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The OECD has partnered with supporting institutions to elevate the voices of
local leaders in the global debate on inequalities in a number of events.


past events

22 September 2021OnlineWebinar - From City Halls to City Streets: How Are Local Leaders and Practitioners Helping Young People in the COVID-19 Era?

COVID-19 exacerbated pre-existing social and economic challenges faced by young people. In addition, the pandemic had a disproportionate impact upon the young in already precarious situations, including youth from low-income backgrounds, immigrant families, youth with disabilities, and young parents. Key in many domains that matter for youth, local actors have a crucial role to play in facilitating a good start for young people.

This year OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth pledged to work closely with communities, organisations, and other levels of government to upscale efforts to support young people severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure a resilient and inclusive recovery for this generation. Increased efforts include taking actions in three main areas: i) youth access to local services; ii) youth access to local economic opportunities; and iii) youth participation in local public life. What concrete actions are local leaders taking to provide support to young people through and beyond the pandemic?

This special edition of the Champion Mayors Initiative’s Inequality Matters webinar series during OECD Youth Week 2021, organised in partnership with the OECD Local Development Forum, looked at the efforts taking place from city halls to city streets to empower youth during the COVID-19 era. It was organised as a joint conversation between Champion Mayors and local youth practitioners working on the ground.



Peter Danielsson, Mayor of Helsingborg, Sweden

Thomas Rogé, Head of the Youth Policy Division, Department of Youth and Sports, Paris, France

John Wayman, Youth Mayor of Bristol, UK

Denis Leamy, CEO, Cork Education and Training Board, Ireland and Chair of the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development Directing Committee

-Marita Raisanen, Coordinator for Ohjaamo, a one-stop-shop guidance centre for young people in Jyväskylä, Finland


Moderated by Sena Segbedzi, Coordinator for the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD.


27 May 2021OnlineWebinar - Could The Grass Be Greener Beyond COVID19?

COVID-19 recovery planning represents a clear opportunity for cities to make their economies greener and progress towards climate change goals. Investing in green measures in cities creates jobs, sets local conditions for long-term economic growth, reduces CO2 emissions, prepares communities for future climate related risks, and makes for healthier residents. In response to the pandemic, an increasing number of green recovery initiatives have emerged, displaying cities’ high level of ambition as well as their capacity to experiment with innovative solutions. This session examined the variety of strategies cities are making to achieve an inclusive economic recovery in parallel with environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.


Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga, Portugal

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone

Susan Aitken, Council Leader of Glasgow, UK

– Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim, Germany


Moderated by Aziza Akhmouch, Head of City Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD, and Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director Europe, ICLEI.


26 May 2021OnlineWebinar - Fit For The Future: Reshaping Cities Post-Pandemic

COVID-19 highlighted the necessity of accessible multi-purpose and multi-functional urban spaces in cities.  Initiatives like the rapid expansion of cycling infrastructure, the reclaiming of street space for pedestrians, adapting regulations for outdoor dining and schooling, and pop-up recreational space, plus growing discourse around the 15-minute city the crisis accelerated the shift to more liveable cities. Moreover, the changing context of the traditional workplace and reliance on digital facilities and facilitation has the potential to change commuting patterns and opens up the discussion of how to reimagine the built environment. This session explored strategies rethinking public space and reshaping urban landscapes in ways that generate benefits for everyone and future-proof the city.


Matúš Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia

Einat Kalisch-Rotem, Mayor of Haifa, Israel

– Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, USA


Moderated by Sena Segbedzi, Champion Mayors initiative Coordinator, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD, and George McCarthy, President and CEO, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

*Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose, USA was unable to join.

25 May 2021OnlineWebinar - Setback For Now, Not Forever: Recovering Productivity in Cities

Cities took an economic hit as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Industries and businesses that make cities vibrant attractive places to live, work, and visit, were turned on their side. At the same time, members of the workforce in cities experienced the COVID-19 economic impacts differently, some residents lost their livelihoods because their workplaces had to close, while others were able to transition to work from home. Cities are leveraging their purchasing power and creating recovery investment plans to eventually move from short term response to long term recovery, but what will it take to make sure that recovery is inclusive?


– Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, United States

Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland

– Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, Canada

– Amaia Arregi, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao, Spain


Moderated by Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD, and Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments.

