51 episodes

The Charter Cities Podcast explores how charter cities can help solve some of the largest challenges of the 21st century, from urbanization to global poverty to migration. Each episode Mark Lutter interviews experts in international development, new cities, finance, entrepreneurship, and governance, to develop a better understanding of the various aspects of charter cities

If you want to learn more visit the Charter Cities Institute at https://www.chartercitiesinstitute.org/

Charter Cities Podcast Kurtis Lockhart

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 15 Ratings

The Charter Cities Podcast explores how charter cities can help solve some of the largest challenges of the 21st century, from urbanization to global poverty to migration. Each episode Mark Lutter interviews experts in international development, new cities, finance, entrepreneurship, and governance, to develop a better understanding of the various aspects of charter cities

If you want to learn more visit the Charter Cities Institute at https://www.chartercitiesinstitute.org/

    Exploring Solutions to the Development Problem with Efosa Ojomo

    Exploring Solutions to the Development Problem with Efosa Ojomo

    Development is one of the major challenges of our time. Unfortunately, it’s often approached in a way that does more harm than good. Efosa Ojomo has a better solution, and he’s here today to share it. Efosa is the leader of the Global Prosperity Research Group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, the co-author of The Prosperity Paradox, and the author of the upcoming book, The Prosperity Process. In this episode, Efosa explains how his first foray in the development space (building wells in Nigeria) catalyzed a journey of discovery which led him to realize that, in order to truly change the world, we need to implement pull strategies instead of push strategies and focus on market creating innovations. He shares some examples of what these innovations look like and we discuss what it takes to be a market creating innovator, how regulation impacts innovation, a new way to think about corruption, and more! Make sure to tune in today.

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • The lesson Efosa learned through his first foray in the development world.
    • Definitions of the three types of innovation that Efosa and his co-authors explain in depth in their book, The Prosperity Paradox.
    • Efosa shares the story of Mo Ibrhaim to highlight the power of market creating innovations.
    • Push versus pull development strategies and the problem with the former.
    • The story of Indomie Noodles as an example of the huge amount of change that can be made through the implementation of a pull strategy.
    • How a proliferation of government agencies negatively impacts a country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
    • The type of person who is best suited to be a leader in the market creating innovation space.
    • Aid for developing countries: how the approach needs to change.
    • Efosa explains why good laws are not enough to create thriving communities.
    • Key factors that resulted in the rise and fall of Venice.
    • How Efosa believes we should be tackling the issue of corruption.
    • A tribute to Clayton Christenson.
    • The Prosperity Process; Efosa’s future book.


    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    http://www.apple.com (Efosa Ojomo)
    https://twitter.com/EfosaOjomo (Efosa Ojomo on Twitter)
    https://www.christenseninstitute.org/global-prosperity/ (Global Prosperity Research Group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation)
    https://www.amazon.com/Prosperity-Paradox-Innovation-Nations-Poverty/dp/0062851829 (The Prosperity Paradox)
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mo-Ibrahim (Mo Ibrahim)
    https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/gambling-on-development/ (Gambling on Development)
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuen-yuen-ang-35a93920/ (Yuen Yuen Ang)
    https://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-Fail-Origins-Prosperity/dp/0307719227 (Why Nations Fail)
    https://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Change-Business/dp/0062060244 (The Innovator's Dilemma)
    https://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Solution-Creating-Sustaining-Successful/dp/1422196577 (The Innovator’s Solution)
    https://www.chartercitiesinstitute.org/ (Charter Cities Institute)
    https://www.facebook.com/Charter-Cities-Institute-424204888015721/ (Charter Cities Institute on Facebook)
    https://twitter.com/CCIdotCity (Charter Cities Institute on Twitter)

