Sharon Donnery: A long view on the task ahead

Speech by Ms Sharon Donnery, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, at an event at TASC (Think Tank for Action for Social Change), Dublin, 3 October 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
07 October 2019

It is a pleasure to be here this evening (and special thanks to Des for the invitation).

I especially welcome the opportunity to take a longer perspective on things - beyond the end of this month at least! - to think about the task ahead.

When thinking about the future and long term prospects, a point that resonated with me was made by the late Hans Rosling - a Swedish physician and academic, amongst other things - who spoke about being a 'possibilist', not an optimist.

He describes it as someone who neither hopes nor fears without reason, who recognises human progress, and that progress convinced him that further progress is possible. But further progress has to be worked for, it is not a given.

Globally, the number of people living below the poverty line has reduced. Child mortality has also reduced while life expectancy has improved.

Access to water and healthcare has increased. Female participation in the work force is up.

However, policymakers, journalists, academics and think tanks alike must constantly ensure that we do not take these for granted and that further progress is being made.

A common refrain these days is that the current generation may be the first in recent history to be worse off than their parents.