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Charter Cities Podcast Profile

Charter Cities Podcast

English, Sciences, 1 seasons, 63 episodes, 2 days 18 hours 3 minutes
The Charter Cities Podcast explores how charter cities can help solve some of the largest challenges of the 21st century, from urbanization to global poverty to migration. Each episode Mark Lutter interviews experts in international development, new cities, finance, entrepreneurship, and governance, to develop a better understanding of the various aspects of charter cities If you want to learn more visit the Charter Cities Institute at
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Lant Pritchett on Economic Growth, Charter Cities, and State Capability

In today's episode of Charter Cities, we're honored to welcome Lant Pritchett, a distinguished economist and a thought leader in development economics. Our deep-dive conversation will focus on the critical topic of growth diagnostics, exploring the complex challenges policymakers face in developing nations. Lant will illuminate the importance of identifying impactful actions for growth, emphasizing the need for rigorous debate and evidence-based decision-making. We'll also scrutinize the limitations of traditional development metrics like the "dollar a day" measure and consider alternative, more effective approaches. We'll also investigate innovative solutions like charter cities as a mechanism for fostering sustainable growth by addressing institutional challenges.Key Points From This Episode:Why overemphasis on low-bar goals lead to ineffective randomized control trials in developmentHow bright minds in development economics are missing
25/10/20231 hour 21 minutes 37 seconds
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Heba Elhanafy and Matthew McCartney on Africa's Bad Urban Laws

On today's Charter Cities episode, host Jeffrey Mason is joined by colleagues Heba Elhanafy and Matthew McCartney to unpack the New Africa's Bad Urban Laws project. This initiative dissects laws in African cities hindering growth and community well-being. Additionally, Jeffrey reminds listeners of the upcoming Africa's New City Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The team dives deep, discussing the reasons for and effects of detrimental urban laws, using instances like Zambia's land ownership as an example. Tune in for an insightful discussion on urban policies in Africa.Key Points From This Episode:How urban laws negatively affect African urban environments across fiscal, administrative, and spatial planningThe project exposes bad urban laws and questions their persistent existence in African citiesBad urban laws persist due to misunderstandings, political interests, and distributional benefitsHow Zambia's outdated land ownership
18/10/202325 minutes 38 seconds
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International Hubs and the Future of Living with Vitalik Buterin

Coming up on today's episode of Charter Cities, we have a very special guest joining host Mark Lutter: Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum. In this episode, we delve into the fascinating world of community building and the importance of creating meaningful connections within cities and online communities. We explore the challenges and successes of building communities in different contexts, from crypto communities to health tribes. With insights from Vitalik's own experiences and observations, we discuss the value of diversity, the impact of infrastructure on small towns, and the need for community filters. Stay tuned for an enriching conversation on the power of communities in shaping our lives and the future of cities.Key Points From This Episode:Factors driving relocation due to cost of livingEmotional disconnect from home countriesGlobal impact of the crypto industryNavigating immigration complexities<li
04/10/202352 minutes 34 seconds
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Private Cities: A New Frontier in Urban Development and Governance with Martin Rama and Yue Li

Host Jeffrey Mason welcomes esteemed guests Martin Rama and Yue Li to another enthralling episode of Charter Cities. Together, they embark on a deep exploration of the intriguing world of private cities, delving into their impact on urban agglomerations and the delicate interplay with local governments. Tune in today to hear their insights on the successes and challenges that private cities face, as well as the potentials that lie ahead. Through engaging discussions and vivid examples, our hosts and guests will illustrate the multifaceted landscape of private urban development. Martin and Yue share their perspectives on how private actors are reshaping urban environments and the intricate dynamics that govern these relationships. As our episode unfolds, the conversation navigates the complexities of urban development, revealing the key facts and insights surrounding this captivating subject. Thanks for listening!Key Points From This Episode:The si
27/09/202339 minutes 5 seconds
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Private Cities: A New Frontier in Urban Development and Governance with Martin Rama and Yue Li

Host Jeffrey Mason welcomes esteemed guests Martin Rama and Yue Li to another enthralling episode of Charter Cities. Together, they embark on a deep exploration of the intriguing world of private cities, delving into their impact on urban agglomerations and the delicate interplay with local governments. Tune in today to hear their insights on the successes and challenges that private cities face, as well as the potentials that lie ahead. Through engaging discussions and vivid examples, our hosts and guests will illustrate the multifaceted landscape of private urban development. Martin and Yue share their perspectives on how private actors are reshaping urban environments and the intricate dynamics that govern these relationships. As our episode unfolds, the conversation navigates the complexities of urban development, revealing the key facts and insights surrounding this captivating subject. Thanks for listening!Key Points From This Episode:The si
14/08/202339 minutes 5 seconds
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Relationship Building, Network Cities, and Leveraging Competitive Advantage with Mark Lutter

Charter Cities Institute Founder and Chairman Mark Lutter returns to the podcast to share his perspective on network states, charter city trends, and more. Mark is also the CEO of Braavos Cities, a charter city development company partnering with local landowners and a leading organizer of Zuzalu, a new pop-up city in Montenegro. Tune in today to hear Mark’s insights on existing network states and why they have either succeeded or failed. You’ll also learn about some of the challenges associated with attracting appropriate talent to cities in order to facilitate growth. Mark shares his experience at Zuzalu and describes the flat hierarchical structure that was made possible there. Using the metaphor of gardening instead of carpentry, Mark illustrates his unique approach to building network cities. Hear how Mark differs from others in the charter city space on the matter of location and his analysis of the global response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. As our episode draws to a close
26/06/202354 minutes 4 seconds
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Industrialization and Assimilation with Dr. Elliott Green

Industrialization has a myriad of consequences that have been studied and speculated upon from the very start. In this episode, Dr. Elliott Green joins us to discuss the impact of industrialization on ethnic identity and diversity. Dr. Green is a political scientist, Africanist, and associate professor in the Department of International Development at The London School of Economics. He is also the author of the book Industrialization and Assimilation and today, we learn about his research and insights on the topic. We delve into the Marx-Geller take on industrialization and find out how Dr. Green conceptualizes it and why he promotes pro-industrialization. We discuss the implications of urbanization without industrialization in Africa and how people use their rural identities as insurance against de-urbanization before investigating the cause of “under-urbanization” in countries like Kenya and Uganda. From the measures of industrialization and its relationship to economic g
12/06/202355 minutes 21 seconds
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Emergent Tokyo with Joe McReynolds

