Peter Georgescu: "Capitalists arise: Defining the problems and consequences of inequality"

©OECD

Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam Peter Georgescu visited the OECD on 3 May 2016. The author gave a talk on inequality. Part of The Coffees of the Secretary-General series, you can read the complete transcript of Mr Georgescu’s presentation below.  

Thank you very much, I am delighted to be here and I would particularly like to thank Ambassador Yohannes who reached out to me several months ago and who is responsible for starting this very meaningful and important relationship that I have with the OECD. I also want to thank Lamia Kamal Chaoui for her help in organising and steering today’s event.

I’m here in Paris to talk about inequality, or as you call it: the need for inclusive growth. We know that this is an extraordinary challenge for all members of the OECD and far beyond. We can also tell that inequality of income, which leads to inequality of opportunity, is a real and serious threat, it is a threat to our way of life, our civil society, it is unjust, immoral and indeed unsustainable. I take my hat off to the OECD for being at the forefront of this crisis, you have rang the bell, you have the research and amazing data to diagnose the problem and to reach out with new initiatives.

I want to focus my presentation on the business sector, for two purposes. Firstly, I want to share with you what I believe is the culpability of business in this area; and secondly, to also point to important areas where potential and dramatic solutions in helping this crisis can be found. I also think that, as the title says, we capitalists must arise because we have the capacity and should have the wisdom and the urgency to bring solutions to this socio-economic crisis. We need to agree that a change in our behaviour, a real change in the way we do business is going to become essential and therefore we must act with urgency. The good news is that if we do act wisely the probability is very high that the solutions will bode well for the future of growth and prosperity. 

Get the full transcript here


Short biography

Peter Georgescu is the author of The Constant Choice – An Everyday Journey From Evil Toward Good.

He is Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam Inc., a network of preeminent commercial communications companies dedicated to helping clients build their businesses through the power of brands. He served as the company’s Chairman and CEO from 1994 until January 2000. 

Under Peter Georgescu’s leadership, Young & Rubicam successfully transformed from a private to a publicly-held company. During his tenure, Young & Rubicam built the most extensive database on global branding and, from its findings, developed a proprietary model for diagnosing and managing brands. Within the marketing community, he is known as a leading proponent of creating unified communications programmes, agency accountability for measuring the impact of communications programmes, and structuring value-based agency compensation. In recognition of his contributions to the marketing and advertising industry, Peter Georgescu was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001.

Peter Georgescu immigrated to the US from Romania in 1954. He was educated at Exeter Academy, received his B.A. with cum laude honors from Princeton and an MBA from the Stanford Business School.

His belief in the power of education has fuelled his involvement with organisations such as "A Better Chance" and Polytechnic University, both of which he has served as a member of their Boards of Directors. The University of Alabama and Cornell College in Iowa have awarded Peter Georgescu honorary doctorate degrees. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2014, he was honoured with the Spirit of the City award by the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

Peter Georgescu continues to serve as a board member of a publicly registered company, Geeknet. Previously, he has served on the Boards of Levis Strauss, Toys R Us, EMI Recorded Music, International Flavors & Fragrances and Briggs & Stratton. He is currently Vice Chairman of New York Presbyterian Hospital, a Trustee of the Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellowship Program and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

In 2006 Peter Georgescu published his first book “The Source of Success”, asserting that personal values and creativity are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century. His second book, The Constant Choice – an Everyday Journey from Evil Toward Good was published in January 2013.

Visit http://theconstantchoice.com 

Twitter: @PeterGeorgescu

©OECD Observer November 2016




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • “Nizip” refugee camp visit
    July 2016: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría visits the “Nizip” refugee camp, situated between Gaziantep and the Turkish-Syrian border, accompanied by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek. The camp accommodates a small number of the 2.75 million Syrians currently registered in Turkey, mostly outside the camps. In his tour of the camp, Mr Gurría visits a school, speaks with refugees and gives a short interview.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • Queen Maxima of the Netherlands gives a speech next to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (not pictured) during the International Forum of Financial Inclusion at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 21, 2016.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • OECD Environment Director Simon Upton presented a talk at Imperial College London on 21 April 2016. With the world awash in surplus oil and prices languishing around US$40 per barrel, how can governments step up efforts to transform the world’s energy systems in line with the Paris Agreement?
  • Happy 10th birthday to Twitter. This 2008 OECD Observer interview with Henry Copeland said you’d do well.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Once migrants reach Europe, countries face integration challenge: OECD's Thomas Liebig speaks to NPR's Audie Cornish.

  • Message from the International Space Station to COP21

  • The carbon clock is ticking: OECD’s Gurría on CNBC

  • If we want to reach zero net emissions by the end of the century, we must align our policies for a low-carbon economy, put a price on carbon everywhere, spend less subsidising fossil fuels and invest more in clean energy. OECD at #COP21 – OECD statement for #COP21
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Pole to Paris Project
  • In order to face global warming, Asia needs at least $40 billion per year, derived from both the public and private sector. Read how to bridge the climate financing gap on the Asian Bank of Development's website.
  • How can cities fight climate change?
    Discover projects in Denmark, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
  • Climate: What's changed, what hasn't, what we can do about it.
    Lecture by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, hosted by the London School of Economics and Aviva Investors in association with ClimateWise, London, UK, 3 July 2015.
  • Is technological progress slowing down? Is it speeding up? At the OECD, we believe the research from our Future of ‪Productivity‬ project helps to resolve this paradox.
  • Is inequality bad for growth? That redistribution boosts economies is not established by the evidence says FT economics editor Chris Giles. Read more on www.ft.com.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

Poll

What issue are you most concerned about in 2016?

Unemployment
Euro crisis
International conflict
Global warming
Other

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2016