Senior Fellow and Director for Europe, Center for Global Development
President, Center for Global Development
Traditional economic models have tried and failed to understand why some countries have managed to improve living standards while other countries have not. Using ideas from complexity theory, Owen Barder will argue that development is a property of an economic and social system, not the sum of what happens to the people within it. Drawing on the understanding of complex adaptive systems in physics and biology, Barder will address important policy implications for policymakers who want to bring about faster development in their own country, or to help other countries to make faster progress.
Based in London, Owen Barder is the director of CGD in Europe, which he established in 2011. Barder was a British civil servant from 1988 to 2010, during which time he worked in the UK Treasury, No.10 Downing Street and the Department for International Development. He was Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to the Prime Minister and previously Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the Department for International Development he was variously Director of International Finance and Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications and Information, and head of Africa Policy Department. Barder is a director of Publish What You Fund and a member of the advisory board of Twaweza.