We are joined on the show today by Joe McReynolds, co-author of&nbsp;Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City,&nbsp;and we have an extensive conversation about the characteristics of Tokyo urbanism, the role of policy in the city, lessons that may be applied to charter cities, and also some of Joe's thoughts on China's current military capabilities. Joe makes a strong argument for avoiding culturally essentialist understandings of Tokyo, and also plots how the history of Tokyo eschews western understandings of urban planning strategies. We touch on the nature of Tokyo neighborhoods, rental and ownership, greenery and beautification, and much more. To finish off this fascinating chat, we turn to Joe's interest and involvement in Chinese affairs and reflect on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on China's ambitions. So to catch all this and more in this lively and eye-opening chat with Joe, press play!Key Points From This Episode:<b
13/02/20231 hour 7 minutes 5 seconds
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Education, Electricity, Fertility, and Economic Growth with Charlie Robertson

What do high education and low fertility rates have in common? According to today’s guest, Charlie Robertson, they are both positively correlated with economic growth. In today’s episode, Charlie shares the reasons why he believes that countries that don’t get their fertility rates down to below 3 children per woman and those that don’t have adult literacy rates above 70% are doomed to remain trapped in poverty. Join us for a round-the-world trip where Charlie delves into the history of South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the West, and offers his explanation for why some countries have flourished while others have floundered. Charlie is the Global Chief Economist at Renaissance Capital and the author of The Fastest Billion and The Time-Travelling Economist.&nbsp;Key Points From This Episode:&nbsp;•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Understanding economic trends in Africa over the past few years.•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Factors that lead
03/10/202251 minutes 33 seconds
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Doing Business in Africa with Deanne de Vries

The West’s misconceptions about Africa are vast, particularly when it comes to the realm of business. Today we are joined by Dr. Deanne de Vries, who has worked across the continent in various capacities for over 30 years. She is currently an advisor for firms looking to enter the African market and is the author of Africa: Open for Business. In this episode, Deanne fills us in on the challenges and the exciting opportunities for doing business in Africa, sharing insights into the evolving tech and startup scenes. We discuss Africa's agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and Deanne breaks down what governments need to do to boost these industries. To hear about the community-centric focus of African business and to find out why on-the-ground integrated local presence is far more valuable than any data, tune in!Key Points From This Episode:•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The history of Deanne de Vries’ work in Africa.•&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;T
19/09/202241 minutes 48 seconds
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Catawba Digital Economic Zone with Joseph McKinney

If you’re a regular listener of this podcast you may be familiar with the term Special Economic Zone (SEZ). In short, SEZ refers to an area where business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country. Typically, these zones will have laws or legal codes and regulations that make it attractive for businesses to relocate there. Today on the show you’ll learn all about these zones and more as we sit down with Joseph McKinney, CEO of the Catawba Digital Economic Zone (DEZ), a new SEZ established by the Catawba nation based in the Carolinas. In our conversation, we break down the economic and philosophical objectives of the Catawba DEZ and its unique legal and regulatory frameworks as well as how this zone is integrated into tribal governance. We also discuss the Catawba DEZ’s special focus on FinTech, digital assets, advancing the digital economy, and why this gives them a competitive edge. Learn about the work they’re doing to explore physical infrastructure for data cente
01/08/202234 minutes 16 seconds
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A Framework for the Elite's Role in Development with Stefan Dercon

Stefan Dercon is the author of Gambling on Development, in which he details his theory of the elite bargain framework for development in low-income countries. Stefan is a Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, and also serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies. Prior to his current academic posts, he has extensive experience in the world of policy, as the Chief Economist at the Department for International Development and as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign Secretary. In our conversation with Stefan in today's show, we get to delve deep into his elite bargain idea, the impact of effective altruism, the need for self-awareness within governments, and how far lessons from certain examples can be applied to other states. We also get to talk about political settlements and how his framework fits into the context of current popular theories and explanations for economic growth. So to catch all this and a whole lot more, be
18/07/20221 hour 51 minutes 27 seconds
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Exploring Solutions to the Development Problem with Efosa Ojomo

Development is one of the major challenges of our time. Unfortunately, it’s often approached in a way that does more harm than good. Efosa Ojomo has a better solution, and he’s here today to share it. Efosa is the leader of the Global Prosperity Research Group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, the co-author of The Prosperity Paradox, and the author of the upcoming book, The Prosperity Process. In this episode, Efosa explains how his first foray in the development space (building wells in Nigeria) catalyzed a journey of discovery which led him to realize that, in order to truly change the world, we need to implement pull strategies instead of push strategies and focus on market creating innovations. He shares some examples of what these innovations look like and we discuss what it takes to be a market creating innovator, how regulation impacts innovation, a new way to think about corruption, and more! Make sure to tune in today.&
27/06/202259 minutes 12 seconds
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Lessons on Economic Growth for the Future with Dr. Jared Rubin

Dr. Jared Rubin is the co-author of&nbsp;How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth,&nbsp;which he wrote with Mark Koyama, a previous guest on the podcast. We are so happy to welcome Jared to the show today to discuss the thesis of his book, and what he and Mark aimed to add to the literature on the subject of economic growth in the contemporary context. This is a fascinating and thoughtful conversation, packed with insight and nuance on important arguments of the past, what is needed to broaden and enhance our understanding of economic growth, and how far these projects might go towards enabling us to see a better future. Dr. Rubin answers some questions about geographic, legal, and technological explanations for growth, and stresses the importance of synergy and interplay between these theories for a more illuminating picture. So to hear all this and a whole lot more, including many reasons to pick up his latest book, tune in today!&nbsp;<
13/06/20221 hour 3 minutes 8 seconds
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The Real Story of China in Africa with Deborah Brautigam

China’s presence in Africa is widely speculated upon (and wildly misunderstood). Joining us today to speak to the truth of the matter is Sinologist-Africanist Professor of International Development at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Deborah Brautigam. Deborah is also the Director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) and author of Will Africa Feed China? and, more famously, The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. In this episode, she shares her nuanced perspective on the Chinese development model and aid program in Africa and how the rise of NGOs has shifted the nature of aid, in general. We discuss the role of aid as a geopolitical instrument and the differences in the ways China and the West approach the funding of infrastructure in Africa. We learn about Chinese loans versus commoditized loans, the lessons China has learned through its various endeavors, and the lessons Deborah suspects it is yet to learn
23/05/20221 hour 13 minutes 58 seconds
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Linda Colley on War and Constitutions

Dr. Linda Colley is a leading expert on British imperial and global history, among other topics in British history. Dr. Colley is the M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, here today to discuss her newly published book, The Gun, The Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World, which explores the complex interrelationship between the rise of modern warfare and the rise of modern constitutionalism worldwide. After introducing Dr. Colley, and discussing the themes of her book, we launch into a conversation about what drove her to research and write about the topic of constitutions across the globe. Hear about the brief period during 1653 when Britain had its own constitution, before Dr. Colley unpacks the role of printing press technology and the spread of literacy, and explains why buildi
09/05/202249 minutes
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Charter Cities Atlas: Venice with Thibault Serlet and Corey Tazzara