    • 59 min
    Lessons on Economic Growth for the Future with Dr. Jared Rubin

    Lessons on Economic Growth for the Future with Dr. Jared Rubin

    Dr. Jared Rubin is the co-author of How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth, which he wrote with Mark Koyama, a previous guest on the podcast. We are so happy to welcome Jared to the show today to discuss the thesis of his book, and what he and Mark aimed to add to the literature on the subject of economic growth in the contemporary context. This is a fascinating and thoughtful conversation, packed with insight and nuance on important arguments of the past, what is needed to broaden and enhance our understanding of economic growth, and how far these projects might go towards enabling us to see a better future. Dr. Rubin answers some questions about geographic, legal, and technological explanations for growth, and stresses the importance of synergy and interplay between these theories for a more illuminating picture. So to hear all this and a whole lot more, including many reasons to pick up his latest book, tune in today!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • Introducing the role of culture in economic growth, and tracing the roots of this inquiry.
    • Positioning How the World Became Rich in the lineage of literature on the subject of growth.
    • Looking at England and the emergence of modern growth; arguments over the most important factors.
    • Why Dr. Rubin tried to bring different theories into conversation through writing this book.
    • Unpacking the argument for the role of liberal speech norms in the history of development, proposed by McCloskey.
    • Technological progress and geographic endowments; why this relationship is worth exploration.
    • Dr. Rubin's perspective on the role of law and legal systems in the growth trajectory of a country.
    • Discussing the relative slowing of growth in the Western world and what this may mean.
    • Dr. Rubin briefly comments on an argument for total factor productivity growth being linear.
    • Thoughts on big picture topics through a micro lens.
    • The lessons we can take from history for the most impactful policies for growth in the future.


    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    https://www.jaredcrubin.com/ (Dr. Jared Rubin)
    https://www.chapman.edu/ (Chapman University)
    https://www.amazon.com/How-World-Became-Rich-Historical/dp/1509540237 (How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth)
    https://twitter.com/jaredcrubin?lang=en (Dr. Jared Rubin on Twitter)
    https://economics.gmu.edu/people/mkoyama2 (Mark Koyama)
    https://chartercitiesinstitute.org/podcast/charter-cities-podcast-episode-16-state-capacity-religious-toleration-and-political-competition-with-mark-koyama/ (Charter Cities Podcast Episode 16 with Mark Koyama)
    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1995/lucas/biographical/ (Robert Lucas)
    https://economics.northwestern.edu/people/directory/joel-mokyr.html (Joel Mokyr)
    https://www.amazon.com/Culture-Growth-Origins-Schumpeter-Lectures/dp/0691168881 (Culture of Growth)
    https://henrich.fas.harvard.edu/ (Joe Henrich)
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Max-Weber-German-sociologist (Max Weber)
    https://www.amazon.com/Protestant-Ethic-Spirit-Capitalism/dp/1603866043 (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism)
    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1992/becker/facts/ (Gary Becker)
    https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/C/bo5970597.html (Culture and the Evolutionary Process)
    https://press.princeton.edu/our-authors/o-grada-cormac (Cormac Ó Gráda)
    https://www.deirdremccloskey.com/ (Deidre McCloskey)
    https://growthecon.com/ (Deitrich Vollrath)
    https://www.amazon.com/Fully-Grown-Stagnant-Economy-Success/dp/0226820041 (Fully Grown)
    https://www.stern.nyu.edu/faculty/bio/thomas-philippon (Thomas Philippon)
    https://www.chartercitiesinstitute.org/...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Real Story of China in Africa with Deborah Brautigam

    The Real Story of China in Africa with Deborah Brautigam

    China’s presence in Africa is widely speculated upon (and wildly misunderstood). Joining us today to speak to the truth of the matter is Sinologist-Africanist Professor of International Development at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Deborah Brautigam. Deborah is also the Director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) and author of Will Africa Feed China? and, more famously, The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. In this episode, she shares her nuanced perspective on the Chinese development model and aid program in Africa and how the rise of NGOs has shifted the nature of aid, in general. We discuss the role of aid as a geopolitical instrument and the differences in the ways China and the West approach the funding of infrastructure in Africa. We learn about Chinese loans versus commoditized loans, the lessons China has learned through its various endeavors, and the lessons Deborah suspects it is yet to learn. Tune in to hear more about the balance of ensuring sustainability and respecting sovereignty, what’s causing the decline in Chinese infrastructure lending, and where China’s focus has turned since the pandemic.
    Key Points From This Episode:
    • Deborah Brautigam’s interest in the Chinese development model and aid program in Africa.
    • The argument of her first book, Will Africa Feed China?
    • The problems Western aid projects have faced.
    • How the rise of NGOs has shifted the nature of aid.
    • The accountability structure of China in Africa.
    • Aid as a geopolitical instrument.
    • The two primary sources of finance for infrastructure in Africa: China and the bond markets.
    • The Japanese Goa formula and its impact on Chinese aid practices today.
    • How Chinese commodity-backed aid differs from that of Western entities.
    • Zambia’s privatization of their copper mines.
    • Why commoditized loans have a bad reputation.
    • The advantage Chinese loans have over commoditized loans.
    • Competitive bidding and external supervision of Chinese infrastructure in Angola.
    • China’s reasons for supporting the developing world in the 60s and 70s: to support socialism and wrest diplomatic recognition away from Taipei and towards Beijing.
    • The lessons China took from undertaking the Tanzam railway project in the 70s.
    • Tazara Syndrome: the pride of funding projects nobody else wants to fund.
    • The art of project appraisal and how to minimize risk in demand projections.
    • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
    • The balance between ensuring the sustainability of aid projects and respecting sovereignty.
    • How political interests undermine the ability of state-owned enterprises to be sustainable.
    • The specialization and division of labor between China and the West.
    • The Western profit model of new urban agglomerations.
    • The misguided New Yorker report on debt-trap diplomacy in Sri Lanka.
    • Reasons for the recent decline in Chinese infrastructure spending.
    • China’s plans to focus on local infrastructure.
    • Various views on China's motives amongst policymakers.
    • Deborah’s book recommendations pertaining to Chinese issues.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


