The Local Economic Development (LED) forum started in 2011 with a major big event in Seville, Spain. It was created with the aim of establishing a platform where the dialogue on the key aspects of sustainable development could take a central role. For this purpose, since the beginning, it’s gathering a large number of leaders and professionals from national and subnational governments; but also civil society, workers’ and employers’ associations and different stakeholders. This year’s edition, the V World Forum for Local Economic Development, will take place in Córdoba, Argentina, from May 6th to 8th.

Since the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the United Nations General Assembly, it has been a flagship for the activities of the forum. Thus, thanks to the large corpus of practical experiences and tools, LED is to foster the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the territories. To attain this objective, the answers given need to be articulated to tackle the global challenges always bearing in mind the local, human, inclusive and sustainable development; which should be based on the area’s endogenous resources. Keeping in mind and prioritising local social and cultural realities. In other words, the boosting of global partnerships where the local stakeholders might be represented.

To accomplish these objectives, the V edition will be split in 3 thematic lines:

  1. The territory as a basis of social, economic and environmental innovation: It analyses innovation processes in which the most relevant aspect is the territory, which is always the source of resources and innovation. This space is also the framework where people produce and consume goods and services, and the ability to transform knowledge into social, economic and environmental innovation; is a sine qua non-tool to improve the quality of life in the territory. This task is not only a question of financial and budgetary resources but the capability to develop smart specialisation strategies, deepening the knowledge of their own resources, capacities and potentialities to take advantage of them;
  2. The territorial economic and production models to tackle inequality: An inequality is a manifestation of exclusion patterns in one aspect of life. Since the 2008 crisis it seems that while the inequalities between countries have been effectively reduced, inequalities within the countries have arisen. It’s important to point out that these inequalities don’t entail just personal costs; but also societies as a whole. Gender, age, ethnicity, social class, centre, periphery, and so on; are some of the dimensions that could be more affected by the digital transformation and technological revolution. To avoid the widening of these gaps, new territorial competitiveness strategies are needed;
  3. The future of work and work of the future from a territorial perspective: The future of work has a narrow linkage with the development of the technic, the climate-related challenges and the socio-economic status quo that will be given by the digitalisation of the production. The projections for the future are shapeshifting faster every year, but it seems that some general pictures might be taken into account from the reality we are facing nowadays. Developed countries with a declining population will be able to maintain their living standards, while less developed will struggle to find new growth opportunities. In the same way, there are just three areas of human ability that computerised system won’t be able to replace for the moment: creative intelligence, social intelligence and perception and manipulation in unstructured or changing environments. These characteristics could make income distributions much more unequal in the future, which will lead us to new organisational forms. The answer addressed for this challenge by the LED is a human-centred agenda.

To contribute to the debate, a European delegation of Regional Development Agencies lead by EURADA will attend the meeting organised in Córdoba. The president of the EURADA, Roberta Dall’Olio and Rafael Escamilla, the president of Foro ADR (the Spanish association of regional development agencies), will represent the European regional point of view on how to address the upcoming challenges the world will face in the near future.