Dear members of the CATÓLICA-LISBON community,
2020 will be a year unlike any other. The impacts of the pandemic in the economy are appearing in all their ugliness. Since 1990 the share of extremely poor people in the world (living with less than $1.9 per day) fell from 2 billion to 630 million. Now, in 2020 and for the first time since 1998, the number of very poor people is increasing and this rise may cancel the gains of an entire decade. Furthermore, the World Food Program predicts that the number of people facing acute hunger will double by the end of the year. Portugal is also very exposed to an increase in poverty, as the impact of the pandemic will be disproportionally borne by the lower income population. The food banks are already feeling the strain and unemployment is rising fast, despite the support to more than 20% of the active population in different government lay-off schemes covering 1.1 million workers. These are sobering numbers and never before was so critical to have robust economic and business policies, based on evidence and aligned with human values and shared prosperity goals.
To fulfill this mandate, CATÓLICA-LISBON is launching the Center of Economics for Prosperity (PROSPER). Led by our Professor Joana Silva, who joined the school last year and brings 15 years of experience as a Senior Economist at the World Bank, the center will mobilize the best economic analysis capabilities of our professors and researchers to inform the design of robust economic policies. The first initiative of the center is an in-depth analysis of the jobs at risk in Portugal due to the pandemic. Thus, I am pleased to announce that our Digital Conference this Thursday June 4th at 17h (in Portuguese) will be dedicated to the launch of the Center, the presentation of this report, and a speech from the Minister of Trabalho, Solidariedade e Segurança Social Drª Ana Mendes Godinho. Please join us this Thursday for this very important event: Who bears the cost of COVID-19: Analysis of Jobs at risk in Portugal. Please register here.
In the Knowledge conference of this Tuesday June 2nd at 17.00h, as previously announced, we will discuss how consumer brands are adapting their value proposition and marketing strategies to the confinement situation and the new consumption trends. This knowledge conference (in Portuguese) will feature senior managers of major brands sharing their experience and innovations, moderated by our Program Director Rosário Pinto Correia with comments from Professor Rita Coelho do Vale. Please register here.
We have much to share at CATÓLICA-LISBON and #WeStandUNITED. United as a community and united in support of a healthy economy capable of fulfilling the needs and aspirations of all citizens.
Filipe Santos, Dean of CATÓLICA-LISBON.