    https://deborahbrautigam.com/ (Deborah Brautigam)
    https://twitter.com/d_brautigam (Deborah Brautigam on Twitter)
    https://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Gift-Story-China-Africa/dp/0199606293 (The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa)
    https://www.amazon.com/Will-Africa-Feed-China/dp/B017DNILOS (Will Africa Feed China?)...

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Linda Colley on War and Constitutions

    Linda Colley on War and Constitutions

    Dr. Linda Colley is a leading expert on British imperial and global history, among other topics in British history. Dr. Colley is the M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, here today to discuss her newly published book, https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Ship-Pen-Warfare-Constitutions-ebook/dp/B085T9SF7P (The Gun, The Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World), which explores the complex interrelationship between the rise of modern warfare and the rise of modern constitutionalism worldwide. After introducing Dr. Colley, and discussing the themes of her book, we launch into a conversation about what drove her to research and write about the topic of constitutions across the globe. Hear about the brief period during 1653 when Britain had its own constitution, before Dr. Colley unpacks the role of printing press technology and the spread of literacy, and explains why building the French navy helped the American revolutionaries, but not the French monarchy. We address Toussaint’s two purposes for the constitutions, which unfolds into a discussion about the extent to which constitutions are not just a domestic tool, but serve an international purpose, with Tunisia as one of our examples. Hear how Japan’s constitution has worked to concede certain rights for its people, learn about James Beale’s vision for governance and modernization, and much more. Tune in for an in-depth discussion on the ever-evolving role of this fascinating type of document today.

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • Today’s guest, Dr. Linda Colley, expert on British imperial and global history.
    • Themes explored in her newly published book, https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Ship-Pen-Warfare-Constitutions-ebook/dp/B085T9SF7P (The Gun, The Ship, and the Pen).
    • The brief period during 1653 when Britain had its own constitution.
    • What moved her to write about global constitutions and their interpretations.
    • The constitution drafted in Philadelphia in 1787’s role in influencing the rest of the globe.
    • Mechanics of the relationship between war, revolution, and the emergence of constitutions.
    • How the spread of literacy and printing presses facilitated codified constitutions.
    • Why building the French navy helped the American revolutionaries, but not the French monarchy.
    • Toussaint’s two purposes for the constitutions: to eradicate slavery in Haiti, and make it known to France that this is the case.
    • The extent to which constitutions are not just a domestic tool, but a play for international legitimacy.
    • Tunisia’s different approach to constitution making.
    • How Japan’s constitution has worked to concede certain rights for its people.
    • James Beale’s vision for governance and modernization.
    • The evolution and plateau of the role and rights of women in society.
    • Observing the link to the pressures of war within global constitutions.
    • How Thomas Paine’s military service impacted his views, and how actual military service influences constitution makers in general.
    • Catherine the Great in Russia and Bolivar in South America, and their constitutional influence.
    • Tacit borrowings from the British model, and ultra-plagiarism in Norway.
    • The best practices approach that can be pulled from all of these methods.
    • How constant borrowing results in a final text that is distinct for each entity.
    • Why the average duration of written constitutions is only 18 years and what that means.
    • Why many constitutions within a country is not a failure, with South America as an example.
    • The evolving aims and...