10 December 2020OnlineWebinar - Housing in Cities in the COVID-19 Era

The COVID-19 crisis exposed and worsened housing challenges in many cities in OECD countries. Housing inequality – marked by differences in prices, quality, location, and accessibility – came abruptly to the fore during  government-implemented lockdowns and “stay at home” measures.

At the initial peak of the crisis, cities, regions/states and national governments deployed emergency safety measures such as suspending evictions and relocating homeless populations, while some landlords suspended or cancelled rent. However, temporary measures will not solve housing inequality long-term.

This webinar explored what local and national governments can do to offer adequate and more affordable and sustainable housing for all.

Download the flyer for more information or access the presentations.


Opening remarks

  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD

Setting the scene

  • Soo-Jin Kim, Deputy Head of Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (OECD)


  • Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver, United States
  • Daniela Grabmüllerová, Deputy Minister, Section of Coordination of EU Funds and International Relations, Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Republic
  • Michaela Kauer, Director of Vienna’s EU Liaison Office in Brussels
  • Sjoerdje Van Heerden, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

Moderated by Aziza Akhmouch, Head of Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD

10 September 2020OnlineWebinar - Racial Equality and Inclusion in Cities

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, discrimination and marginalisation in cities. In this webinar, ICCAR and the OECD Champion Mayors Initiative explored how cities are leading the way in fighting discrimination and exclusion in a post-COVID-19 world.

Deputy Mayor of Bristol (United Kingdom), Asher Craig explained Bristol’s ‘ONE City’ plan that brings together key partners across the city to tackle racism and prejudice, and offers proactive support to promote equality. In response to COVID-19, Cllr Craig emphasised the need for direct communication with the communities most impacted by the crisis, and the need to make Information Technology (IT) readily accessible and available to all.

Human Rights Commissioner of Vienna (Austria), Shams Asadi spoke about Vienna’s human rights-based approach and their measures for inclusion: the rights to information, housing, education, work, and bodily integrity. Ms Asadi said the pandemic had exposed the huge importance of trust between government and citizens, and discussed ways in which local leaders can boost inclusivity by addressing the needs of migrants.

Magnus Magnusson, from UNESCO, highlighted the frontline position of cities in responding to the crisis, and emphasised the value of cooperation and information exchange during times of crisis.

Download the flyer for more information.


Moderated by Sena Segbedzi, Coordinator, OECD Champion Mayors Initiative, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD

Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of the City of Bristol (United Kingdom)

Shams Asadi, Human Rights Commissioner, City of Vienna (Austria)

Magnus Magnusson, Director for Partnerships and Outreach in the Human and Social Science Sector (UNESCO)

14 May 2020OnlineWebinar - The COVID crisis in cities: a tale of two lockdowns

Based on the OECD policy note Coronavirus: Cities policy responses‘The COVID crisis in cities: a tale of two lockdowns’ explored how Champion Mayors are leading the way in responding to the pandemic, protecting vulnerable groups and looking beyond the crisis to put in place recovery efforts post-COVID-19. This webinar highlighted cities’ efforts to reduce sources of vulnerability and provide useful lessons to build greater resilience for the future.

It examined how the COVID-19 crisis disproportionately affects vulnerable and marginalised groups, promising strategies to protect vulnerable groups in the short, medium and long term, and the recoveries cities are planning to protect the least advantaged and enhance social cohesion.

A recording of the webinar The COVID Crisis in Cities: A Tale of Two Cities is available here.


Moderated by Aziza Akhmouch, Head of Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, OECD

Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD

Zoran Janković, Mayor, City of Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Rosannie Filato, Member of the Executive Committee, City of Montreal (Canada)

Michiel Grauss, Vice Mayor for Poverty Reduction, City of Rotterdam (the Netherlands)

Discussant: Claire Charbit, Head of Unit, Territorial Dialogue and Migration, OECD

10 March 2020OnlineWebinar- Can Cities be Feminist?

Drawing on OECD research and data on gender equality, this Champion Mayors Inequality Matters webinar explored how Champion Mayors’ cities are pursuing gender equality.

Download our March on Gender flyer.

27 October 2019Washington DC, USAOECD Champion Mayors at CityLab DC

Together with Bloomberg Philanthropies the OECD has released a new report based on more than 80 city responses to a Survey on Innovation Capacity.

