Dror Reshef and Rani Spiegler present:

Using Economic Theory to Save the World

 

Economic theory has made great strides in the last fifty years, producing a body of thought that shines like a beacon of modern dismal science. Yet, this is no time for complacency. It is time to storm out of the ivory tower and put the immense power of economic theory to good use. And what better use is there than saving the world? Non-Harvard economist Rani Spiegler is a pioneer of this latest application of economic theory. Let us join him and visit several landmarks in this great human adventure.

 

 

Spiegler explains Kakutani’s Fixed Point Theorem to a group of enthusiastic real-estate entrepreneurs.

 

 

Though no Friedmanite, Spiegler came to admire and like the great economist, and toward the end of Friedman's life, the two became close intellectual buddies, sharing thoughts on monetary policy and refinements of Nash Equilibrium. “I remember how Milt told me, shortly before his untimely death, ‘You know, Rani, with the right off-equilibrium belief-selection criterion, the Great Depression might have been prevented’.”

 

 

Spiegler gives the keynote lecture in the first world congress on Lattice Methods for Poverty Alleviation (LAMPA 2007). “We should put our scientist ego aside, pull our sleeves and get to work. This is not about us - it's about saving the world.”

 

 

Saving the world requires us to step out of the ivory tower and rub shoulders with popular culture. In this picture, Spiegler and colleagues are singing as one in an MTV-sponsored theory seminar.

 

 

Back to the workshop! There is still a burning need for great theoretical ideas that will ultimately save the world. And this is how great ideas are born: among friends, in a relaxed atmosphere, between sips of cappuccino made out of fair-trade, organic coffee beans.

 

 

Using the incredible power of economic theory, we CAN save the world. We WILL save the world.