UNU at the Global Media Forum 2013

‘The world economy faces enormous challenges. Pressed to deal with climate change and scarce resources, it must also respond to growing social, political and cultural tensions. As billions of people vie for lives in dignity on a shared planet, the debate on global regulatory and structural policies is swelling…’  Deutsche Welle

This year’s Global Media Forum allowed UNU to join the debate on the future of growth before a massive media audience. It enabled us to share our recent work and aspirations with more than 2500 journalists, academics and policymakers — from reporters at Britain’s Guardian newspaper to Professor Noam Chomsky to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle — all against the stunning glass backdrop of the World Conference Center in Bonn.


In a plenary workshop entitled ‘Beyond GDP: Inclusive Measures of Economic Progress’, three UNU speakers presented our latest findings in the field of development economics. Arguing the case for new indicators of societal progress, Professor Tony Addison of UNU-WIDER joined colleagues from the International Human Dimension Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). They presented new thinking on chronic problems, with a view to breaking assumptions and shifting mindsets. Watch the full workshop here.

We also had a 6m2 booth ‘manned’ by staff from UNU institutes in Bonn, Helsinki and Maastricht. Designed to boost visibility whilst sharing costs, this joint approach created a bustling and welcoming space for anyone seeking information on our work. It helped to maximize knowledge sharing, team spirit and networking across the board.

At the booth itself, our Recom Project and Inclusive Wealth Report drew a lot of attention and questions. Additionally, many young journalists and NGO workers – particularly from developing countries – were keen to hear more about our study programmes, not only our Master’s but also our part-time and full-time PhD programmes.

For the most part, however, our ‘booth browsers’ wanted to know what we do, where we work and how we fit into the UN family. At institute level we could point to the the video below, commissioned by UNU-MERIT for the Global Media Forum and World Conference of Science Journalists. That’ll be our next stop next week – hope to see you in Helsinki!

by Howard Hudson, Editor / Communications Coordinator, UNU-MERIT. Image courtesy of Katharina Brach, UNU-ViE.