The report was launched at this CityLab 2019 along with a dynamic online platform. Jointly they assess how cities around the world are developing their capacity to innovate and highlight the results cities are reaping from their efforts.

We were joined at CityLab by Champion Mayors from Reykjavik, Freetown, Oakland and San Jose as well as former mayor of New York City, businessman, politician, author and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg.

30 August 2019Dusseldorf, Germany2019 Living Together Summit

The OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative was pleased to partner with the 2nd International Mayors Summit on Living Together, hosted by Champion Mayor Geisel in Düsseldorf.

The Initiative led a panel about Inclusive Cities where, representatives from Montreal (Canada), New York (USA), Vienna (Austria) and Arnhem (The Netherlands) discussed how municipal governments should lead the fight against inequality. This was a fantastic opportunity to bring cities together and feature local leaders’ efforts to achieve social inclusiveness & diversity.

Read: Mayor Geisel’s Mayor of the Moment Interview

12 June 2019OnlineWebinar- Accelerating Cities' Innovation Capacity

The Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth have joined forces with Bloomberg Philanthropies because we both believe that cities are fertile grounds for innovation. Nevertheless, innovation is as much about culture, people, leadership and engagement as it is about technology and data.

A webinar on 12th June 2019 shared key findings from the forthcoming OECD/Bloomberg Enhancing Cities Innovation Capacity report based on more than 80 city responses to the joint Survey on Innovation Capacity.

Together we are working to assess how cities around the world are developing their capacity to innovate and to what extent such innovation improves resident well-being.

22 May 2019Tokyo, JapanOECD Champion Mayors at the Second Urban20

At the second Urban 20 meeting in Tokyo, Japan 20 mayors representing more than 242 million urban citizens, called on G20 leaders to take urgent action on climate change, social inclusion & sustainable economic growth.

Mayors from the world’s largest economies issued a communiqué  urging their national leaders to work together to “leverage the tremendous potential of our cities as hubs of diversity and innovation for the purpose of tackling global challenges.”­

The OECD served as an advisory partner to the first Urban 20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The U20 was developed in 2017 under the leadership of two Champion Mayors-  Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of the City of Buenos Aires, and Anne Hidalgo of Paris.

21 November 2018Stockholm, SwedenWorkshop- Strategies for Migrant Integration in Cities

With participation from the cities of Stockholm, Milan, Hamburg, Berlin, Helsinki, Malmo and Gothenburg, the OECD Champion Mayors team and the City of Stockholm hosted their first workshop on effective solutions for migrant integration in cities.

In recent years, Stockholm has received a large number of migrants and the city is now working hard to develop and establish new structures and working methods. The overall goal for the integration work and the reception in the city is to create good conditions for new residents in Stockholm to promptly establish themselves in the labour market, housing market and in society.

The workshop was structured around findings from the OECD report, Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees and resulted in the Scoping Note- Migrant and Refugee Integration in Stockholm.


29 October 2018Buenos Aires, ArgentinaOECD Champion Mayors at the Urban20

The OECD served as an advisory partner to the Urban 20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The U20 was developed in 2017 under the leadership of two Champion Mayors-  Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of the City of Buenos Aires, and Anne Hidalgo of Paris.


The first Urban 20 Mayors summit served as a dialogue between global cities and the G20, seeking to collaborate and enrich the G20 agenda with an urban perspective.

28 October 2018Detroit, USAOECD Champion Mayors at CityLab Detroit

At CityLab 2018, the OECD joined The AtlanticThe Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies in convening the world’s city and community leaders to consider a new narrative worthy of the many global cities whose history may weigh heavy, but whose future holds the promise of a fresh page.


We were joined by our Champion Mayors from Athens, Braga, San Jose, Stockton and Utrecht.

21 October 2018Bristol, UKOECD Champion Mayors at the Global Parliament of Mayors

The GPM Annual Summit 2018 brought global city leaders, networks and international experts, including the OECD and several Champion Mayors, together to discuss city leadership and key global challenges at a local level.

The Global Parliament of Mayors is a governance body of, by and for mayors from all continents. It builds on the experience, expertise and leadership of mayors in tackling local challenges resulting from global problems. At the same time, it brings local knowledge to the table and thus participates actively in global strategy debates and underscores the need for practical, action oriented solutions.

