Winnie Byanyima Appointed to Global Economic Transformation Commission Led by Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Spence

Published: 26th October 2017

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima has been appointed to a new "Commission on Global Economic Transformation" led by Nobel Prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Michael Spence. It has been initiated by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).

As an independent entity, the Commission on Global Economic Transformation (CGET) is the first of its kind, starting at a critical moment for the global economy.

As political and economic populism sweep across the developed world, developing countries are searching for paths to prosperity, and people around the world are struggling with the challenges posed by widening inequality, technological disruption, and climate change.

These problems are being compounded by ineffective current policy tools in many contexts, raising questions about the role of the state, of civil society, and of individuals along with national and international governance frameworks. The Commission is responding to the need for new thinking and new rules for the global economy.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International said: “Nothing short of a ‘Global Economic Transformation’ is needed to urgently reverse a long-term global inequality crisis and build a more human economy that benefits everyone, not the privileged few. It is my honor to join this esteemed Commission on behalf of Oxfam and to amplify the voices of those people we work with facing poverty – most of all women across the South. We must advance the ideas that lead to fairer societies where work is dignified, taxation is fair, businesses work in the interests of workers and producers, and governments are truly accountable to their people.”

Commenting on the Commission’s launch, Robert Johnson, President of INET said: “We are establishing the Commission because the existing paradigm can’t meet the challenges we face. That paradigm romanticizes unfettered markets while it overestimates the capacity of national governments to address human problems—at a time when the domain of the sovereign is smaller than the scope of the market. Bringing together some of the world’s leading economic experts and thinkers, we will dig deeply into pressing issues societies around the world are struggling with. The Commission for Global Economic Transformation will strive to offer not only new analytical frameworks to understand these problems, but also sustainable paths forward for governments and societies around the world.”

Commission Co-Chair Professor Joseph Stiglitz said: “We need new rules and coordinated governance to address destructive tendencies rapidly emerging in the global economy, and to protect human communities subject to them. Whether it comes to reckoning with widening inequality, climate change or stagnating growth, it’s clear that our international governance frameworks are outdated and need to be reconceived in a globally interdependent world. The Commission looks forward to sharing our work with governments around the world to aid them in tackling these challenges to economies and our social fabric.”

Commission Co-Chair Professor Michael Spence said: “The Commission has come together to address a number of challenges. One is rising inequality in growth patterns and increasing social, political and economic upheaval. We suspect this has contributed to centrifugal forces within societies and across national boundaries. Political polarization in the U.S. and across Europe, coupled with widespread global poverty and inequality, may undermine our ability to address these challenges in a vigorous and pragmatic manner.  A second set of challenges relates to the impact of rapidly evolving digital technologies on economies, jobs, and needed skills. We hope the Commission’s research and findings will help guide governments, international institutions, businesses and CSO’s in coming together to address these challenges.”

The CGET will commission new and synthesize existing research and convene international working sessions in China, India and other locations. This will result in a final report in 2019. Reflecting the consensus view of the Commissioners, the report will include an examination of problems and emerging crises in the world economy and apply the conclusions reached at CGET meetings to make bold policy challenges in specific countries and regions of the world.

The Commission will tackle issues from macroeconomic balances to rethinking globalization, and from climate change to technology and the future of work.

Notes to editors

Contact information

Nabil Ahmed: / +44 7471 142971

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