Insufficient Level of Youth Education Stunts Economic Growth – Larry Summers

Insufficient Level of Youth Education Stunts Economic Growth – Larry Summers
20 September 2013

“It has been a truism for the last 200 years, that parents can expect their children to be better educated than them.  This idea is now under threat,” said Lawrence Henry (Larry) Summers.

“It has been a truism for the last 200 years, that parents can expect their children to be better educated than them.  This idea is now under threat,” said Lawrence Henry (Larry) Summers, former Director of the US National Economic Council (2009-2010), former President of Harvard University and ex-Secretary of the US Treasury Department, during a panel discussion on the current global economic issues, at the 10th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES).

Mr Summers went on to say that the the recovery of traditional cyclical conditions of the world’s economy have been extremely slow in coming back to normal.  He put this down to two factors, the slackening of demand, and the over-abundance of labour able to carry out task based work.  And went on to state that the malaise our global economy is currently suffering from calls into question what has been a key principle of growth and development - –the confidence that children will live better than their parents.

“The key feature of a healthy society lies in parents’ confidence in a better life for their children,” Larry Summers stressed. “Today what is happening in most developed countries sows doubt in this belief.  Europe is experiencing a marked decrease in the numbers of its children who find themselves in new careers.  In Japan the sales of adult diapers outstrip those made for children, as the population continues to age. 

According to one of the leading global economic analysts, this phenomenon is rooted in the so-called “cyclical malaise”, or disruption of our normal economic cycle. Restoration of normal conditions is progressing very slowly. “Everything depends on to what extent we will be able to meet the demand for stability”, Summers noted.  

The instability we’re dealing with affects all countries.  It affects the ability of the centre to build effectively. It affects international cooperation, and it affects the ability to support countries left behind.  Globalisation changes incentives, both for countries and people. However, current educational systems are not able to provide the right education to enable our youth to capitalize on these incentives.  “The US is now seeing the first generation of children who will not be better educated than their parents. This is thefactor that most affects our ability to speed up economic growth”, Larry Summers emphasized. 

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė officially opened the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting on September 20th. They presented their visions on how to create synergies for Wider Europe.

The 10th Yalta Annual Meeting will focus on factors of success that create strong, competitive, sustainable and fair countries and societies. Among the topics will be the global economy, energy security, threats and innovations transforming our lives, as well as successful leadership approaches. Special attention will be paid to the future of Wider Europe and Ukraine’s cooperation and integration perspectives.

Among the speakers are Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Stefan Fule, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy; Sergey Glazyev, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation; Kairat Kelimbetov, Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan; Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine (1994 – 2005); Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005) and Chairman of the Board of YES; Mario Monti, 54th Prime Minister of Italy (2011 – 2012); Ronald Noble, Secretary General Interpol; Gen. David H. Petraeus (US Army, Retired), Director, Central Intelligence Agency (2011 – 2012); Bill Richardson, 30th Governor of New Mexico, 9th United States Secretary of Energy (1998 – 2001); Gerhard Schröder, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1998-2005); Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland; Javier Solana, EU High Representative for CFSR (1999-2009), member of the Board of YES; and Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.

Speakers also include leading businessmen, economists and experts: Andrei Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank; Daphne Koller, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, Coursera; Pascal Lamy, former Director General, WTO (2005 – 2013); Nouriel Roubini, Professor, Stern School of Business, New York University; Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University; Michio Kaku, physicist and futurist; Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (2007-2011); Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times;  Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank (2007-2012); and others.

In addition to President Yanukovych, Ukraine is represented by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Yuriy Boyko, Vice Prime Minister; and Leonid Kozhara, Minister for Foreign Affairs, among others.

Chrystia Freeland, Fellow, Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and former Editor of Consumer News, Thomson Reuters (2013), will moderate panel discussions on September 20th; Stephen Sackur, journalist and Host of HARDtalk, BBC, will moderate on September 21st.

The 10th Yalta Annual Meeting is streamed live at and in English and Ukrainian on September 20th and 21st.

Live Webcasts will also be available on the websites of ICTV (, Channel 5 (, «Kommersant» newspaper (, as well as the online edition of "Ukrainska Pravda» (

The official Twitter of the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting: @yes_ukraine, hashtag: #yalta2013

Special Partners of the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting include:


Partners of the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting are:




Visa Inc.

International Renaissance Foundation 

State Agency for Investment and National projects of Ukraine





Yalta European Strategy (YES) is the largest social institution of public diplomacy in Eastern Europe, providing an open and equal dialogue on global issues affecting the European Union, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. This non-partisan organisation was established in 2004 by the Ukrainian businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk.

The YES Annual Meetings held in Yalta’s Livadia Palace have become an open platform to discuss and look for new ideas and views on paths to European, Ukrainian and global development. Every year these meetings bring together over 200 politicians, diplomats, statesmen, journalists, analysts and business leaders from more than 20 countries.  The dialogue on global challenges broadens the vision on the situation inside Ukraine and the prospects for the country’s development in the modern world. It is also an incentive to find common ground between countries, common interests and values.

At the YES Annual Meetings the world's top opinion leaders present their visions of current and future trends which impact all spheres of life of society. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the events were opened by Presidents Viktor Yanukovych, Bronislaw Komorowski, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. YES Annual Meetings key speakers have included Mykola Azarov, Kofi Annan, Egemen Bagis, Carl Bildt, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Richard Branson, James Wolfensohn, Newt Gingrich, Herman Gref, Arkadiy Dvorkovich,  Robert Zoellick, Bill Clinton, Paul Krugman, Alexei Kudrin, Leonid Kuchma, Yuri Milner, Condoleezza Rice, Lawrence Summers, Radoslaw Sikorski, Javier Solana, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Shashi Tharoor, Strobe Talbott, Niall Ferguson, Vladimir Filat, Joschka Fischer, Stefan Fule, Gerhard Schroeder, Muhammad Yunus and many others.

Official website:

Victor Pinchuk Foundation is an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine. It was established in 2006 by businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk. Its goal is to empower future generations to become the change-makers of tomorrow. To achieve this, projects are developed and partnerships are built in Ukraine and worldwide.

in people, to boost human capital;
in society, to promote social responsibility;
in the world, to foster a more integrated world.

The projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation include, among others: the network of neonatal centers Cradles of Hope, the largest private scholarship programme in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA, the WorldWideStudies scholarship programme for Ukrainian students studying abroad, the centre for contemporary art PinchukArtCentre with its biannual prizes Future Generation Art Prize and PinchukArtCentre Prize. The foundation also hosts the Davos Philanthropic Roundtable and Davos Ukrainian Lunch organized each year at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum and supports the international network YES (Yalta European Strategy) to foster Ukraine’s European and global integration, as well as a startup online platform for fostering philanthropy in Ukraine, the Philanthropic Marketplace. The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation Centre and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Brookings Institution, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Peres Center for Peace, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and other nongovernmental organizations.

Official website:

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Victor Pinchuk, 6th Yalta Annual Meeting, 2009
«To oppose the crisis there must be joined efforts and common acts on a global scale»