Today’s episode is a bonus episode, where we take a deep dive into the Italian Renaissance (with a focus on Venice) with world-renowned expert, Professor Corey Tazzara. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the formation of independent city-states, to the financial and political ramifications of the crusades, to the rise and fall of Venice as an economic powerhouse, this conversation has it all! We start at the beginning, with a comment on the role of the Middle Ages in the formation of society as it is today, and how the literature of the times contributed to the maintenance of the Roman Empire as a power. Despite this, there was decentralization across Europe in the 800s, and independent city-states arose. Rome regained its power from tourism and through regaining the seat of the papacy, while Florence formed the birthplace of the Renaissance through its art, culture, and adoption of investment banking. Milan became an authoritarian state, and we hear how the condottieri contribute
02/05/20222 hours 21 minutes 33 seconds
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Tackling Poverty and Preventing War with Chris Blattman

The Ukraine-Russia conflict has dominated headlines over the past few months, with countless theories and hypotheses being touted to explain Russia’s aggression. Join us as we talk to one of the world’s leading experts on violence and politics, Professor Chris Blattman. We start the episode with an explanation of why Chris chose to write his latest book Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace, and how he can apply the logic within to explain Putin's motivations and behavior. We learn why peace is a better driver for innovation and competition than war, and what Chris feels about the controversial observations made by John Mearsheimer about the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Tune in to learn what the George Washington example is, and the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rising levels of violence within the USA. We next move on to the role of CBT in reducing violence across the globe, with some insightful examples of Mr. Rogers-like personas across Africa who Chri
19/04/20221 hour 15 minutes 32 seconds
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Seeding the Future 02: A Fundamental Cultural Shift with Sid Sijbrandij

In order to build the cities of the future, there is a need for synergy between a number of elements and institutions and, as philanthropy evolves with the times, an active approach to impacting the necessary changes means an understanding of these sometimes disparate forces. Joining us on the show today to discuss his philanthropic philosophy and plans is the Founder of GitLab, Sid Sijbrandij. Sid is also a supporter of the Charter Cities Institute while occupying an active role in the nutrition, software, crypto, and non-profits spaces. Today, he generously shares his thoughts on what is needed right now in order to push things forward for the next generation of cities. We discuss GitLab’s approach to helping Ukraine and their contingent of employees who live in the country and we touch on what needs attention in the longer term, especially with regards to bridging gaps between separate industries or institutions for shared benefit before Sid shares his thoughts on how AI will inf
11/04/202230 minutes 28 seconds
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Seeding the Future 01: Philanthropy for Policy Change with John D. Arnold

Welcome to Seeding the Future, a podcast from the Charter Cities Institute, where we explore how giving and philanthropy are changing as wealth is created in new industries, at younger ages, and by more diverse demographics. In this inaugural epode, we hear from John Arnold, American philanthropist, former Enron executive, and Founder of&nbsp;Arnold&nbsp;Ventures, about philanthropy for policy change. John hit it big trading natural gas in the 1990s and 2000s, going on to found one of the most successful energy trading hedge funds, Centaurus Energy, after leaving Enron. He now ranks as one of the world's richest people, with a net worth well over a billion dollars, and runs Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) with his wife, an organization doing groundbreaking work in criminal justice reform. Today, John shares how education reform, system design, and public policy inform his giving and some of the challenges he has encountered in advocating for policy. W
11/04/202249 minutes 44 seconds
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Building Up and Not Out with Heba Elhanafy

Across the global south, cities are growing outwards instead of upwards. Talking to us today about why this is a bad thing for commuters, is urban planning researcher Heba Elhanafy. We dive into the episode with an overview of what the newly released planning guidelines cover, and how new city making has evolved. We hear about the three topics the planning guidelines tackle (how the global south builds, what works, and what doesn't work), and why a single developer working on a city is less effective than multiple developers and shareholders. Heba breaks down the benefits of building bottom-up, instead of top-down, and describes what developers can expect to learn from the planning guidelines. We also hear about two examples of urban planning done right: the Manhattan example, and the much smaller scale Ethiopian Urban Expansion initiative. Tune in to learn how communities help the expansion and growth of a development, and how planning a city can help lift people out of poverty. We
04/04/202234 minutes 6 seconds
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The New Urban Aesthetic with Dr. Samuel Hughes

In January 2020, the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission published ‘Living with beauty’, a report that has led to a new national design guide and model design code with changes to the national policy. The policy changes replaced the word ‘good design’ with ‘beauty’, but is there more to beauty than just appearance? Joining us to discuss the beautification of urban spaces today is Dr. Samuel Hughes, a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, a Research Fellow in Philosophy, Theology, and Religion at Oxford University, and a frequent commentator on issues ranging from architecture and urbanism to aesthetics. He was also Sir Roger Scruton's researcher on the Building Beautiful Commission. His focus at Policy Exchange is on understanding why the quantity and quality of new homes and neighborhoods is so inadequate in the UK and developing policy instruments to improve them. In this episode, we discuss the consideration of aesthetics in the urban planning process, the concept of beaut
07/02/202242 minutes 10 seconds
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Market Urbanism with Scott Beyer

Joining us in conversation today is Scott Beyer, the Founder and CEO of the Market Urbanism Report, a media company dedicated to advancing the free market’s classically liberal approach to urban issues. Tune in to hear Scott’s definition of market urbanism and how it relates to the traditional free market. He describes how his audience varies drastically from a partisan and ideological perspective and tells us why this happens, before highlighting cities across the world that embody aspects of his vision for market urbanism and talking about how private cities around the world implement liberalization. We touch on how market urbanism’s approach to zoning differs from the Euclidean model, speak about MTRs, and delve into the history of transportation with a focus on the railway. Scott points us toward an article he penned with the hypothesis that introducing open access competition can serve to benefit inner city rail, before getting into other areas of infrastructure and why smaller
29/11/202151 minutes 1 second
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Urbanization and Urban Governance with Ed Glaeser

Today’s guest is Ed Glaeser, a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and he joins us to talk about urbanization and urban planning. Ed has written, or co-authored several books, including&nbsp;The Triumph of The City, and more recently,&nbsp;Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, published this year with David Cutler. Our conversation begins on the subject of the rapid urbanization of parts of the developing world such as India and Sub-Saharan Africa. We explore what lessons can be learned in this regard from the urbanization of Latin America in the 1960s. Our exchange moves to touch on ways of urbanizing without industrialization or via services rather than manufacturing. Shifting onto the topic of urban governance, we hear Ed’s thoughts on the 15-minute city concept, how to overcome political constraints to construction such as vetocracy, and how to push back against cars when they stand as status symbols to the newly rich. We a
08/11/202154 minutes 35 seconds
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Building Strong Towns with Charles “Chuck” Marohn

