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Charles Kenny is a senior fellow and the director of technology and development at the Center for Global Development. His current work focuses on gender and development, the role of technology in development, governance and anticorruption and the post-2015 development agenda. He has published articles, chapters and books on issues including what we know about the causes of economic growth, the link between economic growth and broader development, the causes of improvements in global health, the link between economic growth and happiness, the end of the Malthusian trap, the role of communications technologies in development, the ‘digital divide,’ corruption, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. He is the author of the book "Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, and How We Can Improve the World Even More" and “The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Great for the West.” He has been a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a regular contributor to Business Week magazine. Kenny was previously at the World Bank, where his assignments included working with the VP for the Middle East and North Africa Region, coordinating work on governance and anticorruption in infrastructure and natural resources, and managing a number of investment and technical assistance projects covering telecommunications and the Internet.
In his latest essay, Charles Kenny seeks to revive Solow's model of exogenous growth; growth driven by the global diffusion of new technologies and ideas. He suggests that when it comes to quality of life improvements, institutions may be less important than exogenous factors, like new vaccines, oral re-hydration therapies, or improvements in hygiene and education practices.
Charles Kenny attempts to dispel development pessimists' fears in this essay summarizing his latest book Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding - And How We can Improve the World Even More (Basic Books). According to Charles, better health, education, greater access to civil and political rights, infrastructure and even beer, are all signs historic progress being made in the developing world.
Center for Global Development presentsGetting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding
And How We Can Improve the World Even More
Featuring Charles KennySenior Fellow, Center for Global Development
With introductory remarks byNancy Birdsall
President, Center for Global Development
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Reception to follow
atCenter for Global Development
1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, lobby level room 1026, Washington, DC
(Please bring photo identification)
Few doubt the conventional wisdom that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Development contrarian Charles Kenny is out to prove the Cassandras wrong with his new book Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding – And How We Can Improve the World Even More. Kenny argues that the 21st Century is the best of times in terms of health, education, political freedoms and access to infrastructure and new technologies, and that even the poorest have benefited. Though life for many people is still very difficult, improvements have spread far and can spread even further. Cast aside your worries—or bring them along!—and join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion and celebration of Kenny’s new book and his controversial optimistic vision of the future.
Charles Kenny is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is on leave from the World Bank where he is a senior economist. Kenny is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy, and has written for Time, Washington Monthly, the South China Morning Post, and the Globalist, as well as numerous academic journals. He lives in Washington, D.C.