After this, we were lucky enough to meet another Australian politician, Mr Brian Pontifex, Australian Ambassador and permanent representative to the OECD. Like Mr Bradbury, Mr Pontifex had previously worked within Australian politics, as Chief of Staff to the Hon. Colin Barnett and it was intriguing to discuss how his roles have changed over his career. Mr. Pontifex had just arrived from a long day of ministerial meetings and provided us with an insight into the intricacies of how decisions at the OECD are made. The ministerial meetings that Mr Pontifex discussed were a significant part of the OECD week for policymakers and it was great to be able to discuss how topics being debated at the forum were also being implemented in policy meetings.
Our final meeting for the day was with Mr Andrew Wyckoff, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation. Mr Andrew’s department, specialising in technology and innovation, played an important role in this year’s OECD forum as issues such as the impact of technology on the workforce, Artificial Intelligence and the opportunities and threats of globalisation were debated.