In this episode, taped live at the end of the United Nation’s General Assembly meeting, three experts face the challenge of making up ground lost to the pandemic. Measures of wealth, health, education and equity have all been set back. “The world has a lot of work to do,” said co-host Edie Lush.
“The pandemic has really set back the cause of human progress in terms of all the metrics around health, and inclusion and gender violence etc. etc. around the world,” reports Gillian Tett, co-founder of Moral Money at the Financial Times. “The reality is that grappling with these challenges and trying to uphold the SDGs now is harder than it was say two years ago in terms of where we are starting.”
Co-host Claudia Romo Edelman shares data from the Gates Foundation Goal Keepers report that shows the start of recovery on everything from vaccination rates to total numbers of people caught in extreme poverty.
Ivan Weissman, journalist and entrepreneur in South America, said that the pandemic crisis was accelerating the empowerment of women and thus economic recovery from the downturn. He cited, for example, the decision by Argentina to credit the domestic work women do at home when setting their pensions.
Anthony Kefalas, Vice chair of the Democracy and Culture Foundation, offered a simple summary of the current challenge: “At the bottom of everything it is the question of inequality.”
Rising inequality, compounded by the pandemic, is undermining support for democratic government. “The main problem is to reduce inequality. The corollary to this is that if you don’t reduce inequality then you will not be able to operate in a system that you could call liberal capitalism. You can easily go into a system you where you have authoritarian capitalism.”
Kefalas, author of the new Athens Charter for Business, said that the end goal of all corporate responsibility efforts must be to reduce inequality.
Founder and Director of El Mostrador Mercados, Chile’s first electronic daily business newspaper, as well as Subdirector for the electronic daily El Mostrador, launched on March 1, 2000. It is the first exclusively digital Chilean newspaper. Iván was Managing Editor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the Bloomberg news service, as well as being the Head of Television in the UK for the same company. He had previously performed the role of Senior Producer for CNBC Business news. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of California in Berkeley, as well as a Masters from the American University. [Chile].
Gillian Tett is chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues.
In 2014, she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards and was the first recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award. In June 2009 her book Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the inaugural Spear’s Book Awards.
Tett’s past roles at the FT have included US managing editor, assistant editor, capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.
Anthony Kefalas is a British (LSE) and USA (WSU) educated doctoral economist. He has served as senior researcher at KEPE, as adviser to the ministers of economics and industry and to the president of OAE, as director of SELPE and ESIP, as editor of the bi-monthly “Agora”, as contributor to major Greek newspapers and periodicals (especially for “Oikonomikos Tachydromos”, Express, Proto Thema etc.)– in Greece as well as abroad (Newsweek, IHT)– as an economic adviser to the NBG and the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and as adviser to numerous well-known Greek and non-Greek companies—including Delta/Vivartia, Citibank, McDonald’s, Hoechtief, Orelikon etc. He has taught economics at Queen’s College (in London), at WSU and the Un. of Oakland (in the USA) and at the Un. of Maryland (European Campus) and Pierce-Deree (in Greece).
He has published more than 1500 articles on the Greek economy and is the author of four books. His latest book “Aspects of Industrialization: Greece 1945-2010” was published in July by the Sideris Editions and reflects his strong interest in economic policy as well as in the history of Greek enterprises (past and present) and has been given as a textbook at the Economic University of Athens.