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Understanding the economy and how to make it work better for people

Social Sciences Seminar Thursday, March 28th, 2019 9:30 hours Madrid


General information

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces, C/ Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid

Free assistance with online registration. Limited capacity. Simultaneous interpretation.


Fundación Ramón Areces and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces y Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos

  • Description
  • Programme

In the three decades that preceded the Global Financial Crisis, the policy context was dominated by a focus on a pro-growth agenda, including opening markets and making them more efficient, while moving towards less progressive systems of tax and transfers. The 2008 crisis and its aftermath, as well as the adoption of the SDG’s, triggered a re‑consideration of what policy framework could help promote inclusive, sustainable and balanced growth. This called into question some of the assumptions of economic policy, such as that equity and sustainability follow automatically when growth is promoted. The objective of economic policies was also re-calibrated. Economic growth is not an end in itself, but the means to achieve greater welfare for the population. The negative results in terms of worsening economic inequality and the decline in productivity growth reinforced the case for new thinking. Moreover, technological change, notably digitalisation, and organisational innovation and reform are combining to radically alter many aspects of daily life, from employment to services provision. This contributes to changes in other spheres, too, notably social and political change.

The challenges confronting the global economy demand a better understanding of how the economy works so as to put people at the centre of policy making. They also require an updating of analytical frameworks. This conference organised by the New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) and Inclusive Growth Initiatives of the OECD will feature discussion with Spanish policymakers, business, academics, civil society and thought-leaders on how to develop a systemic perspective on interconnected challenges; the tools and techniques needed to understand them; and how to design policies to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are distributed fairly across society and create opportunities for all.

Thursday, March, 28 


Opening speeches


Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra
Director of Fundación Ramón Areces.

Gabriela Ramos 
OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 and G7. 

Nadia Calviño Santamaría 
Spanish Minister of Economy and Business.

First session

10:15 h.

What are the challenges for economies and societies today?

Carlos Franganillo

RTVE journalist of Telediario 2.


Michael Jacobs 
Professorial Fellow at Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).

José Antonio Alonso 
Professor of Applied Economics, Complutense University of Madrid. 

Guillermo de la Dehesa 
Independent Director and Member of the Executive Committee of Banco Santander. 

Jeffrey Sachs (by videoconference)
Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University. 

Gabriela Ramos 
OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 and G7. 

Cristina Gallach 
Spain's high commissioner for the 2030 Agenda. 

12:15 h.


Second session

12:30 h.

How can we better understand the complexity of modern economies and societies?

William Hynes 

Acting Head of the New Approaches to Economic Challenges Unit (NAEC), Office of the Secretary-General, OECD.


José García Montalvo
Economist. Professor of Applied Economics, Pompeu Fabra University.

Santiago Carbó 
Professor of Economics at CUNEF and Head of Financial Studies of the Spanish Savings Bank Foundation (FUNCAS). 

Martin Lees 
Chairman of the OECD-IIASA Task Force.

Alan Kirman 
Chief advisor of the New Approaches to Economic Challenges Unit (NAEC). 

Erika Widegren 
CEO Reimagine Europe.

14:00 h.


Third session

15:00 h.

How could policies change to promote Inclusive economic growth? 

Gabriela Ramos 

OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 and G7. 


María Luisa Carcedo 
Spanish Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare. 


Isaura Leal 
Former Spain's high commissioner for the fight against depopulation. 

Gonzalo Fanjul 
Policy Director at ISGlobal and co-founder of porCausa Foundation. Researcher and activist focused on poverty and inequality. 

Adriana Conconi 
Director of Policy and Outreach at the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

Pau Vicent Marí Klose 
Former Spain's high commissioner for the fight against child poverty. 

16:30 h.


Fourth session

16:45 h.

What new forms of public-private cooperation are needed to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth?

Juan Yermo 

Deputy Chief of Staff of the Secretary-General of the OECD.


José Luis Blasco
Global Sustainability Director at Acciona.

Ramón Casilda Béjar
Author of Capitalismo: Crisis y Reinvención

Romina Boarini 
Advisor to the Secretary-General and Co-ordinator of the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative, Office of the Secretary-General, OECD.

Ricardo Aguado 
Associate Professor and Director of the Economics department. Deusto.

Montse Muñoz Abellana 
Spanish and Portugal General Manager of Nutricia, Danone Company.

18:30 h.

Closing remarks


Gabriela Ramos 
OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 and G7. 

Manuel Escudero
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Spain to the OECD and President of the OECD Development Center.

Meritxell Batet
Spanish Minister for Territorial Policy and Public Function. 


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