“The North American development pattern, the way we build our cities, creates a lot of liabilities and not enough wealth, financially, to actually take care of those liabilities.” These are the words of today’s guest Charles “Chuck” Marohn. Chuck is the founder and president of Strong Towns, as well as a professional engineer and land use planner with decades of experience. He is also the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity and Confessions of a Recovering Engineer. In this episode, Chuck sheds light on how the way in which we build our cities has drastically changed since before the Great Depression and how the current North American development pattern creates towns and cities that lack the wealth to be able to maintain their critical infrastructure and take care of their own futures. Tuning in you’ll hear how the problems of Ferguson, Missouri can be attributed to this pattern, how northeastern cities compare with southwe
25/10/202153 minutes 1 second
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Mass Migration with Parag Khanna

Because of the pervasive media coverage of Trumpism, Brexit, and the like, it is easy to assume that the dominant sentiment around the world is that mass migration is a new and terrifying phenomenon that could upend the world as we know it. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, and we’ve brought Parag Khanna, founder of FutureMap, to explain why. Not only has most of the world remained pragmatic about the topic, but mass migration has been occurring for decades, and although there are some exceptions, in the majority of cases, societies have absorbed the newcomers and the newcomers have assimilated remarkably well. Parag is an Asian-American who has also lived in Europe, and his personal perspective combined with the in-depth research that he has conducted around migration, sustainability, community, governance, citizenship and more, reveals a lot about what drives us to do the things we do, and offers a glimpse of what our future could look like.&nbsp;<str
11/10/202146 minutes 9 seconds
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e-Residency in Estonia with Lauri Haav

At the beginning of 2021 Lauri Haav altered his career path from the world of tech startups to the realm of government. This might sound like an incongruous move, but the Estonian government is more advanced than most countries in terms of its level of digitization and its embracing of technology, and Lauri is currently running a program which is the first of its kind. Almost 7 years ago Estonia launched their e-Residency program; this means that almost anyone, almost anywhere in the world, can become an e-resident of Estonia. Currently, if e-residents were a city, they would be the third biggest city in Estonia! If you’re wondering why obtaining an Estonian e-ID card is an appealing option, you’ll get all the answers in today’s episode. We also discuss the various reasons why the Estonian government is so ahead of the curve in terms of digitization, how they have assisted their population in making the transition to digital platforms as seamless as possible, challenges that they ha
27/09/202150 minutes 31 seconds
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The Royal Society of the Arts with Anton Howes

For the past 270 years, The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been the U. K's national improvement agency. If this sounds difficult to wrap your head around, it's because it is hard to pin down exactly what a national improvement agency does. Today's guest, Anton Howes, is a historian of innovation, and his first book is Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation, where he unpacks this organizations. In today's episode, Anton offers insights into the RSA and how it has evolved over time. At different moments in history, it has played significant roles in influencing the social landscape. We hear about where the organization finds itself today and where some of the opportunities lie moving into the future. As a historical hub for innovation and invention, the RSA drew some formidable forces into its ranks. Our conversation also touches on the social status of inventors and how this can change, what we know ab
13/09/20211 hour 18 minutes 3 seconds
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The Impact of Technology and Remote Access on Cities and Suburbs with Dror Poleg

Today’s guest is Dror Poleg, an economic historian who explores how physical and digital systems affect human behavior, well-being, and dignity. Dror joins us on the show to talk about how technology is undermining the basic foundations of real estate’s value and how this is scrambling a lot of what we know about buildings as well as cities. Dror’s thesis is that because of the way technology has enabled remote work and access, people no longer make their choices about where to live for reasons of work and access. Therefore, if you want to attract people to a building, city, or neighborhood, it's less about the location or the physical characteristics of your asset and more about how are you meeting the lifestyle needs of that specific group of people that you're targeting. Dror sketches out different ways in which we could see cities and suburbs changing due to the emergence of residential and office brands that cater to multitudes of customers with specific and idiosyncratic needs
23/08/20211 hour 5 minutes 35 seconds
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Shaping a Preferable Economic Future with Eli Dourado

As we step into a new decade, it’s a good time to reflect on our expectations for the next 10 years. There are a wide variety of possible futures, some of them more plausible than others, but how do we shape a preferable future? Today’s guest believes that technological advancements could result in what he calls the ‘Roaring 20s’, with a productivity and economic boom that extends well beyond the expected post-pandemic rebound. Eli Dourado is an economist and regulatory hacker living in Washington, DC, and a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. His research is focused on dramatically increasing the pace of innovation and economic growth, especially in hard tech and aerospace, and in today’s episode, he outlines what total factor productivity (TFP) is and why it matters, how technology could lead to the end of what he calls the Great Stagnation, and how charter cities fit into the concept of neomedievalism. We also discuss the inte
09/08/202152 minutes 40 seconds
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The Decline and Rise of Democracy with David Stasavage

The complex history of democracy and its global origins isn’t taught in school. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to self-educate. On today’s episode, we speak with David Stasavage, a Professor of Political Science and Dean of Social Sciences at the University of New York. He allows us to dip into his incredible wealth of knowledge around the history of this form of governance, as well as giving us his insights and predictions for its future. You’ll hear about the role of technology and geography in the emergence (or non-emergence) of democracy across the globe. We talk about the factors that influence the strength of a city’s fiscal position and David suggests an extreme solution to restoring that power: to disallow the issuing of debt. Next, we talk about the growth rates of autonomous cities, how location and craft guild contribute to growth, and David tells us why the effectiveness of political inclusion rests on how a society is organized. We dive into Olson’s theory of the
26/07/202146 minutes 9 seconds
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Understanding the Hidden Forces that Shape Society with Samo Burja

There has never been an immortal society. No matter how technologically advanced our own society is, it is unlikely to be an exception. In order to achieve a positive future that defies these odds, it is critical that we understand the hidden forces that shape society. To help us do that is today’s guest, Samo Burja, a sociologist and the Founder of Bismarck Analysis, a consulting firm that investigates the political and institutional landscape of society. Samo is a&nbsp;Research Fellow&nbsp;at the&nbsp;Long Now Foundation,&nbsp;where he studies how institutions can endure for centuries and millennia, and a&nbsp;Senior Research Fellow in Political Science&nbsp;at the&nbsp;Foresight Institute,&nbsp;where he advises how institutions can shape the future of technology. He&nbsp;is also a writer and a sought-after speaker&nbsp;on history, institutions, and strategy, with a focus on exceptional leaders that create new social and political forms. He has systematized this approach as the Gr
12/07/20211 hour 17 minutes 13 seconds
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The Making of Nigeria with Feyi Fawehinmi

