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September 23, 2008

Jeffrey Sachs: A Call for Community Engagement

Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
AP Photo

by Julia Bainbridge

World Savers

Widely considered the leading international economic advisor of his generation, professor Jeffrey D. Sachs has been, in his words, "at the hands of the travel industry for half a century." As president and co-founder of the Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty, he has traveled to over 125 countries.

"Travel is the only way to experience the world from new perspectives. No one can understand extreme poverty without seeing it with their own eyes," the keynote speaker at the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 World Savers Congress said.

His main thought for the morning: the notion that the billion people who travel this year can be a billion ambassadors of global understanding and good will. "Each guest in the world--1 billion every year--could be a bit more aware of the local conditions, a bit less afraid of the poverty, and a bit more admiring of the efforts to recover it--and how that local area is trying to combat it." Traveler-community engagement can, in his mind, be life-changing--and perhaps even world saving.

Further reading:
* Jeffrey Sach's Grand Experiment: The economist's mission to eradicate poverty

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