Kieran Jones

Forum Network Community Manager and Forum Programme Officer, OECD
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Jun 21, 2022
Replying to Azra Abdul Majeed


I have a great interest in this topic I worked on and published  articles the topic as follows;

1. Impact of Enabling / Disabling Technologies on Higher Education

2. Impact of climate change and higher education.

Now I am already writing on the topic of Green skills implementation in higher education. Kindly let me allow you to use some text in my project and if possible I need its framework or more articles. I shall be very thankful to You

High regards

Your' Sincirely 

Azra Abdul Majeed

University of Management and Tecnology Pakistan

Hi Azra,

Thanks for your interest! We created a new badge just for posts like this, Green Skills, so you'll find lots more great articles in there and we'll keep adding new ones. To get notifications when we post content like this, subscribe to the Work & Skills channel.

Feel free to use this article and others in your work, please just include a link back to the Forum Network as the source—and feel free to tell your friends to join as well!

Thanks for your comment and good luck with your project!


Jun 21, 2022
Replying to Jonas Eisenstein

In Germany, the government found a 'solution' to the overuse of packaging material and its processing. They introduced the so-called German Packaging Act, which obligates retailers shipping in and to Germany to license their packaging material. The money is used for waste processing and recycling purposes: As a consequence, retailers try to use less packaging material (the more packaging material, the more money they have to pay for it). In addition to that, less retailers from the US or other countries have shipped goods to Germany because they want to evade these costs. Thus, also emissions can be reduced. I think the law should or could be also introduced in the US.

Hi Jonas,

It seems as though these ideas are gaining some traction—as you mentioned the United States, I asked my colleagues and they told me some states have in fact recently passed Extended Producer Responsibility laws for packaging, such as Maine, Oregon and Colorado:

How do you think Colorado's bill compares to the German Packaging Act? Is there anything they could learn from each other?

We also have a page dedicated to Extended Producer Responsibility where we post papers, reports and event information on all things EPR—and everything is available digitally so there's no packaging waste!

Thanks for your comment!


Jan 20, 2022

Hi Anne,

Happy 2022!

These both look excellent, thank you very much! The publisher's link for The Richer, The Poorer doesn't seem to be working, but more details can be seen on Stewart Lansley's site:

Thanks again!


Jan 20, 2022
Replying to Twan Houben

My book suggestions:

- Globalization and the Decline of Social Reform by Gary Teeple

- Covid-19 The Great Reset by Klaus Schwab

- The Death of Money by James Rickards

- Collusion by Nomi Prins

- The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brezinski

- Money Land by Oliver Bullough

- Dark Towers by David Enrich

- And the Weak Suffer What they must by Yanis Varoufakis

- The Silent Take Over - Noreena Hertz

Hi Twan,

Happy New Year!

Thank you for this very wide-ranging selection—we'll take a look!


Jul 02, 2021
Replying to Ranieri de Maria

The post is about an essential topic, and addressing the so-called "pandemic era" requires increasing people's resilience also in relation to their psychological strength, especially as regards the more frail people.
I find the words of Husseini Manji very interesting. Where is it possible to read his entire speech, and perhaps even find any supporting literature?

Hi Ranieri,

Thank you very much for your comment; we agree focusing on mental health is a critical part of the medical response to COVID-19. We have covered a number of angles already on the Forum Network, which you can read in our Health section, and will continue to do so as the situation develops and we move towards the recovery.

You can hear Husseini’s full comments either in the video replay of this OECD Forum virtual event posted in this article or via the dedicated link on OECD Web TV. Husseini also wrote an article on the Forum Network following this session, The Growing Mental Health Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19. For the latest on the OECD’s work in this area check out Tackling the mental health impact of the COVID-19 crisis: An integrated, whole-of-society response, and with your experience as Health Sociologist we’d love to hear your opinions on it!

Thanks again!


Apr 22, 2021
Replying to Peter Kraneveld

At least since David Ricardo, there can be no question that trade and investment are an important, even vital wealth generator. At least since Adam Smith, it is clear that, where the financial effects are more important than the external effects, it is more efficiently conducted by private enterprise than by governments. The exception of external effects is important and goes for other sectors of the economy also.

The upshot of the above is that transactions with large externalities are best regulated, executed and financially supported (including development aid) by governments, while the rest (including mainstream trade) needs a looser set of regulations for smooth operations only. Government's financial support will often be needed to finance the value of the externalities, since classical, transaction-based economic and financial measuring and statistics are unable to measure them, let alone well-being.

ODA is the prime tool to apply a correction for externalities, even if they are negative, such as arms, privacy infringement or tourism. OECD could work on that. There is low-hanging fruit in this area. Trade is a tool for development, but development is not a goal of private companies. Their overwhelming goal is profit or return on investment. Their prime restriction is risk. They do not need much support beyond the incidental education effort to find profit or return on investment. OECD should concentrate on risk.

The poorer the country, the higher the risk. Traders should be able to rely on a system of rule of law, with clear property rules. They need a reliable and fair payment system. They rightly consider corruption as a considerable risk. They consider weak or no consideration of ESG as risk.

More and more, they see non-activity (including no net zero targets, net zero targets after 2050, targets without credibility and targets linked to impossible demands) on climate change as very risky indeed in particular as it is clear already that laggard countries will eventually face prohibitive border controls for their goods and services. These risks, in particular climate change risks, are more important as the trade or investment project is longer term. Yet, longer term trade relations and long-term investments are exactly what most effectively drives development.

Taking risk mitigation as the central factor to stimulate trade and investment in the poorer countries would make OECD action significantly more effective. Such a policy would be an important argument towards the private actors in trade and investment and an impetus for co-operation between private and public parties.

