About 20 leading scholars and practitioners from across New England gathered for a lively all-day consultation workshop on the 2015 Human Development Report (HDR), hosted by the Frederick S. Pardee School for Global Studies (PSG). The meeting was moderated by Khalid Malik, the Director of the UNDP HDR Office, and was opened with welcoming remarks from Prof. Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies.
The Pardee School hosted the workshop for the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) which has now been publishing Human Development Reports annually since 1990. The consultation was part of a series of consultations being held around the world (the next one is to be held later this week at the Univeristy of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) on the theme of the 2015 HDR which is Production Systems, Employment and Jobs.
The meeting focused on the challenges of conceptualizing production systems and jobs within the context of human development and, in particular, how decent jobs and meaningful lives can be provided to all who wish to participate in labour markets across the world. Each of the six sessions – on production systems and human development, on demography, on geography of production, on technology, on financialization, and on policy – was led by a short opening comment from a theme expert, followed by open dialogue amongst the participants.
Participants included experts from Brown University, Harvard University, UMass Amherst, Tufts University, UMass Boston, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of New Hampshire, Boston University, and civil society development practitioners. The discussion highlighted the changing nature and dynamics of global production and jobs but also looked at the challenges this posed in an increasingly connected and technologically dynamic world of the future, particularly for developing country populations.
In his opening comments, Dean Adil Najam highlighted the importance of the human development concept to the Pardee School whose own mission is to advance human progress and human well-being. Dean Najam pointed out that this focus was particulalry timely and auspicious because this was the very first event being held under the auspicies of Boston Univeristy’s newest School. He expressed the hope that collaborations between the Pardee School and the United Nations system will grow in the future.