The future belongs to the economy of values

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2nd Open Eyes Economy Summit in Krakow

EESC members took part in the 2nd Open Eyes Economy Summit in Krakow

Technological developments, social and climate change and political unrest are challenging global society and the modern economy. At the same time, social and economic values, which were cherished in the past, have taken a back seat. The 2nd Open Eyes Economy Summit in Krakow on 14 and 15 November urged businesses and political bodies to review current economic practices and mind-sets in order to tackle the challenges of a changing environment and to guarantee sustainability.

The EESC believes that all relevant stakeholders must contribute to effective solutions for a sustainable future and a sustainable economy. The Committee advocates better cooperation between all economic actors and calls on legislators to plan ahead for change.

A delegation of EESC members participated in the 2nd Open Eyes Economy Summit, an international congress for the economy of values, which was intended as a wake-up call and a catalyst for debates on the future: a future with better cities, responsible companies and brands that create a valuable culture; a future with an economy based on social values, and one that contributes to sustainable development.

EESC vice-president Gonçalo Lobo Xavier attended the interdisciplinary congress with members from all the groups. He declared the honorary patronage of the EESC to the congress and participated in a panel on international governance and the future of work. Luca Jahier, president of the Various Interests' Group, delivered a speech entitled "What kind of work for young people in a transforming Europe?" and Joost van Iersel, ECO section president, and Pierre Jean Coulon, TEN section president, took part in a Battle Point on the "Future of work – Etatist Europe or Flexible Europe?"

The Polish employers' organisation Pracodawcy RP co-organised the congress and was responsible for the sessions related to the topic "Man - Work". Therefore, Andrzej Malinowski (Pracodawcy RP president and member of the EESC Employers' Group) participated in the inauguration of the Summit as a speaker, where he raised the issue of the future of work; Jukka Ahtela (Employers Group) spoke on the Finnish experiment with the guaranteed basic income; and Janusz Pietkiewicz (Employers Group) moderated Q&A sessions on "Jobless growth" and the "Gig Economy Culture". Marian Krzaklewski (Workers' Group) and the other EESC members participated in several public debates.

EESC members had the opportunity to analyse the changing environment and to discuss possible solutions with representatives from many different backgrounds. Unlike other economic congresses, the summit was open to everyone: businessmen, students, entrepreneurs, academics, representatives from non-governmental organisations, civil servants and artists.

The congress focused on the incorporation of social values into business and work, the creation of valuable relations between academia, business, society, and public institutions, and strategies to take advantage of social and business potential. By presenting examples of best practice, the summit demonstrated that profit remains a business objective for the new economy, but that it is closely interlinked with culture, development, innovation, ecology, fair trade and trust.

The aim of the summit's organisers, the Open Eyes Economy Movement, is to contribute new ideas to the debate on the Future of Europe and promote the new economy as a place for innovative, socially sensitive firms, geared exclusively towards sustainable development and long-term planning.