For well over a decade, the OECD World Forums on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy have been pushing forward the boundaries of well-being measurement and policy. By bringing together thousands of leaders, experts and practitioners from all sectors of society, the Forums have contributed to an ongoing paradigm shift that emphasises people’s well-being and inclusive growth as the ultimate focus for policies and collective action. The years since the first OECD World Forum in 2004 have seen huge advances in our ability to measure the aspects of people’s lives that matter for inclusive and sustainable well-being, and to strengthen the link between statistics, knowledge and policy for better lives. However, while we now have a much more sophisticated grasp of what metrics and actions are needed to foster well-being today, we know much less about how the drivers of well-being will be transformed in the coming years. The aim of this 6th OECD World Forum, is to look ahead to the Future of Well-being, and to ask what are the trends that will re-shape people’s lives in the decades to come?
The future of well-being in a complex, interconnected world
The world we live in today is more connected, and yet more fragmented than ever. Online networks flourish, but as well as bringing people together they also engender political polarisation, “fake news” and distrust between groups. Rising inequalities have become a fact of life, with the gaps between the “haves” and the “have nots” growing ever wider, and spanning multiple dimensions of well-being. And many of the most pressing well-being challenges facing governments around the world – including climate change, mass migration, and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals – demand increased international cooperation at a time when nationalist and separatist ideologies are gaining traction in many countries.
Looking to the future, it is likely that these issues of complexity and interconnectedness will continue to define society in increasingly unpredictable ways. Ensuring inclusive growth and well-being in this new landscape will require policy makers and actors from across society to think and act creatively, anticipating new risks and opportunities, and opening up to new approaches and new forms of partnership and collaboration across sectors.
Focus on digitalisation, governance and business
The 6th OECD World Forum will take a broad perspective to addressing the future of well-being, but will put a particular emphasis on three important trends – the digital transformation, the changing role of governance, and the emergence of the private sector as an important actor for ensuring sustainable and inclusive well-being – as well as looking at the interplay of these three factors. As always, the Forum will showcase innovations and experiences from pioneers in well-being measurement and policy from around the world, but will explore the issues from a much more forward-looking perspective. By taking a wide-ranging approach to consider how life will be in tomorrow’s world, it will aim to map a plan of action for people, government and businesses today.
Confirmed speakers include OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, Statistics Korea Commissioner Hwang Soo-kyeong, Nobel Prize winner and economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations, and many other global leaders.