Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Is Sustainable Development?: Video

This 2006 discussion at the Aspen Institute on "What is Sustainable Development", hosts one of the liveliest, most insightful interactions on the subject of sustainable development and provides plenty of critical food for thought. The video recorded discussion includes an expertly well- articulated case from the current White House Chief of Economic Advisers, Larry Summers that policy-makers not sacrifice economic development and poverty reduction today for hypothetical "sustainable" successes tomorrow.
"The highest morality is in taking a rather hard-edged view in thinking about where the greatest return for dollar spent is on improving the lives of desperately poor people... and that discipline needs to inform the policy debate."
Sustainable development of course is one of the most prevalent catch phrases in the development community today. There is however, very little discussion about what the term actually means and how sustainability is shaped in the conceptualization of specific courses of action. The rigorous debate, presented to the internet viewing public by Fora TV, is a great starting point for raising deep questions about how development policies are organized. Other than Summers speakers included Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, Harriet Babbitt, former Deputy Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, and Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder and executive director of Architecture for Humanity.

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