Today’s guest is Feyi Fawehinmi, author of&nbsp;Formation: The Making of Nigeria from Jihad to Amalgamation. Feyi joins us on the show to talk about the period of history in Nigeria that his book covers and we kick things of hearing our guest talk about his reasons for writing the book. After the Civil War in Nigeria, there was a cultural prohibition on developing a sense of history because of the risk of upsetting an unstable political equilibrium. This combined with a very demographically young country means that many people, therefore, don't know the history of the formation of their state. After providing the context behind the book, Feyi dives into the events it covers, beginning in 1804 with a Jihad led by the Fulani in the northwest part of today's Nigeria which led to the Sokoto caliphate. Feyi takes us through the effects of this Jihad, the role of the ending of the transatlantic slave trade, and the events that led up to European colonization. He gets into the tac
28/06/20211 hour 15 minutes 58 seconds
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How Displaced People Can Build Economies with Alexander Betts

Refugees bring skills, talents, and aspirations and can be a benefit rather than a burden to receiving societies. Realizing this potential relies on moving beyond a purely humanitarian focus to fully include refugees in host-country economies, build economic opportunities in refugee-hosting regions, and navigate the ambiguous politics of refugee protection. In today’s episode of the Charter Cities Podcast, Kurtis Lockhart speaks with Alexander Betts, a Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, about refugee economics and the role that the private sector, technology, and innovation have to play in the global refugee crisis. Alex currently leads the Refugee Economies program at Oxford, where his research focuses on the political economy of refugee assistance with a focus on African countries. His book, Refuge, co-written with economist Paul Collier, was named one of the best books of the year by the Economist in 2017, and he
14/06/20211 hour 16 minutes 14 seconds
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Sustainable Development Zones and a Better Life for Migrants with Joachim Rücker

Our guest today is Joachim Rücker, who currently serves as a key partner in the Sustainable Development Zone Alliance. Preceded by a varied and fascinating career, Joachim served as a special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Kosovo for the duration of its transition to independence and was responsible for its economic reconstruction. He was also the Mayor of a German Industrial City, called Sindelfingen for almost ten years, and has been stationed abroad on numerous occasions with the German Foreign Service in various countries, particularly in Africa. Joachim describes how it all came together in 2017 and 2018 when their company decided to pursue making a positive global impact in migration, humanitarian, and development policies. In our conversation, we discuss Joachim’s work with the Sustainable Development Zone Alliance and how they are utilizing Sustainable Development Zones (SDZs) and Brownfield sites to improve the lives of migrants and increase the
24/05/202141 minutes 44 seconds
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Cost Differences in Railway Infrastructure Projects Globally with Alon Levy

Our guest today is Alon Levy, a fellow with the NYU Marron Institute. Their research focuses on public transportation and how to apply best practices from cities around the world. Our conversation is about the influence of politics and culture on the cost of building rail-based infrastructure projects across the globe and Alon sketches out many different scenarios, highlighting examples of good or bad construction. Poor building practices often mean cost overrun and surplus extraction and Alon attributes them to cultural elitism, isomorphic mimicry, the ‘design-build plague’, and the hollowing out of the public sector, depending on what country he is speaking about. In the case of the US, part of the reason for the bloated cost premium is a refusal to accept and adopt better building practices from outside its borders and the continued use of outdated models. For some lower-income countries discussed, we see a tendency to adopt practices used by countries perceived to be superior, e
10/05/20211 hour 2 minutes 25 seconds
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Bureaucratic Pockets of Effectiveness in Ghana with Erin McDonnell

Today’s guest is Erin McDonnell, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. She joins us on the show to discuss her recent book&nbsp;Patchwork Leviathan, which looks at the emergence of bureaucratic pockets of effectiveness, or high performing groups, within otherwise weak state administrations with a particular focus on Ghana. We unpack Erin’s findings on the causes of these bureaucratic pockets of effectiveness, hearing Erin firstly sketch out what she calls the dual habitus brain. In the pockets of effectiveness Erin studied, she found that many of the participants shared an educational profile which they melded with their knowledge of local conditions. We consider other possible causes of pockets of effectiveness such as team dynamics, the ability to use discretion, systems for reward and the acceptance of failure, and human motives that are difficult to measure formally. We also consider some of the characteristics that keep these pockets of effectiveness
03/05/20211 hour 21 minutes 18 seconds
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The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions with Alex Nowrasteh

A largely unexplored counterargument to immigration liberalization is that immigrants who come from countries with worse institutions will make the institutions in their destination country worse. In&nbsp;Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions,&nbsp;Alex Nowrasteh and Benjamin Powell respond to this argument and today we have Alex on the show to elaborate on their findings. Our conversation begins with a discussion on the foundational piece by Michael Clemens, ‘Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk’. This paper finds that the marginal immigrant to the United States from a developing country can expect a fourfold increase in their wages, and the result of a global, free migration policy would be to increase global GDP by about 50% to 150%. Alex then unpacks why immigrating would be the most efficient option for improving an immigrant’s life. He responds to the arguments that immigrants should improve their home countries rather than immigrate
12/04/202155 minutes 34 seconds
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China’s Development Evolution with Yuen Yuen Ang

China’s rapid rise may seem unprecedented, but its journey is oddly familiar. The question is, where have we seen this type of development before, and what does the future have in store? Joining us today to answer this is Yuen Yuen Ang, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research lies at the intersection of governance, bureaucracy, business and innovation and she explores which institutions best enable adaptation. A major focal point of Yuen Yuen’s research is China’s rise since 1978. We open our conversation with Yuen Yuen by asking her about how her cultural nomadism has put her in a good position to understand China’s impressive 43-year development. After hearing how her experiences in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States have helped her gain a useful perspective on her studies, we dive into the concept of complex development and talk about why its needs are greater than ever. Following this, we talk to Yuen Yuen about her two books, namely <
29/03/202159 minutes 28 seconds
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The Economics of Climate Change with Matthew E. Khan

Much talk around climate change focuses on mitigation, with far less attention paid to adaptation strategies. Matthew E. Khan, an Economics Professor at Johns Hopkins and Director of the 21st Centuries Cities Initiative, is a climate change adaptation optimist. His research focuses on urban and environmental economics. At the start of the year, he released two books, Unlocking The Potential of Post-Industrial Cities and Adapting to Climate Change. In this episode, Kurtis Lockhart sits down with Matthew to unpack some of the key themes in his books, along with other insights around urban governance and policies. We begin by hearing about the lack of imagination synonymous with climate change adaptation strategies and why policies that focus solely on carbon footprint emissions are misplaced. The mechanisms for each approach are essentially the same, but the buy-in and application are different. Matthew makes the case for adaptation, and we also get into the long-ter
15/03/20211 hour 10 minutes 14 seconds
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Africa, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow with Judd Devermont