Hi Peter,

As always, thank you very much for your insightful comment. From the OECD’s perspective, it’s important to note that Aid for Trade’s emphasis on trade facilitation plays a key role in reducing the risks traders face due to institutional shortcomings. With respect to risks linked to corruption, our research indicates a strong correlation between integrity and streamlined and transparent border processes.

We also agree that risk mitigation should be an important objective of Aid for Trade, as well as aid at large. The COVID-19 crisis has improved the perception of risk and how it affects the long-term value of assets, including in OECD countries. This should help promote better risk management and alignment of finance with the SDGs—the best roadmap to resilience.

Specifically on Aid for Trade, significant efforts are made to build the resilience of global or regional value chains, and mitigate the effects of external shocks. Innovative finance, for example, is a preferred tool for risk-mitigation, and blended finance contributes to de-risking investment in order to mobilise private finance in developing countries. Risk is also addressed through Aid for Trade with the improvement of the investment and business environments—this includes programmes in support of SME-upgrading or regulatory reforms in the services sector, which contribute to increased predictability of transactions and to securing the quality of local production and sourcing.

Aug 08, 2019
Replying to Peter Kraneveld

While it is very important to analyse the situation and give it a human dimension with a collection of experiences and anecdotes, there is a next step to be taken: action. I will stick my neck out and propose an action that I would consider picking low-hanging fruit.

OECD governments should have a programme to bridge the gap between diplomas in refugee countries and diplomas in their own countries. OECD could play a catalysing role by making an inventory of diplomas with an analysis of their value. With that background, OECD member states could decide what knowledge is missing to qualify for diplomas they demand. They could organise courses for holders of these diplomas to train them in the shortest possible time for passing the exams required for the diplomas in their own country. These courses would create a feedback-cycle that would continually improve the courses themselves.

This action would unlock knowledge and experience now lost. It would assimilate migrants more quickly. It would be a positive note in the integration process, which is after all a question of "how much  of my own culture do I need to give up?" It would relieve frustration, motivate and give participants a realistic goal immediately. It would support other actions, notably language education. It would contribute to reducing fear of the strangers, thereby lowering resistance from established professionals.

Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for your comment; the aim of the OECD Forum is not only to encourage debate and conversation but, as you rightly say, use what is said and learnt to develop concrete solutions with real-world impact.

Recognising foreign qualifications gives migrants better job prospects, an important – and arguably essential – part of the integration process. Migration can be challenging and emotive for both those coming into a country and those already there, so you make crucial points here about the need to consider the hopes and fears of each.

The OECD’s International Migration Division has done a lot of work on this: you can read an overview of our recommendations and of policies on this exact topic (Lessons 2 and 5 are perhaps in line with your ideas above); and a more academic background paper that looks at returns in the labour market from recognition of qualifications of those who are foreign-born.

Specifically regarding refugees, the OECD often works with the UN Refugee Agency and this collaboration produced our joint, 10-point Action Plan, Engaging with Employers in the Hiring of Refugees. It provides tangible measures public authorities, employers and their associations, refugees themselves and civil society can take to improve the livelihoods of people in host and refugee communities to contribute to better integration outcomes (Actions 3 focuses on skill recognition).

Finally, there will be a policy forum on the Future of Migration and integration policies on 16 January, 2020, and one of the sessions will deal with this issue. The programme will be available on the International Migration Division’s website soon, so please check back if you’re interested to learn more.

Thanks again for your comment!


Mar 25, 2019
Replying to Jacques Drolet
  • What would a New Societal Contract look like? There are country specific aspects and there are global aspects. For the global aspects certain powers have to be at a global level to have meaning. A new societal contract would have to be made by world citizens (with the capacity to think, plan and act global). This means planning and implementing not for a country, not for a religion, not for an elite, etc. but for earth citizen. Does it really take the arrival of alien for us to feel earthlings and save our home?  A value-based system where the culture of an area has an important role to play but where cronyism, wealth, and violence are not the drivers. The weight put on knowledge, passion, courage, knowledge, empathy, etc. would be cultural specific.
  • How can we prepare for Digitalisation and the Future of Work? (i) Exploring and implementing true transparency, (ii) Creating a level playing field, globally to allow for the best solutions to be used, (iii) Giving the chance for and valuing individuals who can create and implement a human digitalisation, that is individuals with the abilities of a global citizen. This of course will need to be define and redefined and reredefined and that's not only OK but needed.
  • Why is International co-operation important for our time? (i) Several critical issues of our time are at a earth level, although implementation may be local, tackling them at a country level creates an un-level playing field which is the main barrier to sustainability (including attaining the SDGs) and a humane world, (ii) Globalization is more than ever like gravity (Annan), that is, it is a loss of energy to fight it, therefore we ought to prepare ourselves to manage a humane globalization and that asks for cooperation, where the goal is not anymore to achieve a compromise between A and B, but a cooperation where we create C together where all get 100% of what they want as oppose to the crude notion of compromise, (iii) all this needs two things to work a) a better wealth distribution which will lower the chance for a people/country to choose violent/socio-pathological leaders (See the no asshole rule by Sutton), teach in schools the abilities needed to nurture diversity, ethics, empathy,etc., teaching aspects we have eliminated 30 years ago from our school systems, worldwide, thinking that this would give us a focused workforce. How wrong we were is shown by where we are. And a few other aspects that would be beyond the scope of this comment :-)

Very insightful, Jacques. You touch on many points here but transparency and creating a level playing field in the Digital age are front and centre at the OECD (including our work on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing, digital inclusion and tax) and the SDGs will indeed inform all of our thinking as we develop the Forum programme.

You also mention certain global-level powers required to create a New Societal Contract – which areas/sectors would you envisage these in?