It conceals the "hidden costs" of economic growth and fails to account for other dimensions of human development such as basic literacy, health care, and the overall quality of life.
Focusing on these challenges and outlining a more progressive economic roadmap based on the principles of social and redistributive justice, a conference titled "An Economy for Progress and Justice" organized by the Network for Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia) in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Olof Palme International Center (OPIC), took place in Kathmandu from June 28-30, 2018.
Professor Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former Minister of Justice and Senior Member and Advisor to the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), in her keynote address, elaborated on the characteristics of the evolving economic order, its challenges, potentials, and impact over people across the globe highlighting on the recent debates underway on economy at the national and global levels where markets, production, capital, and knowledge operate under a globalized system, that has yet to live up to the promise of opportunities and prosperity.
Social democrats from all over Asia came together in the conference to share lessons, experiences, and processes as they develop their economic program in concurrence with their domestic needs and demands. The conference was also a platform for the participants to discuss the future of work in a digitized world. The debates centered around questions like: How do the changing markets and production affect the nature and demand for work today and in the coming years? How do and can industries, governments, and workers redirect their efforts to improve working conditions and living standards? Are there experiences to draw lessons from? Are their pitfalls to be mindful about? And, how do we shape the agenda on the future of work?
The conference is part of a series of activities of Socdem which aim to flesh out ways to realize an economic order that protects the dignity of each citizen, upholds egalitarianism without sacrificing productivity per se, and amends imbalances within the existing economies.