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The open society – A progressive agenda for investment and inclusive growth

  • Date(s)
    20 April 2015
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
The open society – A progressive agenda for investment and inclusive growth

Partners: Center for American Progress (CAP), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

The objective of the seminar is to discuss the long-term growth and reform agendas that centre-left governments should implement and the political challenges they face. Across the industrialised world, a new generation of progressive centre-left politicians are working to define for themselves a principled and realistic approach to government in difficult times. The socioeconomic aftershocks of the global financial crisis still cut deep and the politics of Europe and the eurozone are fraught with difficulty. Trust in government and political institutions is low and populist challengers are making profound inroads into centre-left electoral coalitions. At the same time, any recovery that has been made will be short-lived if a set of challenging trends that built up before 2007 are not dealt with: low investment, slow productivity growth, low social mobility, labour market segmentation and growing inequality. Advances in technology, expanding digital markets, global competition and the unprecedented rise of emerging economies, demographic change and immigration, and pressures on global resources make the future highly uncertain.

The focus of the seminar will be on:

A new inclusive prosperity for the 21st century

In the face of seismic global and technological changes, rising inequality and stagnating median incomes in many countries, how can progressives deliver job-creation and economic policies which lead to a broader based prosperity that that can be shared by all citizens and not just a few? How can the promise of a truly open society with equal opportunity for all be transformed into progressive politics?

Investment, innovation economics and future productivity growth

What factors account for Europe’s slow growth, relatively poor productivity performance especially compared to Asia and the US? How to incentivise and encourage significant progress towards higher investment, modern infrastructure and more innovation across the economy? Why is investment and productivity critical to Europe’s economic future?

New technology and digital growth

What can policy do to make sure that workers benefit from ICT-led productivity growth by all organisations (for profit, non-profit and government) through-out the European economy? How can digitalisation improve living standards across the economy? What are the perspectives for Industry 4.0? What is the progressive answer to the disruption caused by digialisation and the rapidly changing structure of labour markets?

Modern industrial policy and the role of the state

What role should the state play in enabling and fostering competitive advantage in a global open economy? How does this relate to trends such as re-industrialisation as well as the increasing prominence of the service sector?

The politics of growth and reform

How can progressives in government enact reform agendas for inclusive growth, quality jobs and competitiveness while remaining electorally above water in the post-crisis political environment of rising populism and protectionism? What should the message strategy be for building coalitions in a fragmented electoral landscape?

More information to follow

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