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Video: BRAVO Leadership Conversation with Angel Gurría

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Speakers: 

  • Angel Gurría, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Economic unrest begets social unrest, said the OECD’s Angel Gurría during the inaugural BRAVO Leadership Conversation of the new virtual series, Leadership and Transformation in Times of Crisis. “People are angry, they are pissed off. They are not happy with the status quo. Trade tensions cause uncertainty. Uncertainty is the enemy of investment. Investment is the seed of tomorrow’s growth,” he said, and the social unrest ultimately “puts democracy at risk.” Fueling the unrest in Latin America in particular, he said, is income inequality. Latin America isn’t the poorest region in the world, he said, but it is the most unequal. “If anything, what we’re seeing is a widening of this chasm that exists, which is ethically and morally wrong. It’s economically dysfunctional and politically explosive and very dangerous,” he told AS/COA’s Susan Segal. During the wide-ranging discussion, Gurría also commended Brazil for not waiting for membership—or even the accession process—to join the OECD conversation. “They’re the second cousins who are just moving into the kitchen,” he said. “That is extremely, extremely smart.”

After fielding questions from participants on inclusion and governance, sovereign debt restructuring, and public health policy among others, Gurría gave one final piece of advice. “Cooperation, cooperation, cooperation,” which he described as “exponentially” beneficial. “We’re going to have to build it,” he said of the post-COVID-19 world. “It’s not going to happen by itself.”