Paul Collier and the Bottom Billion (a.k.a. no nonsense global poverty solutions).

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to partake in a speaker event, where noted economist Paul Collier gave a great talk.

Who is Paul Collier? Two titles to throw at you: Professor of Economics, in the Oxford University Economics Department; as well as the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.

What was the talk about? Well, it was primarily based around his best selling economics (did I just say best selling economics - now there's a phrase you don't hear too often) book that looks at the mechanics behind the bottom billion. That sixth of the world stuck in a devastating type of poverty, where a GDP per capita rings in at less than a buck a day, and has more or less remained so for the last couple of decades.

Here are some reviews about the book specifically.

  • 'The best book on international affairs so far this year' Nicolas Kristof, New York Times, 14 June 2007
  • 'This is an arresting, provocative book. If you care about the fate of the poorest people in the world, and want to understand what can be done to help them, read it. If you don't care, read it anyway.' - Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author of The Undercover Economist
  • 'Paul Collier's book is of great importance. He has shown clearly what is happening to the poorest billion in the world, why it is happening and what can be done to open up greater opportunities for them in a world of increasing wealth. His ideas should be at the centre of the policy debate.' - Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service
  • 'A path-breaking work providing penetrating insights into the largely unexplored borderland between economics and politics.' - George Soros
  • 'Paul Collier has given us one of the most engaging and provocative books on development to appear in a long time. His analyses and proposals...should be embraced by people who care and can do something about the poorest of the world.' - Ernesto Zedillo, Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Former President of Mexico
  • 'A persuasive and important challenge to current thinking on development.' - Larry Summers, formerly President of Harvard University and US Secretary of the Treasury

Anyway, today I just put up the video file at It's definitely worth checking out. Having read his book, I would also highly recommend it as well.


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