12 September 2018San Francisco, USAEmpowering cities and regions for low-carbon and inclusive growth

A special thanks to California Champion Mayors Ted Winterer (Santa Monica, USA) and Michael Tubbs (Stockton, USA), who shared the bold, innovative, and inclusive measures they are taking to address climate change during the OECD’s official affiliate event, Bridging the climate and inclusion agendas in cities: A conversation with OECD Champion Mayors.

The OECD released key findings from a forthcoming study, Financing climate objectives in cities and regions for inclusive and sustainable growth at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco (United States). Between 2000-2016, cities and regions in 30 OECD countries were responsible for 55% of spending and 64% of investment in selected sectors that have a direct implication for climate change. With high levels of urban inequality, the success of the low-emission transition will also depend on the ability of subnational governments to engage in a just transition. The study is a part of the Financing Climate Futures: Rethinking Infrastructure project, a joint initiative of the OECD, UN Environment and the World Bank Group.

10 July 2018OnlineWebinar - In the Green: Building Inclusive Climate Change Agendas in Cities

Climate change damages are poised to have a disproportionate impact on populations that are already vulnerable: low-income households often have increased exposure to climate risks and hazards and a higher susceptibility to damages from climate change; they also have a lower capacity to recover from damages, as they often lack access to insurance systems and safety nets. Many local policies for climate change and environmental sustainability are applying explicit equity and social inclusion lenses.

This webinar was organised as part of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative and contributes to the joint OECD-World Bank-UNEP project, Financing Climate Futures: Rethinking Infrastructure. Experts from the OECD and the cities of Paris (France) and Los Angeles (USA) discussed the need for an inclusive growth lens into climate change-related activities.

28 June 2018OECD- ParisEmpowering cities for low-carbon and inclusive development

This seminar contributed to a larger project the OECD is conducting with UN Environment and the World Bank Group with support from the German government on Financing Climate Futures. The project will identify how we scale up from incremental responses to climate change to transformational ones. The Paris Agreement has provided great momentum, and although commitments were made at the national levels of government, coordination and cooperation and action at the local level is necessary to reach global climate targets. This session highlighted  how important it is to engage cities and how big a role they play in the financing and investment of climate change response.
Björn Bergstrand – Head of Sustainability, Kommuninvest
Carlos de Freitas – Director of Programmes – FMDV
Allison Hooks – Project Officer, Sustainable Infrastructure, CDP
Myriam Métais – Finance Advisor to the Mayor of Paris
Moderator – Sena Segbedzi, Policy Analyst, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

29 May 2018OECD- ParisMayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo opens the 2018 OECD Forum

The 2018 OECD forum reflected on what brings us together, moving from diagnosis to action, and shaping solutions to build these much-needed bridges.

The Chair of the OECD Champion Mayors and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, opened the 2018 forum by focusing on how policy makers can act to ensure future generations benefit from globalisation.

Read more on what Mayor Hidalgo is doing to make Paris a more inclusive city.

24 May 2018OnlineWebinar - Understanding and Overcoming Spatial Segregation

Land use policies, access to public services, decisions about where to build affordable housing, historical practices, as well as entrenched social and economic exclusion have shaped the spatial development of cities by influencing how and where resources are allocated and investments deployed. For fortunate residents, the structures and systems in place enable them to access hubs of economic activity, reside in neighborhoods with quality housing in high opportunity areas, and access vital public services and amenities. For those who are less fortunate, it means dealing with social and economic isolation, living in neighbourhoods plagued by poverty and disinvestment, and in areas more susceptible to climate-related events.

This webinar was organised as part of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Findings from the OECD report, Divided Cities: Understanding Intra-Urban Inequalities, set the scene by providing a set of comparable income segregation indicators across city jurisdictions.

29 March 2017OECD- ParisChampion Mayor Park Won Soon addresses OECD staff

Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon shared his experience in “WEconomics” as the basis for a more inclusive approach to economic development policies.

