Kevin Watkins

Inequality barrier to human development

The lecture addressed dilemma of inequality and discussed possible ways forward, from both a human development perspective and a business perspective. Video record and audio podcast available now from the lecture.

Tuesday 05.03.2013

The past two decades have seen dramatic gains in human development. Poverty is falling, child survival rates are increasing, and education indicators are on a rising trend. During the same time period new modes of development ideas and practices have evolved that includes local communities and the poor in finding solutions, and, in addition, points to partnering with business to address systemic challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation and climate change. Yet, wealth distribution within countries is diverging – and persistent inequalities in opportunity are holding back progress in health, education and employment. This lecture will address these dilemmas and discuss possible ways forward, from both a human development perspective and a business perspective.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion panel „Role of business in development”. The lecture will be livestreamed at You can follow the lecture via Ask your questions to Kevin Watkins using #kapu.

Date: 5 March, 2013,  10:30am GMT / 11:30am CET – check time around the world
Venue: Stockholm School of Economics, the Auditorium

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11.30–11.40 Welcome and Introduction by Stockholm School of Economics, European Commission (Mr. Pierre Schellekens, Head of the European Commission Representation in Stockholm) and UNDP (Ms. Monica Lorensson, Liaison Officer, UNDP Nordic Office)

11.40–12.10 Keynote speech: “Inequality as a barrier to human development” Kevin Watkins

12.10–12.45 Panel discussion: „The role of business in development”
Panel: Kevin Watkins, Marianne Barner, Christina Båge-Friborg,
Karin Holmquist, Mia Horn af Rantzien, Lin Lerpold, Örjan Sjöberg
Moderator: Susanne Sweet

12.45–13.00 Q & A and closing

Organized in partnership with:

Dr Kevin Watkins is the nonresident Senior Fellow at Centre for Universal Education at Brookings Institution, appointed Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the leading think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues in the UK. Watkins held previously the position of director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report. He was the director of the UNDP Human Development Report where led the research on reports covering the Millennium Development Goals, water and climate change. Watkins was the head of research at Oxfam.

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