Earlier this month we were honoured to be invited to join the All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) on Inclusive Growth at the OECD Global Parliamentary Network meeting in Parliament which was held to discuss inclusive growth. The organisers invited a number of business leaders associated with Blueprint, including Sir Mike Rake, Chair of Advisory Council; Sue Garrard, Blueprint Trustee and Executive Vice President, Sustainable Business & Communications, Unilever; and Sacha Romanovitch, Chief Executive, Grant Thornton to join the conversation. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the perspectives shared by attendees from Parliamentarians, to NGOs and business leaders.
Liam Byrne, UK MP and Co-chair of the APPG Inclusive Growth, set the tone for the discussion in his welcoming address. He explored the very different challenges and opportunities 21st-century economies face including technological transformation, rapidly growing inequality and systemic challenges such as climate change. He underlined that current policy was not created to address this, built as it is on an economic consensus which took slowly hold in the 20 years between Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom and the election of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in ’79/80. In conclusion, he suggested that while we may have mastered how to globalise, we failed to develop good ways of ensuring that globalisation worked for the many, not just the few.