The world is rapidly becoming a different place, with globalisation and modernisation imposing huge challenges to individuals and societies. Schools need to prepare students to live and work in a world in which most people will need to collaborate with people of diverse cultural origins, and appreciate different ideas, perspectives and values; a world in which people need to decide how to trust and collaborate across such differences, often bridging space and time through technology; and a world in which their lives will be affected by issues that transcend national boundaries. These days, we no longer know exactly how things will unfold; often we are surprised and need to learn from the extraordinary; sometimes we make mistakes along the way. And it will often be the mistakes and failures, when properly understood, that create the context for learning and growth. Resilience has become key to success, the capacity to cope in an imbalanced world, recognising that the world exists in constant disequilibrium - trying, failing, adapting, learning and evolving in endless cycles.

How to jump-start slack investment to drive global growth and jobs dominated discussions at the annual OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, chaired by the Netherlands, which ended 4 June.

Anthony Gooch, Director of the OECD Forum and the Public Affairs & Communications Directorate of OECD

Angel Gurría was re-elected Secretary-General of the OECD, Tuesday 26 May, with a renewed mandate for six years.  

Japan may be on the cusp of a fresh wave of “cool entrepreneurship” that could turn the country’s creative industries into a new source of growth. 

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People are by far the most important input when building quality education. So it is little surprise that teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost item in the labour intensive education system. Salaries and working conditions play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers. Teachers are the backbone of the education sector which is a crucial determinant of productivity and growth.

Classrooms need to be places for teaching creativity, as well as basic competence. Can it be done? 

How do our young students perform at school compared with their peers in other countries? Are they ready and equipped to take on the world of tomorrow? The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which surveys competence among 15 year olds around the world, gives ground for encouragement. 

When G20 regulators met in Pittsburgh in September 2009–it had taken them a full year to react to the collapse of Lehman Brothers–they set out an ambitious financial reform agenda. No stone would be left unturned, no shadow in the banking system unexposed. Action would cover all financial market segments and players, and lessons would be learned from the crisis to ensure that the 2008 debacle never happened again.

©Jackie Naegelen/Reuters

The car industry has taken a dent since the recession started to bite in 2008, but even before then, new patterns were emerging that would reshape the sector for a long time to come. 

Global activity and trade are projected to strengthen gradually in 2014-15, but the recovery is likely to remain modest, the latest OECD Economic Outlook reported in November. 

Bargain hunting © John Kolesidis

The Greek economy has become good headline material for newspapers in recent years, but for all the wrong reasons. Having experienced a boom following its hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games, the party ended in spectacular fashion when Greece failed to meet its debt obligations in 2010 and came close to leaving the euro. 

Have you ever had the feeling that economists and governments speak about wealth and growth in a way that doesn’t always chime with your own everyday experience?

Starting a factory? While “quick and dirty” may be the easiest business model to follow, the OECD is encouraging start-ups to start smart, with sustainability in mind. The OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit is a seven-step checklist to help businesses integrate good environmental practice, and stay on the side of investors, regulators, customers and local communities.

OECD expresses sympathy with the people of Japan

In the wake of the devasting earthquake that struck northeast Japan, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “I have written to Prime Minister Kan. It is with great sorrow that we received the news of the earthquake and the subsequent tsunamis affecting many coastal areas. On behalf of all of us working at the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, I would like to transmit our deep sympathy and support in these difficult circumstances. Our thoughts are with the Japanese people, especially those who lost their loved ones.”

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