Policy Forum: Programme‌ 

At the OECD’s High-Level Policy Forum, participants and expert speakers from a range of backgrounds will explore how rapidly changing economic and social environments present both challenges and opportunities for the design and implementation of social policy – a key component of the OECD’s Inclusive Growth Initiative. 

Agenda (PDF) Who's who (PDF)

Monday, 14 May 2018


Opening Ceremony

Elder Ka’nahsohon Kevin Deer


Opening Remarks

Welcome from Québec - Mr. François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Québec, Canada

Canadian Vision for Social Policies that Benefit All - Mr. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Canada [@MinSocDevCMHC@MinDevSocSCHL]

The Future of Social Policy - Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD [A_Gurria]



Opening Plenary Session - Listening Today for Better Social Policies Tomorrow

The opening plenary will focus on current and future challenges for social policy and how to promote citizens' engagement with policymakers. The changing world of work has made many people far less economically secure, and there is a growing gap between "haves" and "have nots". Social and employment policies need to be urgently modernised to respond to these changes. At the same time, open means of communicating with policymakers allows more and more people to voice their concerns. To what extent are governments engaging with citizens in the design of social policies? How can governments better protect people from the risks that matter most to them today and tomorrow? How can lessons from OECD countries inform the design of social protection measures in the new world of work, in order to promote truly inclusive growth?


  • Mr. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Canada [@MinSocDevCMHC@MinDevSocSCHL]
  • Ms. Regina Doherty, Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Ireland [@ReginaDo]
  • Ms. Katie Harbath, Global Director of Politics and Government Outreach, Facebook, United States [@katieharbath]
  • Mr. Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, Greece [@KaminisG]
  • Ms. Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20 [@gabramosp]

Moderator: Ms. Heather Scoffield, Ottawa Bureau Chief, The Canadian Press [@hscoffield]


Coffee Break

11:15–12:30 Morning Parallel Breakout Sessions: Ensuring Social Protection for All
Breakout Session 1 - For One or for All? Collective vs. Individual Responsibilities in Social Protection

Countries are increasingly debating more individualised forms of social protection, such as individual activity accounts, life-cycle and training accounts, and pension accounts. This raises questions about the right balance between individuals saving for the future and redistribution across society. What are the implications of more individualised solutions, how can redistributive elements be included, and how can such strategies be made to work for all workers and citizens? The discussion will consider social insurance solutions, funded and non-financial defined-contribution schemes, and universal social programmes such as basic income and universal pensions

  • Ms. Lena Hipp, Head of Work and Care Unit, WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany [@WZB_Berlin]
  • Mr. Eduardo Fajnzylber, Associate Professor of Economics, University Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile  
  • Mr. Jeremias Prassl, Associate Professor of Law, University of Oxford, UK
  • Mr. Francois Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Québec, Canada

Moderator: Ms. Heather Scoffield, Ottawa Bureau Chief, The Canadian Press [@hscoffield]

Breakout Session 2 - Leaving no one Behind: Targeting Gaps in Social Protection

Some types of jobs and some groups of workers are systematically excluded (intentionally and unintentionally) from comprehensive social protection. How can countries close existing coverage gaps along occupational categories and types of employment contracts? How can a whole-of-government approach to social policy be made operational? What role can behavioural insights play to increase the reach and efficiency of social programmes? Which approaches can be used to speed up the formalisation of the workforce, and what types of social policies promote inclusive growth and help underserved populations at different stages of economic development? 

    • Ms. Rekha Balu, Director of Center for Applied Behavioral Science, MDRC, USA [@MDRC_News, @CABS_MDRC]
    • Mr. Vinicius Botelho, Vice-Minister for Evaluation and Information Management, Ministry of Social Development, Brazil
    • Mr. Joachim Breuer, President, International Social Security Association (ISSA) [@ISSACOMM]
    • Ms. Jane Waldfogel, Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA
    • Mr. Lu Quan, General Secretary of China Association of Social Security, China

Moderator: Mr. Doug Murphy, Senior Advisor, Employment and Social Development Canada [@SocDevSoc]

12:30–14:30  Lunch

High-level side-event: The Nordic Gender Effect at Work hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers

"Investing in Working Parents Pays Off: Lessons from the Nordics"


Afternoon Parallel Break-out Sessions: Innovation in Social  Policy

Breakout Session 3 - "There's an App for that": New Tools for Social Policy

Modern technology has an important role to play in the design and delivery of social programmes and services. Participants will share experiences in how new technology is changing the design, targeting, delivery, and evaluation of key social programmes, with a focus on efficient and inclusive service delivery to groups with complex challenges. Modern service delivery methods in emerging economies and OECD countries will be discussed to help the exchange of best practice.

  • Ms Inge Bernaerts, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Thyssen, European Commission
  • Mr. Brian Lee-Archer, Managing Director – Health and Public Service, Accenture, Australia [@brianla1]
  • Ms. Zara Nanu, CEO, Gapsquare, UK  [@ZaraNanu]
  • Mr. Javier García Bejos, Under-Secretary of Planning, Evaluation and Regional Development, Ministry of Social Development (Sedesol), Mexico [@jgarciabejos]
  • Mr. Rait Kuuse, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of Social Affairs, Estonia

Moderator: Ms. Ronnie Goldberg, Senior Counsel, United States Council for International Business [@USCIB]

Breakout Session 4 - Impact through Partnerships: Social Innovation in the 21st Century

Complex social and economic challenges require policymakers to collaborate with other sectors of society. Tools and approaches such as social finance and social enterprise can foster investment in people’s capacities and sustainable communities. This session’s stakeholder dialogue will focus on best practices in delivering innovative and impactful interventions through partnerships that leverage the financial and knowledge resources of the public, private and community sectors.

  • Mr. Gary Barker, President and CEO, Promundo, Brazil / USA [@promundo_us]
  • Dr. Ghada Hatem, Médecin-Chef, Maison des Femmes, France
  • Mr. Ajmal Sataar, Founder and President, Inspire Nunavut, Canada [@ajmalsataar]
  • Ms. Tjaša Sobo?an, Social Innovation Generator and International Lead, Simbioza, Slovenia

Moderator: Ms. Margaret Biggs, Matthews Fellow on Global Public Policy, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Canada [@QueensSPS]

15:45-16:00  Coffee Break

Closing Plenary - Social Policies for Inclusive Growth

Ministers will discuss how social policy can contribute to the broader inclusive growth agenda by promoting policy approaches that are responsive to changing labour markets and changing societies


  • Mr. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Canada [@MinSocDevCMHC@MinDevSocSCHL]
  • Ms. Effie Achtsioglou, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, Greece
  • Mr. Jose Antonio Vieira da Silva, Minister of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal [@trabalho_pt]
  • Ms. Annika Strandhäll, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Sweden [@strandhall]
  • Ms. Mizuho Onuma, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan

Moderator: Mr. Stefano Scarpetta, Director of the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs [@OECD_Social]

17:15-18:30  Reception
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