Big Thinking with Gordon Betcherman



Thursday, April 25, 2013, 7:30 - 8:45


Parliamentary Restaurant, Centre Block


Jobs first: Rethinking development around the globe  

600 million. That’s how many jobs we need to create worldwide in the next 15 years just to maintain current employment rates. Today, 200 million people are unemployed or critically underemployed. The persistent unemployment since the financial crisis and the discontent of unemployed youth in many countries only underscore the urgency of the global jobs challenge.

This challenge is particularly pressing in developing countries where job creation holds the key to raising living standards, increasing productivity, and enhancing social cohesion. Yet international development efforts have not recognized the critical importance of jobs in building prosperous and cohesive societies. The Millennium Development Goals, which have defined the global development agenda since 2000, don’t include jobs as a core goal.

Join Gordon Betcherman from the University of Ottawa as he challenges traditional assumptions that job creation will simply occur as the natural outcome of economic activity. Building on his work on the World Bank’s World Development Report 2013, which called countries to move jobs to centre stage, Dr. Betcherman will explore policies and examples revealing that all countries – from the most developed to the lowest-income – need to make employment an explicit objective of development.

This Big Thinking breakfast is organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.