As such, it is imperative to transcend the traditional notion of education as a peripheral concern and instead, position education for all at the very heart of how we design our economies.
4 steps for real economic transformation
First, we need to get rid of the false dichotomy between the innovation state and the welfare state – between the dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious economic activity over here and the social services, care and education policy over there. For instance, by granting every individual access to information and data, we not only uphold the fundamental human right to continuous education, but also foster curiosity and empower citizens to innovate.
Recognizing the link between innovation and welfare, the US government has made public funding for the CHIPS and Science Act conditional upon recipient companies providing access to childcare for their employees—bringing together thus, national security concerns tied to semiconductor manufacturing with the responsibility of ensuring the healthy development of the next generation of citizens.
, we need a cross-sectoral and whole-of-government approach to put education at the center of how we govern our economy.
The pandemic has shown that education requires the involvement of many different sectors working together. The move to online schooling, for example, has not only been an educational challenge; it has spotlighted the complex web of interdependencies among different sectors: from digital and public health to energy and housing.
As I argue in Mission Economy, defining a mission – such as giving every young person in school access to a computer and internet – can help design policies that are both cross-sectoral and inter-ministerial.
, we need to recognize that finance for education is not a trade-off for other policy priorities, but a critical driver of a dynamic economy as the multiplier effect of education expenditure is massive.
Most estimates show that between $2 and $5 are generated in additional spending for every $1 in initial public education expenditure. Nevertheless, there is a considerable financing gap – currently $97 billion per year – for low- and lower-middle-income countries to meet their education targets.