The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations: main recommandations

The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations focused on the increasing short-termism of modern politics and looked for solutions to favor long term issues.

It identifies seven megatrends:

  1. demographics (large, ageing populations);
  2. mobility (urbanisation and a growing middle class);
  3. society (inequality and unemployment);
  4. geopolitics (power transitions);
  5. sustainability (resource insecurity);
  6. health (shifting burdens of disease);
  7. technology (information and communications revolution). 

Five challenges that arise from these megatrends:
  1. Society: How can growth and development be made more sustainable and inclusive?
  2. Resources: How can food, energy, water and biodiversity be made more secure?
  3. Health: How can public health infrastructure and processes respond to the needs of all?
  4. Geopolitics: How can power transitions be the basis for fresh forms of collaboration? 
  5. Governance: How can businesses, institutions and governments contribute to more inclusive and sustainable growth?
According to the report, possible responses to these challenges are:  
  1. New targets on growth and employment, and a focus on youth workers and flexible workplaces
  2. Increase resource transparency and information sharing and measures to counteract climate change.
  3. Goals to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), remedy deficiencies in public health systems, and creatively partnering with the pharmaceutical industry 
  4. Countries are advised to identify shared interests, update institutions and develop cybersecurity capacity
  5. Better governance will aid this quest, particularly if technology is used creatively, 
  6. Rewiring business to invest for the long term. 
Five shaping factors make positive change difficult:
  1. Institutions: Too many have struggled to adapt to today’s hyper-connected world. 
  2. Time: Short-termism directs political and business cycles, despite compelling  exceptions.
  3. Political Engagement and Public Trust: Politics has not adapted to new methods or members. 
  4. Growing Complexity: Problems can escalate much more rapidly than they can be solved.
  5. Cultural Biases: Globalisation can amplify cultural differences and exclude key voices.
Finally, the reports makes five recommandations: 
    1.New partnerships
       •  C20-C30-C40: a Coalition of the Working comprising countries, companies and cities to counteract climate change.
       •  CyberEx:a new early warning platform to promote a better understanding of common threats amongst government, corporate and individual users.
       •  Fit Cities:a city-based network to fight the rise of non-communicable diseases. 
    2. Innovative, Open and Reinvigorated Institutions:
       •  Decades, not Days: invest in independent, accountable institutions able to operate across longer-term horizons.
       •  Fit for Purpose: incorporate sunset clauses into publicly funded international institutions  to ensure  regular review of accomplishments and mandates.
       •  Open up Politics: build on initiatives such as the Open Government Platform to optimise  new forms of  participation and transparency.
       •  Make the Numbers Count: establish Worldstat to improve the reliability and availability of statistics.            •  Transparent Taxation: address tax abuse and avoidance through a Voluntary Taxation and Regulatory  Exchange. 
       3. Revalue the Future to reduce  bias against future  generations: 
       •  Focus Business on the Long Term: ensure companies and financial systems give greater 
 priority to long term “health” and look beyond daily or quarterly reporting cycles.
       •  Discounting: future generations should not be discounted against simply because they are born tomorrow and not today. 
      •  Invest in People: remove perverse subsidies on hydrocarbons and agriculture, and redirect support to the poor.
     •  Measure Long-term Impact: create an index to track the effectiveness of countries, companies and international institutions on longer term issues. 
       4. Invest in Younger Generations: Greater attention should be given to promoting a more inclusive and empowered society, particularly for younger generations:
    •  Attack Poverty at its Source: break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through social protection measures such as conditional cash transfer programmes. 
    •  A Future for Youth: countries should invest in youth guarantees to address unemployment and underemployment.
       5. Establish a Common Platform of Understanding: The ability to address today’s global challenges is undermined by the absence of a collective vision for society. To remedy this, the Commission urges renewed dialogue on an updated set of shared global values around which a unified and enduring pathway for society can be built.  
À propos

Dédié à l'analyse des questions économiques, sociales et environnementales de long terme, L'Observatoire du Long Terme se fixe pour objectif de donner davantage de visibilité à ces enjeux dans le débat public. Dans ce contexte, il donne la parole à des contributeurs variés, avec pour seul critère le caractère étayé des arguments présentés.

L'Observatoire est indépendant, ne reçoit aucune aide financière et repose sur le volontariat de ses contributeurs, de son bureau, présidé par Vincent Champain et Bruno Fuchs.

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