Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Rethinking local development strategies in light of COVID-19


 17 May 2022   09.00-13.15 CET Trento, Italy

The conference was organised by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMES, Regions and City, the Autonomous Province of Trento and the European Commission - Representation in Italy. 

Why this conference 

The COVID-19 pandemic created a major economic and employment shock in regions around the world. It is also having longer-term impacts on where and how we live and work, such as the rise of remote working. It has also called into question where and how we produce goods in light of renewed concerns about proximity from a supply chain and environmental perspective. The initial policy response has involved considerable public investment. Longer term, the impacts raise new strategic questions for policy action.

As the world adjusts to a “new normal”, there are many local angles. The nature of the pandemic outbreak and the way we respond is deeply local. The new reality calls for a rethink of local and regional strategies as active participants in shaping the future.


What will be discussed

The half-day conference reflected on how local and regional development can be fit for the future in light of the changes in the way we live, work, produce and consume. The programme included a keynote speech from Elisa Ferreira, EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, followed by reflections from world-renowned academic experts on the recent policy-relevant developments in the areas of local labour markets, FDI and value chains. The second part of the event was devoted to an international policy-centred round table discussion among regional policy makers and policy practitioners on innovative strategies and policy practices that subnational governments can adopt to boost the recovery and make the most effective use of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.


  • Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, European Commission
  • Mariastella Gelmini, Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, Italy
  • Yoshiki Takeuchi, Deputy Secretary General, OECD
  • Maurizio Fugatti, President, Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy
  • Pedro Azpiazu Uriarte, Minister of Economy and Finance, Basque Country, Spain
  • Antonio Bernardini, Ambassador and Special Envoy of the Italian Presidency of the OECD Ministerial Council
  • Vito Borrelli, Deputy Head, European Commission’s Representation in Italy
  • Riccardo Crescenzi, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics, UK
  • Raffaele Farella, Director, International Affairs Unit, Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy
  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD
  • Karen Maguire, Head, Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division, OECD
  • Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Counsellor, Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII), France and Special Advisor to the EU Commissioner on Cohesion and Reforms
  • Jim O’Neill, Chair of Northern Gritstone, Vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Senior Adviser of Chatham House, UK
  • Antonio Parenti, Head, European Commission’s Representation in Italy
  • Maria Savona, Professor of Applied Economics, LUISS University, Italy
  • Stefano Schiavo, Director, School of International Studies and Professor of Economics, University of Trento, Italy
  • Flavia Terribile, Economic Advisor to the Minister for Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Italy and Chair of the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee
  • Mario Tonina, Vice President and Minister for Urban Planning, Environment and Cooperation, Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy



Material & Information



 (versione in italiano)

Press release (solo in italiano)



The conference was an in-person event.

In accordance with current anti-COVID regulations in Italy, the use of FFP2 masks was mandatory during the event.

Working language

The conference was held in English, Italian & Spanish with simultaneous interpretation.




This event took place in the context of the 40th anniversary of the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme 



   European Commission