Today we sit with Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa Program at CSIS, to find out Africa’s current global position. In our conversation, Judd reveals the continent’s shortcomings and touches on foreign policy and local democracy before pulling the curtain back on the many things that Africa can be hopeful for. The show opens with Judd telling us what inspired him to become an expert in his field. We find out about his mission to provide a fairer perspective of the continent that is oftentimes missing by Washington and American media. Judd goes on to tell listeners about the many misconceptions of Africa, and shares some of the top African news stories that have not been reported by western media; namely flourishing democracy and peaceful transitions of power in many of its nations. As the US makes its own transition of power, Judd gives his predictions for African policy under the Biden administration. We then dig into some of Africa’s bigger contemporary struggles like urbaniza
01/03/202150 minutes 55 seconds
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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger with Matthew Yglesias

Vox co-founder, policy writer, and celebrated journalist Matthew Yglesias knows what would actually make America great: more people. Today we speak with Matthew to discuss this idea as captured in his book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. After introducing him, we dive straight into the topic and ask Matthew to unpack how population growth will benefit the US. He then shares how his book appeals to both sides of the political spectrum, despite the backlash that his ideas have received. We compare historical US immigration with the current economic climate before looking into why immigration doesn’t necessarily lead to infrastructural challenges, as is often argued. While reflecting on how policy choices impact public projects, we touch on the COVID vaccine rollout and explore issues within America’s political culture. Later, we hear Matthew’s take on whether an ascendant China will forge a stronger America, the positive effects of inclusive American nati
15/02/20211 hour 7 minutes 27 seconds
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Founding a Pan-African University with Leonard Wantchekon

From fleeing Benin for his pro-democracy activism to becoming a renowned Princeton professor and founding one of Africa’s most prestigious universities, Leonard Wantchekon’s life is as impressive as his economic and political research. Today we speak with Leonard and explore his story, academic work, and how he founded the African School of Economics (ASE). After sharing details about his early life in Benin, including how he escaped his unjust imprisonment, Leonard discusses how his personal life has informed his research. We then dive into his research into clientelism and voting behavior, slavery’s prevailing influence on Benin culture, and how environmental factors can drive achievement within a community of learners. A key theme in this episode, we then ask Leonard about how he founded ASE. His answers highlight practical steps that he took along with the challenges that he overcame. Later, we talk about why he uses ASE’s reputation as the benchmark for its success, his aim to
01/02/20211 hour 20 minutes 39 seconds
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Development, Jim Wolfensohn, and The World Bank with Sebastian Mallaby

Today we sit with Sebastian Mallaby, a successful author and esteemed Senior Fellow for International Economics at the Council of Foreign Relations. He has also been a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and previously served on the editorial board. To open the show, we put Sebastian’s career into a nutshell before asking him to expand on his background. He tells us about some of his earliest memories as a young roving correspondent in Africa, cutting his teeth in journalism for The Economist. We go on to talk to Sebastian about the World Bank and discover facts about its inception and the evolution of its role since 1944. He discusses some of the World Bank’s constraints before turning his attention to former president of the World Bank, Jim Wolfensohn. Listeners will learn about the life and times of Jim as a human being and as a global leader. Dissecting Jim’s achievements, Sebastian analyses Jim’s structural adjustment programs and comments on the Am
11/01/202140 minutes 39 seconds
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Creating Global Financial Centers with Mark Beer

Creating and enforcing a watertight contract between two global parties is a challenging task. For starters, the world is rapidly evolving, and as a result, many contracts are in dispute. Though not unheard of, contract disputes are becoming commonplace and there is an increasing need to evolve systems. Today we talk with Mark Beer, a world-renowned buyer and once Chief Executive of the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Dispute Resolution Authority. We open the episode by taking a peek at the process behind setting up and running the Dubai International Financial Center. Mark tells us about customer segments, their habitual trust, and how to create trust in new systems. We then turn our eyes toward the future and dissect what a de-globalized world looks like. Mark touches on democracies, autocracies, and the rise in nationalism, as well as how new systems can and have been built without civil resistance. Stay tuned and you will hear Mark’s thoughts on the Belt and Road developm
14/12/202045 minutes 21 seconds
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Ancient Cities with Greg Woolf

Cities may have seemed more fragile during the global COVID-19 lockdowns but, as Greg Woolf’s impressive studies of early urbanism show, cities have been re-invented many times. In today’s episode, listeners hear from Greg, who is an historian and archaeologist, specializing in the late Iron Age and the Roman Empire. Greg is currently the Director of the Institute of Classical Studies and a Professor of Classics at the University of London. His research concerns the history and archaeology of the ancient world at a very large scale, and he has published on literacy, on cultural change in the provinces, on identities in the ancient world, and also on libraries and knowledge cultures. He is currently researching urban resilience, mobility, and migration in the ancient world, and his latest book, The Life and Death of Ancient Cities, was published in 2020. In this episode, Greg talks about the ancient city of Göbekli Tepe and how it has influenced the way we think about city c
30/11/20201 hour 2 minutes 46 seconds
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Historical Events and Economic Development with Dr. Nathan Nunn

There is a growing body of empirical evidence that points toward the important, long-term effects that historic events can have on economic development, and today’s guest, Dr. Nathan Nunn, is major player in this area of research. Dr. Nunn is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and his research ranges across development economics, political economy, economic history, and other areas, especially focusing on the long-term impact of historical processes on economic development today, often mediated through factors like culture, social structures, norms, and institutions. In this episode, Dr. Nunn shares his views on Canada’s response to COVID, his critique of foreign aid tied to the strategic interests of the donor country, and shares the case for unconditional cash transfers or universal basic income instead of foreign aid. He explains the link between food aid and civil conflict, the benefits of industrial policy, and his thoughts on a devolution of authority, as well as
16/11/202055 minutes 52 seconds
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State Capacity, Religious Toleration, and Political Competition with Mark Koyama

