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Balancing Growth, Social Wellbeing And Income Equality

25 October 2019

Balancing Economic Growth, Social Wellbeing And Income Equality

Top international speakers at EDNZ conference advise how to deliver inclusive growth

Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) has attracted an impressive line-up of international and local experts to speak at its annual conference next week on the theme of “delivering inclusive growth”.

EDNZ Chairperson Pam Ford describes inclusive growth as economic growth that is distributed fairly across society and creates opportunities for all.

“The conference will be discussing how we confront rising inequality within New Zealand and its adverse impact on economic growth. This is especially important in a time when the fourth industrial revolution - based on emerging technologies - is threatening many of our traditional jobs”, she says.

“There is no bigger policy challenge pre-occupying leaders both here and around the world than expanding social participation in the process and benefits of economic growth and integration. Our speakers will be offering their insights into this challenging area,” says Ford.

Speakers at the conference include:

• Rt Hon Helen Clark, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Todd Greene, the executive director of the Atlanta University Centre Consortium, who will talk about the USA’s challenge in addressing economic mobility and income inequality. He believes investment in workforce training is key to improving productivity, rather than the traditional thinking of viewing staff development as a cost.
Ed Cox, Director of Public Services and Communities at the UK Royal Society for the Arts
Minnie Baragwanath, CEO of Be.accessible in NZ, who will be speaking about how conversations about economic and inclusive growth can only happen if it includes the 25% of people with access needs
• Professor Will Rifkin, who is Chair in Applied Regional Economics at the Hunter Research Institute in Australia
• Dr David Wilson, of Cities and Regions NZ, which offers services and expertise to help develop and grow local areas
• Dr Ganesh Nana, BERL’s Chief Economist

EDNZ chief executive Susan Houston says New Zealand’s social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing is increasingly important if growth is to be truly inclusive.

“We’ll be discussing practical ways of how to prepare for the future. With accelerating connectivity, new talent models and cognitive tools, work is changing. As robotics, AI, the gig economy and crowdsourcing grows, jobs are being reinvented, creating the ‘augmented workforce’. This means we need to reconsider how work and jobs are designed to prepare for future growth.

“The focus needs to be on collaboration, innovation and capability lifting to ensure we have future-fit and digital-ready regional businesses and workforces, regardless of technology changes,” Susan Houston says.

The winners of the EDNZ 2019 Best Practice Awards will also be announced at the conference, which is being held in Blenheim on 31 October and 1 November at the Marlborough Convention Centre.


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