Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

10th Festival of Economics (Trento, Italy) - 2015


Social mobility

Trento, Italy, 29 May-2 June 2015

"Dynamic and static inequalities are equally important. It is not just the distance between those with higher and lower incomes that matters, but also the odds that lower-paid workers will close the gap in the course of their lifetime....When static inequalities become too wide and when the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population obtains 50 per cent of the national income and owns up to 70 per cent of accumulated wealth, as is the case today in the US, it is unlikely that social mobility can cover such large distances. At the same time if society ossifies, killing off the possibility of reversals in positions on the income ladder, static inequalities tend to increase too. It is precisely for this reason that we need social mobility: to avoid perpetual and everexpanding differences in incomes....".

Tito Boeri | Scientific Director of the Festival of Economics


The OECD LEED Trento Centre is pleased to announce a round-table session on:

New and old social elevators: what floor to get off at and which to take? 

Saturday 30 May 2015 from 16.00 to 17.30

OECD Trento Centre, Vicolo S. Marco, 1, Trento



In Italy, as in many European countries, schooling, particularly at the university level, has been the primary factor (or elevator) in social mobility, allowing for the transformation of a farming country into an industrialised one offering diverse services. Currently, schools and universities, undergoing some profound transformations, are contemplating the set of skills and learning models that are most compatible with the fast speed at which society is changing. For example, as economies become ever more knowledge-based and globalised, language (and languages) can play an even more central role in technical and professional specializations.

The speed of societal change is sometimes faster than the structuring of some educational paths, rendering obsolete certain approaches and areas of expertise of a given scholastic program even before the conclusion of one of its cycles.

On the other hand, the complexity of such changes calls for some reflexion on the strategic importance of tradition and humanistic culture as very important factors in developing adequate adaptation as well as social innovation—this being the true challenge of advanced nations (within the OECD sphere).

This seminar will host a discussion of which areas of expertise and what types of models can drive the paths of educational and professional development in the future.

Moderator Sergio Arzeni, Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development

Roland Benedikter, Research Scholar of Multidisciplinary Political Analysis, in residence at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies of the University of California at Santa Barbara

Aldo Bonomi, Sociologist and Director of AASTER Research Institute

Gianfranco Dioguardi, professor of Economics and President of the  Dioguardi Foundation

For more information please visit the official website.