WEconomics is an economy “of all, by all, and for all.” It is a new economic principle that stresses the importance of establishing a fair market and upholding both growth and distribution…

WEconomics is about getting rid of the obsolete, outdated economic paradigm. WEconomics is about diversifying the economic players. WEconomics is about restoring the values that have been neglected in the past. No one should be forced to make a sacrifice for another’s growth and success. And the resources and opportunities of the next generation should not be wasted for the sake of the advantage and wealth of the current generation. All values – economy, labor, welfare, environment, human rights, community, and so on – should be upheld in a balanced and harmonious manner.

That was how the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the OECD came to cooperate on the Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative.

9 December 2016The Vatican, RomeRefugees Are Our Brothers and Sisters

The OECD participated in the European Summit: Refugees are our Brothers and Sisters, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican. The event, drawing mayors and local leaders from more than 50 cities,  many of whom are Champion Mayors (Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Lisbon, Leipzig), was a call to action among local leaders for a more integrated, human-centred response to welcoming and integrating refugees in local labour forces and communities.

2 December 2016Mexico CitySustainable Cities for All

The OECD contributed to the session, “Sustainable Cities for All: Increasing Social Equity through Climate Action” at the C40 Mayors Summit: Cities Leading Climate Action. The session showcased the vision of mayors and partners, such as the OECD and the Citi Foundation, who are taking an inclusive approach to climate action, providing examples of climate initiatives that also address inequality and provide broader social benefits.

10 November 2016OECD – ParisTowards Win-win Policies for Inclusive, Green Cities

A seminar organised jointly by the OECD and the C40, “Towards Win-win Policies for Inclusive, Green Cities,” was held on 10 November as part of the OECD Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum. Experts shared their views on the emerging challenges and potential opportunities to boost inclusion and achieve green and low-carbon growth in cities.

25 October 2016SeoulEconomic Democratisation conference with Mayor Park

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría gave a keynote address in the Economic Democratisation Conference organised by Seoul Metropolitan Government, followed by remarks from Champion Mayor Park Woo-soon.

17 October 2016QuitoChampion Mayor side-events at UN-Habitat

The OECD, in partnership with the Ford Foundation,  organised two side events relating to the Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative at UN-Habitat in Quito. Discussions built on the New York Proposal for Inclusive Growth in Cities, focusing on several key policy areas (education and skills, labour markets, housing and transport, and public services) and helped inform the Paris Action Plan. Both sessions presented findings from the OECD report, Making Cities Work for All, which provides policy makers with new data and a series of concrete policy recommendations to advance inclusive growth in cities.

Discover the website of the event 

13 October 2016BogotaLaying the Path for Inclusive Cities

The OECD, in partnership with the Ford Foundation and UCLG, organised a workshop, “Laying the Path for Inclusive Cities: Affordable Housing, Accessibility and Urban Development” as part of the 5th UCLG World Summit of Regional and Local Leaders. This workshop engaged leaders from the global coalition of OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative in a conversation about concrete strategies for building more inclusive urban environments. The session also launched the OECD report, Making Cities Work for All, which provides policy makers with new data and a series of concrete policy recommendations to advance inclusive growth in cities.

26 September 2016Tel AvivTel Aviv Cities Summit

Deputy Secretary-General Doug Frantz participated in the Tel Aviv Cities Summit on 26 September, highlighting how cities can be places of opportunity and lift people out of poverty.

22 September 2016PhiladelphiaLeading Inclusive Growth: A Meeting with the Mayors

Gabriela Ramos, Special Counsellor to the Secretary-General and Chief of Staff, and Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General and Coordinator of the Inclusive Growth initiative, joined forces with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and mayors from the U.S. for a session on “Leading Inclusive Growth: A Meeting with the Mayors,” as part of the Reinventing Our Communities – Transforming Our Economies national biennial conference

16 June 2016Washington, DCInclusive Growth in Cities, with the Brookings Institution and the NLC

The Brookings Institute, in cooperation with the National League of Cities, hosted “Inclusive Growth in Cities: A Conversation with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría”, followed by a high-level panel of public and private leaders from cities across the U.S. working to develop more inclusive cities.

16 June 2016MontrealRegional event with Champion Mayor Denis Coderre

The OECD Secretary-General joined Champion Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal (Canada) to launch the OECD report, Montréal : Métropole de Talent, and discuss how the city can deepen its efforts towards inclusive growth.