It is amusing that Peter Day’s podcast introduction mentions a chance encounter. It’s only a result of chance that I heard the interview and thanks to an unlikely encounter that I knew the interviewee.
I turned on the radio this afternoon and heard the last minute of “Peter Day’s World of Business” on Radio New Zealand National. I thought I recognised a voice and heard a familiar name in the credits. Thanks to the web I found the source BBC podcast, heard the whole thing, and also a related TED Talk*.
The reason I knew the interviewee was thanks to watching a TV travel program on a wet winter afternoon way back in 2002. It showed an awesome cycle trip in the South Island and I decided to go. That’s how, the following summer, I came to be on the same cycle trip as Paul Romer. I didn’t know who he was but by the end of the trip found him to be a brilliant, interesting guy who could pedal a bicycle at least as well as me!
I was going to post this on my other blog but as many here are involved in urban design – from dwelling to city masterplan - or the software to do it I thought it may not be too far off topic. In the podcast Paul talks about his current project “Charter Cities” and how economic growth, with control, can lead to sustainable prosperity. The TED talk discusses “Charter Cities” in more detail with some fascinating comparisons. It’s amazing how an image of the globe at night can show much more than just city lights.
“There’s a little corner of economics where there still exists a sense of wonder about what is possible.” —Paul Romer
An optimistic and interesting economist is a rarity, especially after the past couple of years. Paul mentions that increased affluence, choice and opportunity means we are all short on time but I found these items well worth the investment.
On BBC World - Peter Day's World of Business
Peter Day encounters Paul Romer, senior fellow in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and who, twelve years ago, the news magazine Time named as one of the 25 most influential people in the USA. Producer: Richard Berenger Editor: Stephen Chilcott
At TED in July 2009
How can a struggling country break out of poverty if it's trapped in a system of bad rules? Economist Paul Romer unveils a bold idea: "charter cities," city-scale administrative zones governed by a coalition of nations. (Could Guantánamo Bay become the next Hong Kong?)
Senior Fellow, SCID (Stanford Center for International Development) and SIEPR (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research)
The Charter Cities blog brings together updates, news reports, cases studies, analytical pieces, and discussions that bear on the concept of new cities with innovative systems of governance. Relevant posts can draw on economics, engineering, technology, finance, law, political science, and international relations. Many of these posts will serve as lasting reference materials, and we encourage readers to look at earlier posts for information.
* I’ve watched many TED Talks but never, given the calibre of those who give them, thought I’d have met someone who presented one!