Figuring Out Sustainable Development

In the Hutong
Waiting for the rain
1212 hrs.

The phrase “sustainable development” has become a buzzword, which means that a lot of people are talking about it without being quite sure what it means.

That is starting to change. The prestigious Commission on Growth and Development (chaired by Stanford’s Michael Spence and including such luminaries as Governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the People’s Bank of China, Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, Citigroup chairman and former U.S. SecTreas Robert Rubin, and Nobel economics laureate Robert Solow,) last month released a report titled Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development.

It’s fairly readable as these things go, but it points out very early on that there are no pat answers – only some lessons learned and a framework for asking the right questions. It is nice to see such a report deviate from the kind of preachy prescriptions we tend to hear from the IMF, World Bank, and other big international non-governmental organizations (BINGOs).

Download the PDF here.