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The High Level Policy Forum on Skills for Social Progress was held on 24-25 March 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. The Forum was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Education of Brazil, the National Institute for Educational Studies and Research (INEP), the Ayrton Senna Institute and the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI).

The Forum brought together educations leaders from around the world to discuss ways to better prepare our children in face the diverse socioeconomic challenges of the 21stcentury.

Given the emerging evidence on the considerable role social and emotional skills (also called non-cognitive or soft skills) play in driving children’s success in life, the discussions were centred around four key themes:

  • Understanding the nature of skills that drive children’s success;
  • Understanding the mechanisms of skills formation and developing best practices to nurture skills that matter;
  • Measuring social and emotional skills to improve policies and learning contexts;
  • Developing strategies towards coherent and holistic approach to skills development.

Keynote speaker:

Mr. James Heckman
Nobel Laureate in Economics
University of Chicago

Participants acknowledged the importance of social and emotional skills in fostering children’s lifetime success and societal progress. As such education leaders expressed strong enthusiasms to enhance and better measure social and emotional skills.

Moreover, the Forum highlighted the need to ensure coherence in policies and practices for skills development and to strengthen collaboration across policy makers, school administrators, teachers and parents. This calls for enhancing transparency in the information shared between these stakeholders and the need to regularly and accurately measure these skills.

For more information on the OECD work in the area of education and social progress, go to: