Community Solutions Board Member and longtime advisor, Paul Romer, was named Chief Economist of the World Bank on Monday.
We salute Paul for his groundbreaking contributions to economics and community development, as well as for his thoughtful work to support our own efforts to end homelessness and concentrated poverty by helping communities learn to solve problems in smarter, more collaborative ways.
Paul is a natural ally for Community Solutions. His research has long held that cities are crucial to the world’s future because they are central places of economic activity and innovation exchange. Growth, Paul has argued, is not an accident. It is tied to investment in human capital and the conditions for new ideas to emerge and spread.
What is so interesting about Paul’s work for Community Solutions’ purposes is that it implicitly highlights the urgent risk of writing off neglected groups and neighborhoods. Poverty, and the extent to which whole groups cannot participate effectively in mainstream economies, represents a huge limitation on growth that is felt by all.
We might eagerly expect, then, that Paul’s work at the World Bank will be driven by a fundamental commitment to leveraging cities as a means of bringing more people into full participation in the world economy to stimulate broader and more democratic growth.
As Paul writes “[my work] focuses on urbanization because better urban policy offers the best chance for speeding up growth in the developing world.”
“The World Bank has made a bold and forward thinking choice in selecting Paul Romer,” said Community Solutions President Rosanne Haggerty. “Paul’s fruitful history of bucking conventional wisdom to reduce inequality and bring urgency to the task of addressing urban poverty will mean better lives for low-income people around the world. He has long been a powerful intellectual asset to the Board at Community Solutions, and we celebrate this honor with him.”
You can learn more about Paul’s history on his website, where he maintains a particularly interesting and accessible blog.