Seven Billion Experts—Waiting to Be Heard!

William Easterly wrote in the Financial Times on 29 May: “The report of the World Bank Growth Commission, led by Nobel laureate Michael Spence [former dean of the Stanford biz school—tp, you know my biases], was published last week. After two years of work by the commission of 21 world leaders, an 11-member working group, 300 academic experts, 12 workshops, 13 consultations, and a budget of $4 million, the experts’ answer to the question of how to attain high growth was roughly: we do not know, but trust experts to figure it out.”

You may recall my fawning review of Easterly’s The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. He argues vehemently against stencils for development imposed from on high—and in favor of tailored approaches developed mainly by the locals—with the “experts” acting as counselors.

As you might then guess, I was thoroughly taken by the title of the FT article cited above:

“Trust the development experts—all seven billion of them.”


(Attached you’ll find the Easterly PowerPoint, provided earlier as case #3 in a PowerPoint titled “Three Cases” of Implementation.)

Tom Peters posted this on June 9, 2008, in Execution.
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