Sunday, July 6, 2008

Channeling Compassion and Enlightened Self-Interest To Help The Bottom Billion

In a talk given for TED in February 2008, Paul Collier - director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford (and former director of the World Bank’s Development Research Group) – discusses ways in which the gap between the developed world and the “bottom billion” can be closed.

His thesis for the bottom billion is that a billion people are stuck in economies which have been stagnant for 40 years. He believes by channeling compassion and “enlightened self-interest” we may offer hope to these people and avoid giving future generations a “nightmare.” “We need compassion to get ourselves started, and enlightened self-interest to get ourselves serious,” says Collier. “That’s the alliance that changes the world.”

As part of his discussion, he looks at some of the decisions which prevent commodity-rich countries from making sustained economic progress. In addition, he discusses the impact of democracy and governance in developing countries, and proposes solutions to help guide international assistance. The full talk may been seen here.

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