Date: Saturday, 9th May 2020
Time: 3PM MYT | 7AM GMT
Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-post-covid-19-should-there-be-a-new-economic-model-tickets-104258191056?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing
*The Zoom link for the Webinar will be sent to your email on Saturday, 9th May at 10AM.
As we are easing out of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing for sure, we are facing a major economic recession ahead, with a fall to -3 percent in 2020 as projected by the IMF. This is basically a downgrade of 6.3 percentage points from January 2020, and makes the Great Lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis. And this is mainly due to virtual incapacitation of human productivity which affects every nation and every sector simultaneously.
We expect a total economic loss due to COVID-19 to exceed $4 trillion USD, which according to the Asian Development Bank to be almost 5% of the global GDP. But of course the economy will bounce back once we managed to contain the virus not only with drugs but vaccines as well. And we have already started easing the MCO in order to find ways to run the economy in virtual environments and to operate factories while complying with the social distancing. But whether we like it or not, the world during and after recovery will be different from the one we left behind. And perhaps with such colossal changes we might also have the opportunity to rethink and to transform to a better and sustainable economic model.
Just look at how Amsterdam have been plotting to rebuild the city in a post-COVID-19 world with a ‘doughnut’ model. Theoretically the inner ring of the doughnut sets out the minimum that we need to lead a good life as derived from the UN’s sustainable developmental goals (SDG) and agreed upon by almost all world leaders. This includes the food and clean water, housing and sanitation, education and healthcare, gender equity, income and political voice. It encapsulates the idea that those who do not attain such a minimum standard of living is basically living in the doughnut’s hole. While the outer ring of the doughnut represents our ecological ceiling that highlights the boundaries where we should not go in order not to damage the climate, the soils, oceans, forests, the ozone layer, and the abundant fauna and flora on this earth. And in between these two rings is basically the good stuff – the soft dough – where every human’s needs and that of the planet that they inhabit are being met.
These are some of the issues that require us to ponder upon. This pandemic has somewhat forced us to rethink about what we have done wrong to our mother earth, a victim of our insatiable development. And how we have widened the inequality in our society, where the richest 1% is twice as wealthy as the poorest 50%, which was essentially the result of the contemporary economic system of globalised capitalism. It also begs us to rethink as well about our treatment to the marginalised and vulnerable groups in our society, and similarly to the migrants, documented or undocumented. Should there then be a new economic model that would allow us to overcome all these crises, and to rebuild a better world that is strong, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient? These are some of the issues we hope to discuss and debate during this Webinar session.
About the Speaker
Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram is a prominent Malaysian economist. He held the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia, and is Senior Adviser at Khazanah Research Institute, Visiting Fellow at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, and Adjunct Professor at the International Islamic University, Malaysia. He was also a member of the Malaysian Council of Eminent Persons and then, the Economic Action Council who advised the Federal Government of Malaysia. He served as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) during 2005–2012, and then as Assistant Director-General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome during 2012–2015. He was also Research Coordinator for the G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development during 2006–2012. During 2008–2009, he served as an adviser to Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly, and as a member of the [Stiglitz] Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System. Jomo is a leading scholar and expert on the political economy of development, especially in Southeast Asia, who has authored or edited over a hundred books and translated 12 volumes into Malay besides writing many academic papers and articles for the media.
300-315PM: Introduction by the Moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid
315-400PM: Presentation by Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram
455-500PM: Concluding remarks by the Moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid