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Boosting Brain Health Is Key to a Thriving Economy

Dallas skyline viewed from near Trinity River.

Financial Times

Megan Greene

The jobs of the future will value different skills than those of the past.


Written by a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, this Financial Times article describes the promise of better brain health in fostering a healthy economy helping workers adapt to changes throughout their lives, experience greater well-being and prepare for the jobs of the future, which increasingly rely upon modern skillsets, like social intelligence, leadership and teamwork.


"Boosting brain health would not only heal the labor market, it is also the key to a thriving economy over the long term. Even before Covid-19, conservative estimates suggested poor brain health cost the global economy at least $2.5 trillion in lost productivity every year. It also saps corporate profits as a result of employee days off, lost productivity and higher healthcare costs."– Megan Greene, senior fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Efforts to boost brain health come with longstanding challenges, including the stigma that often comes with seeking help, and a commonplace lack of attention to being proactive about strengthening brain health. A recent survey conducted through a partnership between the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the U.S. Census Bureau reveals symptoms of depression and anxiety have nearly tripled, alongside receding employment statistics. However, today's policymakers can change this outcome and create new economic trends. For example, New Approaches to Economic Challenges, a group established by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), has launched a Neuroscience-Inspired Policy Initiative to help shape public policy to support workforce productivity and economic innovation through brain-healthy education.Full access to this article requires a subscription to Financial Times

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