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A mystery in the machine

Algorithms lie at the heart of machine learning, which, in turn lies at the heart of much of modern life–from online shopping to intelligence gathering. But most of us know little about these powerful tools and how they work. Is this wise?

korea,gender,women,work
Korea's work-life balance policies for sustainable growth

Of the abundant resources given to mankind, what is the most underused resource of our time? Without a doubt, women! 

Local logic: How cities can make a difference

The world cannot resolve today’s development challenges with purely national approaches. We need to complement them with local approaches, too. We live in an era of enormous transformations, in which our traditional political structures and forms of democratic participation must adapt. That means casting a bigger focus than ever on the important role of local power and communities. Local territories and cities are essential players in the pursuit of a just and sustainable development, and their voices must be given more sway in international forums.

Women for peace

UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which was adopted in 2000, recognised, for the first time, the vital contribution of women to conflict prevention and resolution. 

Wikigender launches in French

Seven years after creating the Wikigender portal in English, the OECD Development Centre launched the French version on 16 December 2015. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, International Francophone Organisation and the French Development Agency were among those associated with the launch.

oecd, angel gurria, malene rydhal, coffees of the secretary-general
Malene Rydahl: "What the Danes can teach us about happiness and living better lives"

Happiness expert Malene Rydahl visited the OECD on 24 February 2016, giving a talk and sharing insights from her book Heureux comme un danois ("as happy as a Dane"). Part of The Coffees of the Secretary-General series, you can read the complete transcript of Ms Rydahl’s presentation below. 

students, education, oecd, andreas schleicher, terrorism, extremism, school
Understanding the battle against extremism

Whoever has a hammer sees every problem as a nail. Those in the security business tend to see the answer to radicalism and terrorism in military might, and those in the financial business in cutting flows of money. So it is only natural for educators to view the struggle against radicalism and terrorism as a battle for hearts and minds. But the recent terrorist attacks in Europe have brought home that it is far too simplistic to depict extremists and terrorists as victims of poverty or poor qualifications. More research on the background and biographies of extremists and terrorists is badly needed, but it is clear that these people often do not come from the most impoverished parts of societies. Radicals are also found among young people from middle-class families who have ticked all the boxes when it comes to formal education. And ironically, those terrorists seem to be well equipped with the entrepreneurial, creative, global and collaborative social skills that we often promote as the goal of modern education.

interns, work, jobs, oecd, internship, trainee, salary, education
An intern's world?
diaspora, emigrants, ireland, migration, workforce
Ireland's global workforce

The writer James Joyce was unique in many ways, but when he left Ireland in 1904, he was joining a tradition of expatriate Irish writers. Difficulty publishing at home in what was then a conservative country was one reason for his departure: in his 1912 poem, “Gas from a burner”, he referred to Ireland as “This lovely land that always sent Her writers and artists to banishment.” But Joyce also declared that after his death “Dublin” would be found inscribed on his heart. Today the word “Joyce” is in turn inscribed in Ireland’s own heritage.

anne ar, refugees, iamwiththem
Photo exhibition at the OECD of the work of photojournalist Anne A.R.

Currently exhibiting at the OECD, the work of photojournalist Anne A.R. on Syrian refugees in Greece “I am with them” is a testimony of the lives of children, women and men searching for a better life as they escape the horrors of war. 

migration, refugee, migrant
Migration challenge

"European leaders must stand before history in dealing with this humanitarian tragedy. They have the experience and the capacity to respond to this emergency and chart the path for a long-term solution," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in a statement on a French-German refugee initiative issued Friday 4 September.

refugees, migration, asylum seekers, filippo grandi, unhcr
OECD and UNHCR call for scaling up integration policies in favour of refugees

In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to look for international protection in Europe, and about 1.5 million claimed asylum in OECD countries. This is an all-time record and almost twice the number recorded the year before. Asylum seekers represent about 0.1% of the total OECD population, and less than 0.3% of the population in Europe.

Progress for women and girls in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The UN Sustainable Development Goals could be a real game changer for gender issues, with wins in fraught areas such as reproductive rights. But there will be challenges, and opposing voices, to contend with in the years ahead.

migration, refugee, migrant
We are entering a new era of migration

Even before the refugee crisis hit European countries, migration was at the top of the international policy agenda. All sides of such a sensitive debate have made appeals to people’s emotions, but there must also be room for facts to inform policy discussions. 

diaspora, enda kenny, immigration, ireland, migration
Migration: A flexible return ticket

Today, bolstered by steady economic growth and an emerging confidence in Ireland’s future, the government is taking a new tack by fostering a bolder engagement towards emigration and the diaspora. 

French education reforms

Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was at the OECD on 10 July to discuss France’s education reforms. She received OECD recommendations on making education more inclusive.

gender,women,work,companies,oecd
More women on board

The 30% Club is a group of company chairmen, chairwomen and CEOs committed to achieving better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions.

Are migrants settling in?
It is time to reverse an unfolding injustice

According to shocking new research by Oxfam, the world’s richest 1% will, on current trends, own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016.

The Better Life Index has just been released in Italian

The BLI is an interactive online platform that offers important insights into how people perceive their own well-being and quality of life. 

We must harness the true strength of migration
A bright mind and an outstanding policymaker: A tribute to José Mariano Gago

With José Mariano Gago, the world has lost a brilliant scientist and an outstanding policymaker. He did not just decisively shape the policy landscape in Portugal; his intellectual rigour, charisma and generosity profoundly influenced the search for better policies in many countries. That is why we were so saddened when we learned that Mariano Gago had passed away on 17 April 2015.

Do we really have a good picture of women’s well-being?

Lack of data limits the ability to measure women’s conditions in an accurate and comprehensive way, and to make informed decisions about how women and girls fare. The post-2015 development agenda will translate into an increased demand for gender statistics that are regularly produced and provide solid and objective evidence.

Happiness at work

The Spinoza Factory, together with Campagne Première Productions, have organised the Happiness at work days (journées du Bonheur au travail), in Paris from February 12-14. This three-day conference will include round tables, debates, and interventions by business leaders, psychologists, researchers, trade unions and employees.

Over 1.1 billion tourists traveled abroad in 2014

In a time of economic turmoil, global tourism is still faring well: over 1.1 billion tourists traveled abroad in 2014, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This is almost 5% more than in 2013, the organisation said in a press release.

Thomas Piketty: "Capital in the Twenty-First Century"

Star economist Thomas Piketty presented the English version of his global bestseller, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", at the OECD on 3 July 2014 as part of The Coffees of the Secretary-General series. Read the complete transcript of Mr Piketty's presentation below.

Tributes and reactions

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, 7 and 9 January 2015, in which 17 defenceless people were gunned down.

Digital learning in schools

Schools are places of learning and producing the innovators of tomorrow. But did you know that in most OECD countries, schools lag behind workplaces and homes in the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) tools?

Migration and jobs: Is Europe’s labour market adjusting?

The question of whether or not migration, and in particular free mobility within Europe, can play a role in reducing unemployment is a highly topical one. In the EU, harmonised unemployment rates rose between 2007 and Q3 2014 from 7.2% to 10%.

Is long-term earnings inequality growing? Evidence from German baby-boomers and their parents

Compared to their parents, German baby-boomers are substantially more unequal in terms of long-term earnings, are subject to a much stronger pay uncertainty, and are considerably more likely to experience long spells of unemployment.