‘We are at a moment of deep institutional breakdown’

This morning at the OECD’s “New Approaches to Economic Challenges” conference the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins,  highlighted research by the DIIS project in MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine at University College Cork (UCC), which argues that many of the fundamental institutions that societies have relied upon for decades for stability and direction – politics, technology, religion and higher education – are currently failing.

Dr Ian Hughes who leads DIIS (Deep Institutional Innovation for Sustainability and Human Development) said

‘The COVID crisis has rocked us to the core, but it is not the only crises we face. This is a historic moment of deep transformational crisis. That requires not only fundamental innovations in all the major social institutions that make up society, it requires new imaginaries to guide the direction of those transformations.

The OECD’s “New Approaches to Economic Challenges” programme hosted the conference to reflect on international approaches to the Covid-19 pandemic and their consequences for strategies to address other global emergencies, such as climate change, poverty, malnutrition and growing inequalities within and among societies.


President Michael D. Higgins, highlighted research by the DIIS project in MaREI