Today’s guest is Mark Koyama, Economic Historian at George Mason University. Mark recently co-authored Persecution &amp; Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom with Noel Johnson, and in this episode, we talk to Mark about some of its big themes – state capacity, religious toleration, and political competition. We begin by hearing Mark’s ideas about a key argument in his book, the connection between religious freedom and the development of liberal societies. From there, we unpack the meaning of the idea of state capacity which springboards a discussion on the relationship between strong states and the treatment of religious minorities. To flesh out some of the nuances of this idea, our discussion hones in on the treatment of Jews during the Black Death during the Holy Roman Empire. On the topic of state-building, we look at some examples of small city-states versus medium states in Europe, hearing Mark’s ideas on why the latter had more lasting power. We also speak a
02/11/202058 minutes 37 seconds
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A City in the Cloud with Balaji Srinivasan

Digital technology has evolved to the point that by hitting keys and tapping mice buttons, you can literally build a city in the cloud. This viral idea was started by angel investor Balaji Srinivasan, who believes in creating cities with crowd-funded territories and governed by smart contracts. In our conversation with Balaji, we touch on many intricate topics that link to two concepts — using tech to design ideal cities and how innovation is driven by exit strategies. Early in the episode, we dive into the future of America, and the rest of the world, as we explore the country’s politics, geography, military, and intellectual power. After discussing why it’s so difficult to get anything done in the US, Balaji talks about why people might soon begin emigrating from America. From cryptocurrency to Indians recognizing the success of Indian immigrants, Balaji shares his insights on how exits and alternative strategies can be the leading force behind change. Following this, we begin unp
19/10/20201 hour 11 minutes
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Reigniting Progress By Studying It with Jason Crawford

What is progress, has it slowed down, and what can we do about it? Joining us today to talk about the emerging field of progress studies and how it might help us dig into questions like these, is Jason Crawford, author of the blog, Roots Of Progress. Jason opens by providing us with a definition of progress and why the active study of it might help us rekindle it in our world. We talk about how progress has increasingly dwindled next. In the late 19th and early 20th century, four major progress revolutions were occurring in fields of chemical engineering, oil, electricity, and germ theory, and today we only have one, tech. In thinking about why this has occurred, we examine the stagnation hypothesis which argues that as a culture we have come to prize innovation less, we have chosen the low-hanging fruit of previous innovations to explore rather than find new ones, and regulations have grown to the extent that breakthroughs have been throttled. Jason gives his thoughts on these argu
05/10/20201 hour 1 minute 49 seconds
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An Overview of Charter Cities and The CCI with Founder Mark Lutter.

The Charter Cities Institute has seen rapid growth in recent months, having gone from three employees in February to ten as of this week, so we decided to do something a little different on today’s show. Kurtis Lockhart, Head of Research at the CCI sits down with Founder, Mark Lutter, to provide a high-level overview of the concept of charter cities, why their time has come, how the CCI fits into it all, and what the future holds. The first part of the conversation is all about charter cities, how they differ from conventional ones and special economic zones, and why they are becoming more important. From there, we move onto the history of charter cities, getting into some major recent advocates of the movement and a few examples of successful semi-autonomous cities from the post-war era and what we can learn from them. We turn our attention to some of the common criticisms of charter cities next, considering the political threat they could end up posing, how they propose to be diff
21/09/20202 hours 40 minutes 2 seconds
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Erick Brimen on Próspera and The Birth of the First Charter City in Honduras

Today we welcome Erick Brimen, the CEO of Próspera, which is arguably the world's first charter city, off the coast of Honduras on an island called Roatán. Erick is on the podcast to unpack the exciting news about Próspera, the philosophy behind its founding, and the vision for its short-term and long-term future. Our conversation covers a lot of in-depth detail on Próspera, with Erick explaining approaches to governance, reform, cultural integration, common law and so much more! Erick gives us a great introduction to the first of several planned locations for the Próspera project, also unpacking what this expansion could possibly look like in decades to come. We get in the choice of Roatán and the specific opportunities offered by the island, with Erick situating his reasoning within his broader interest in charter cities and economic expansion. Erick also talks about his work before Próspera and the lessons he brought forward from time in the asset management space and working wit
07/09/20201 hour 37 minutes 11 seconds
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We Need to Work at Making Democracy Work with Professor Nic Cheeseman

Tocqueville said, “We need to work at making democracy work.” That is the springboard from which this episode begins. Kurtis Lockhart fills in for Mark Lutter as today’s host, and our guest is Professor Nic Cheeseman. Nic is a political scientist at the University of Birmingham, and was formerly the head of the African Studies Center at Oxford University. His research focuses on a range of topics, from democracy and elections, to development and institutional change, all of which we will discuss in this episode. Nic is the author or editor of ten books on African Politics, including Democracy in Africa: Successes, Failures, and the Struggle for Political Reform and How to Rig an Election. Nic shares with us some of the projects he is working on, and we discuss anti-corruption messaging, foreign aid, China in Africa, and redrawing African countries’ borders, as well as invisible election rigging, “sweet spot” strategies, and counterfeit democrats. Tune in today!
24/08/20201 hour 13 minutes 14 seconds
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The Political Economy of Special Economic Zones with Lotta Moberg

Charter cities can be thought of as the next generation of special economic zones. Today’s guest is Lotta Moberg, a macroeconomic analyst at the&nbsp;Dynamic Allocations Strategies&nbsp;team at&nbsp;William Blair&nbsp;in Chicago.&nbsp;Lotta&nbsp;is considered somewhat of an expert on special economic zones, given that her dissertation explored the entrepreneurial state and the government as an entrepreneurial and commercial actor, as well as special economic zones. This is also the topic of her&nbsp;book, The Political Economy of Special Economic Zones. In this episode, we discuss everything there is to know about special economic zones, including knowledge and incentive problems, economic activity versus political need, concentrating resources versus implementing them in the economy as a whole, and private versus government initiatives. Lotta shares some of the key determinants for successful special economic zones, the importance of regulatory reform, and why China has be
10/08/202058 minutes 43 seconds
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Creating Livable, Sustainable Cities with Yomi Ademola

Africa is the fastest urbanizing region on the planet. The continent’s rapid population and economic growth demand large-scale solutions. As Africa’s new private city builder – backed by American, Norwegian, British and New Zealand investors – Rendeavour builds cities in the growth path of some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing regions. Today’s guest is Yomi Ademola, the country head for Nigeria for Rendeavor, which is the largest urban real estate development company in Africa. In this episode, we discuss what it means to create livable, sustainable cities, the process of building them, and how they fit into the broader regional development of their locations. Yomi also shares with us what the impact of COVID has been on his business, the importance of blending local capacity with international expertise, as well as how to balance the need for order with the organic emergence of a city in its own right. For more on building the livable, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing
27/07/20201 hour 1 minute 6 seconds
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Building a New Hong Kong with Ivan Ko

