Michael McCarthy Flynn

Michael McCarthy Flynn has over 25 years’ experience of building civil society power to effect systemic change on three continents. He has worked in Ireland, Eswatini and Canada in roles are varied as Community Development worker in inner-city Dublin, Project Coordinator in Eswatini supporting civil society coalitions of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Living Wage Organiser who successfully helped pass the first living wage law in Canada and Policy Adviser on housing rights in the rental sector in Ireland with Threshold. For the last seven years he has worked in Oxfam Ireland and is currently Head of Policy and Advocacy, leading a team working on issues of tax justice and inequality, sustainable and feminist economics, climate justice, sustainable food systems, business and human rights, development financing, migration, & vaccine equity.

He has commissioned, contributed to and written many Oxfam policy reports including Tax Battles- The dangerous global race to the bottom on corporate taxOff the Hook- How the EU is about to Whitewash the world’s worst Tax HavensMyths and Mantras- A true picture of the corporate tax system in Ireland; Opening the Vaults- the use of tax havens by Europe’s biggest banksHard to Swallow: Facilitating tax avoidance by Big Pharma in Ireland;   Everyone for Themselves How Ireland Undermined Efforts to Fully Vaccinate the World against COVID-19The Commitment to Reducing Inequality IndexSustainable Food Systems: Steps Ireland can take to become a global leaderConfronting Carbon Inequality in Ireland  and RADICAL PATHWAYS BEYOND GDP: Why and how we need to pursue feminist and decolonial alternatives urgently.

He regularly blogs on issues of climate justice and inequality for Oxfam Ireland- his most recent blog is The EU Fiddles While The World Burns, and he is part of Oxfam’s global network on the Human Economy which is shaping thinking on Beyond GDP, Wellbeing Economics and Degrowth approaches both within and outside Oxfam. He was awarded a MA (Hon) in Community Development from the National University of Ireland, Galway (this included a semester on international development in Wageningen University) in 2000. He was also awarded a First-Class Honours Master of Public Policy from University College Dublin in 2020. His research thesis for this Masters is entitled “Winning the argument while losing the war: Assessing advocacy NGOs attempts to develop new measures of progress in Ireland and Scotland.”


Plenary 8: Measuring progress: what is the potential and what are the limits of national wellbeing frameworks? How should we consider competitiveness, and define economic progress?