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Nov 14, 2019
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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OECD Hosts Paris Reception to Showcase Salzburg Global Seminar

Nov 14, 2019
Salzburg Global Seminar

Featured speakers Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary General, and Stephen Salyer, Salzburg Global President address critical priorities and building consensus to address them Salzburg Global and the OECD have had “strong and highly complementary” relationship, says Salzburg Global President and CEO Stephen Salyer

Top practitioners and thinkers convened in Paris at OECD headquarters to examine issues of urgent priority including the planetary climate crisis and growing incomse disparity across the world.

Restoring Trust by Promoting Inclusive Growth and Ensuring Sustainable Change took place at the OECD headquarters on Wednesday, November 6.

Guests heard remarks from Stephen Salyer, Salzburg Global president and CEO; Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general; and Greg Medcraft, OECD director for financial and enterprise affairs who moderated a panel of Salzburg Global Fellows working in the Paris region.

In his opening remarks, Salyer said both Salzburg Global and the OECD have a “strong and highly complementary” relationship. He said, “The asymmetries between Salzburg Global and the OECD should work to our mutual advantage. The OECD is superb at convening governments and publishing definitive issue assessments.  It receives its funding from public sources.

“Salzburg Global is excellent at bringing private and public sectors together for deep dives that are ‘off the record’ and receives virtually all its funding from private sources, including support from individuals, foundations and corporations. The OECD can convene top-level government officials and attract media interest in ideas presented publicly and at scale, whereas Salzburg is best at invitation-only, retreat-style sessions with less than 50 carefully-chosen participants.

“Looking forward, we hope the two organizations can marry these complementary strengths to advance good ideas faster and to build networks across sectors to support effective policies and programs.

“Working cooperatively, and including leading OECD staff and nominees in Salzburg programs, will allow us to encourage concerted efforts between governments and to rally stakeholders behind effective policy and practice.”

Gurría, himself a Salzburg Global Fellow, reflected on his participation in 2013 at Restoring the Public’s Trust: Delivering on Public Policy Goals. He said, “Then as now, I was struck by the shared values that drive our organizations work and inform our respective missions – to create better policies for better lives here at the OECD and to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world at the Seminar.

“When I take a look at the programs of work for each organization, I see a lot of complementarity – and this is what has driven a strong participation by OECD staff in Seminar events over the years.”

Gurría said there was a common belief underlying the goals and work of both organizations: the belief that people across the world facing similar problems should learn from one another and cooperate. He cautioned, however, that global cooperation cannot be taken for granted.

“This backlash against globalization has not come from nowhere. Income inequality has risen steadily – OECD analysis shows that the average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10% across OECD countries, up from seven times in the 1980s. International trade has not delivered equal opportunities or outcomes to communities.

“The challenges to wellbeing today cannot be addressed by staying in silos. Be they income inequality, transnational health threats, climate change, or financial system shocks, we need to work across nations, beyond government agencies, and between sectors and professions.

“[Salzburg Global Seminar], like the OECD, aims to tear down those silos and connect up global efforts, and so I look forward to a continued bond between our organizations.”

The event in Paris was held in part to raise awareness of Inspiring Leadership: The Campaign for Salzburg Global Seminar - an $18 million private fundraising drive to support participation in Salzburg programs across regions, sectors and income lines, improvements to the organization's technology and facilities, as well as cross-border networking and collaboration.

The Campaign, Salzburg Global’s largest-ever, has received $12 million in commitments and contributions thus far. An additional $6 million is sought by the end of 2021.  The money will enable new program partnerships, strategic convening outside Austria, and greater sharing of content created by Salzburg Global and its worldwide network of fellows.