Two months ago twenty entries were shortlisted for the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Video Competition. Produced by young people from around the world aged between 18 and 25 years, each of the films represents personal visions of progress in today’s world. After an international public vote to decide the most popular videos, six winners were invited to attend the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Forum. Paul Clare from the OECD’s Centre for Co-operation with Non-Members, one of the competition organisers, asked them for their thoughts on the whole experience.
That’s us – six young people, flown to Paris from places as far away as Australia, Colombia, India, Peru and Ukraine. Honestly, there had been a little uncertainty about what to expect, but we could never have imagined that we would soon be sharing such a unique and overwhelming experience.
We met people from every walk of life. Every time we turned a corner we encountered a new face with a story or idea to share. What we all found to be the most exciting was that we felt we were at the epicenter of a world exposition of ideas.
And we even had the opportunity to contribute our own ideas, in very diverse ways, such as at the launch of the extraordinary Better Life Index.
We think that the reason we were able to participate is because we portrayed a vision of progress that others could believe in. So, it’s important to realise where the OECD has come in its fifty young years, and where it is going next year, in the next decade and well into the future.
A university professor had told us: ‘Only ten years ago, the core function of such forums was to improve the finances of a select club of nations’. These past three days we have seen people excited about improving gender equality, the environment, and even measuring and improving the happiness of people around the globe.
The one over-riding vibe, however, is that the OECD is keen to break from its member country mould and allow its work to benefit billions of people. If this is not progress, then we don’t know what is.
Until the next time!
Alina, Desiree, Hew, Javier, Stephanie and Vidhya