade tensions, the strength of fiscal responses and policy uncertainties. The manufacturing sector, where global value chains prevail, has been hit hard by tariffs and the associated uncertainty on the future of trade relationships, and is likely to stay weak. Business investment growth, also strongly linked to trade, is set to slow to a mere 1¾ per cent per year over 2019-20, from around 3½ per cent per year during 2017-18. However, services, less subject to trade jitters and where most job creation takes place, continue to hold up well. In parallel, growth has weakened in most advanced economies, especially those where trade and manufacturing play an important role, such as Germany and Japan, with GDP growth projected to be below 1% in both countries this year. In contrast, the United States has maintained its momentum thanks to sizeable, albeit waning, fiscal support. Divergence is also visible among emerging-market economies, with Argentina and Turkey struggling to recover from recession, while India and others are benefitting from easier financial conditions and in some instances fiscal or quasi-fiscal support.
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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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How ICT Can Restore Lagging European Productivity Growth

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Notwithstanding the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IOT), European productivity growth has slowed, and continues to lag U.S. growth.1 Since the financial crisis, labor productivity in the 28 EU member states has grown just 0.7 percent annually. At this rate, it will take a century for Europe’s per capita incomes to double. No wonder there is political unrest across the continent. And while Europe decreased the productivity gap with the United States before 1995, since then, the gap has only widened. Reversing that trend is critical if Europe is going to be able to effectively cope with its demographic challenges, particularly a rapidly aging population, and be able to more effectively compete in global markets. To do that it needs more ubiquitous use—as distinct from production—of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by all organizations (for-profit, nonprofit, and government) throughout all of Europe.
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63
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Global Trends to 2035 - Economy and Society

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This study maps and analyses current and future global trends in the fields of economics and society, covering the period to 2035. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, it summarises and analyses the findings of relevant foresight studies in relation to such global trends. It traces recent changes in the perceived trajectory of already-identified trends and identifies significant new or emerging trends. It also addresses potential policy implications of such trends for the EU.
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160
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Building the workforce of the future: Learning from Grow with Google

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Digital skills are vital for individuals and national economies to prosper in a rapidly-changing world, benefiting from the opportunities of digital and remaining resilient to potential risks. More than 90 per cent of jobs in some categories now demand digital skills. Yet in 2016, just 56 per cent of Europeans had adequate digital skills for the world they live in, and 37 per cent of the workforce lacked adequate digital skills. In this project we examined the development and approach of Grow with Google, a project which operates through national programmes matched closely to the contexts and needs of individual countries, in six case study countries (Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Nigeria) in order to identify key themes and learning to support ongoing good practice in growing a digital skills ecosystem.
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60
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