As the political landscape in Hong Kong shifts, many residents are looking to migrate to Western countries. This creates immigration problems, especially as some Hong Kongers won’t meet the investment requirements needed to move to cities with established Hong Kong expat communities. Today’s guest, Ivan Ko, is the founder and CEO of Victoria Harbour Group, an organization with the bold idea to create international charter cities in Western countries for Hong Kong immigrants to move into. Our conversation begins as Ivan explains the benefit his proposed charter cities will have for their host countries. Built in areas with low local populations to minimize disruption, each city will aim to fit an economic niche. We discuss why this might be an attractive proposition considering the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ivan discusses the challenges of building charter cities and reveals that, despite immigration being a hot-button political issue, the perception of Hong Kon
13/07/20201 hour 15 minutes 2 seconds
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Funding a Charter City: A Venture Capital Perspective with Patri Friedman

Venture capital and charter cities are an unlikely pairing, but it’s one that presents interesting possibilities. Today's guest, Patri Friedman, is the founder of Pronomos Capital, the Seasteading Institute, and a veteran in the charter city and competitive governance space. We kick off the show by learning more about Pronomos Capital, and why Patri decided to start a venture fund dedicated to charter cities. With his Silicon Valley experience, Patri brings a unique approach to charter city thinking. From there, we discuss some of the factors that have led to the charter city movement gaining traction, including shifts in government and investor mindsets. After this, we dive into the Seasteading Institute and what spurred Patri to establish the organization. We then delve into founding a charter city. While there are capital constraints, Patri believes that the shortage of capable founders is one of the biggest obstacles in the space. Founders need to have a unique skill set, where
29/06/20201 hour 6 minutes 38 seconds
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The Determinant Power of Geography and the Coming Disorder with Peter Zeihan

Joining us on the show today is geopolitical strategist, speaker and author, Peter Zeihan! Our conversation spans a wide range of connected topics, centering on the immediate future facing the United States and the global economy, with particular attention given to the question of China. Peter holds a somewhat less common position on China's supposed power, arguing that the country is a paper tiger, waiting to ignite. He does a clear job of explaining this perspective and how so many casual theorists seem to have got it completely wrong. Drawing the argument back to the US, Peter then explains the stability, even in today's chaos, that the country has and by extending his scope to Europe and the Middle East, he shows the huge part that geography plays in the unfolding of political and economic power struggles. We discuss the examples of France and Germany, as well as outlying African countries and Peter underlines the central part that geography and access play in all of their desti
15/06/20201 hour 18 minutes 48 seconds
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Aiding Emerging Markets and Serving People with Grace with Iyinoluwa Aboyeji

The Nigerian economy is complex and multilayered, with many opportunities and hurdles for its people. Joining us on the show today to discuss the economic landscape of Nigeria, the charter city project of Talent City in Calabar, and what it really means to provide opportunities to the Nigerian people, is entrepreneur Iyinoluwa Aboyeji! We have a fascinating discussion around the ways the Nigerian market operates and the types of entrepreneurship and business-mindedness that are found in the country. Iyinoluwa sheds light on what he calls survivalist entrepreneurialism and explains a few different perspectives on Nigerian aspiration inside and outside of the country. One of the most notable points that our guest makes is the stark difference between the American concept of monopolies and Nigerian 'competition trees'. From there, our conversation turns to Iyinoluwa's own professional experiences and work at Andela and Flutterwave. We also get into his education and faith before lookin
01/06/20201 hour 8 minutes 33 seconds
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Mwiya Musokotwane on Nkwashi and The Future of an Intercontinental Africa

Nkwashi is a private charter city that is currently being built in Zambia to house around 100,000 residents on completion. Our guest on the show today is Mwiya Musokotwane, the co-founder and CEO of Thebe Investment Management, a Zambian private investment firm that is the developer of Nkwashi. He is here to talk about this project and the challenges and aspirations involved specifically, as well as those more broadly positioned in an African context. We look at questions of what it means to create a private city, getting an economy started and the key factors that need to be addressed for Africa's economic future. Mwiya gives us some insight into the timeline of building Nkwashi and why building a charter city takes longer in developing economies. We discuss financing and the ways that the project has been laid out to pay for itself over the next ten or so years. The conversation also covers skills development, talent attraction and culture building and we look at how cities and co
18/05/202049 minutes 57 seconds
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Alain Bertaud on Cities: The Products of Spontaneous Order

For today’s episode, we discuss urban planning with Alain Bertaud, senior research scholar at NYU’s Marron Institute and the author of&nbsp;Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities.&nbsp;Our conversation covers many subtopics under the central theme of the processes that allow cities to come into being and be maintained. Cities – healthy ones at least – are in essence the products of spontaneity, compositions of ever-changing movements dictated by the connections between the people who live in them, and we consider how planning can accommodate this reality. One of Alain’s central hypotheses is that labor markets are the foundation of cities and the idea that good transport and service-based approaches to planning will produce healthier labor markets. This idea penetrates much of the conversation with Alain today and we hear his thoughts on topics like which cities had labor markets and which didn’t, why some cities die and others keep surviving, why some shape history
04/05/20201 hour 18 minutes 3 seconds
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Gyude Moore on the Infrastructural Spine of the Economy

For our first full episode of the Charter Cities Podcast, Mark is joined by Gyude Moore to discuss his experiences in and the history of Liberia, and what this story can teach us about charter cities in Africa and emerging markets. Gyude takes a brief look at the defining moments in Liberian history for this discussion, mentioning the population that arrived from America in the 1800s and the civil war he was born into at the end of the 20th century. We hear more from his personal story of moving to the US for college and then returning to a governmental position thanks to the Scott Family Fellows program and how this turned into a role as the Minister of Public Works. Gyude comments on the characteristics of the Liberian government at this time and the systems and attitudes that halted progress and reduced funds. From there, we move into Gyude's main passion and argument, that paved roads make up the backbone of any economy, a technology that has become completely commonplace in mos
20/04/20201 hour 13 minutes 15 seconds
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Mark Lutter on the importance of charter cities

We are so happy to welcome you to the Charter Cities Podcast, where we highlight the different facets of building a charter city. Through this platform, we hope that listeners will not only gain a deep understanding of charter cities from urban planning to politics and finance but also the necessary steps that it takes to build them. In this episode, we do things a bit differently, with Mark Lutter, founder of Charter Cities Institute, and host of the podcast getting put in the hot seat. His CCI colleague, Tamara Winter, interviews him on a range of topics, both directly and not so directly, related to charter cities. We learn more about the mission of CCI and why Mark believes that charter cities are a good model for economic development. While Paul Romer, famed economist, unsuccessfully tried to get charter cities off the ground, Mark explains why he believes CCI’s approach will ultimately be more successful. Mark also sheds light on how charter cities are complementary to but dif
25/03/202057 minutes 32 seconds