    • 49 min
    Charter Cities Atlas: Venice with Thibault Serlet and Corey Tazzara

    Charter Cities Atlas: Venice with Thibault Serlet and Corey Tazzara

    Today’s episode is a bonus episode, where we take a deep dive into the Italian Renaissance (with a focus on Venice) with world-renowned expert, Professor Corey Tazzara. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the formation of independent city-states, to the financial and political ramifications of the crusades, to the rise and fall of Venice as an economic powerhouse, this conversation has it all! We start at the beginning, with a comment on the role of the Middle Ages in the formation of society as it is today, and how the literature of the times contributed to the maintenance of the Roman Empire as a power. Despite this, there was decentralization across Europe in the 800s, and independent city-states arose. Rome regained its power from tourism and through regaining the seat of the papacy, while Florence formed the birthplace of the Renaissance through its art, culture, and adoption of investment banking. Milan became an authoritarian state, and we hear how the condottieri contributed to this. Unexpectedly, Genoa gained wealth in the loss of the War of Chioggia, while Venice was created from the marshes by refugees. The focus of the conversation shifts to the role of Venice in the Renaissance, and how it influenced society as we see it today. We learn how venture capital was created to profit from the Crusades, and how links to other cultures and societies benefitted the trade between Venice and the rest of Europe and the Middle East. Tune in to find out how the Venice of today differs from the Renaissance era Venice, and so much more, in this incredible discussion!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • Welcome to Corey Tazzara, professor of history at Scripps College and the world’s leading expert on medieval and early modern freeports.
    • Background into the decentralization of the Roman Empire, and why we owe today’s society to the Middle Ages.
    • How the literature of the Middle ages maintains the Roman Empire’s power.
    • The formation of independent city-states across Europe, and how they worked.
    • The role of the papacy in reviving Roman law.
    • What the 12th Century Renaissance is, and how it impacted the European economy.
    • How the crusades altered the trade done at the port city-states: sea vs land travel.
    • Why the Fourth Crusade was the first example of venture capital.
    • The radical democracies that started in the Byzantine era across Italy.
    • A quick tour of the major houses at play across the city-states in the 1300s.
    • The revival of Rome: from the center of an empire to a tourism hotspot.
    • How Florence became a republic, and why Corey feels it is the birthplace of the Renaissance.
    • Why the adoption of investment banking fueled Florence’s prosperity and the rise of the Medici family.
    • Turning to Genoa: how the loss of the War of Chioggia lead to the gain of Western wealth in the centuries to come.
    • The role of the condottieri in Milan’s authoritarian government and war-based economy.
    • Who Francesco Sforza was, and how he served as an example of the dangers of the condottieri to political powers.
    • A few honorable mentions of other city-states that had tumultuous histories throughout the Renaissance.
    • The formation of Venice: how it was formed, and why its history is so different from other city-states.
    • The story of St. Mark’s remains, why Mussolini hated the church of San Marco, and what these anecdotes say about Venice.
    • Why Venice is the birthplace of investment banking and its role in the Fourth Crusade.
    • How making Venice the gateway to the Levant drove up profit and Venetians who changed the world....

    • 2 hr 21 min
    Tackling Poverty and Preventing War with Chris Blattman

    Tackling Poverty and Preventing War with Chris Blattman

    The Ukraine-Russia conflict has dominated headlines over the past few months, with countless theories and hypotheses being touted to explain Russia’s aggression. Join us as we talk to one of the world’s leading experts on violence and politics, Professor Chris Blattman. We start the episode with an explanation of why Chris chose to write his latest book Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace, and how he can apply the logic within to explain Putin's motivations and behavior. We learn why peace is a better driver for innovation and competition than war, and what Chris feels about the controversial observations made by John Mearsheimer about the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Tune in to learn what the George Washington example is, and the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rising levels of violence within the USA. We next move on to the role of CBT in reducing violence across the globe, with some insightful examples of Mr. Rogers-like personas across Africa who Chris has worked with. This episode is jam-packed with tons of fascinating insights into current affairs, how to best tackle poverty, theoretical debate and so much more. Join us today as we talk to a true role model and thought leader on another episode of the Charter Cities podcast.

    Key Points From This Episode:

    • An introduction to Chris Blattman, author, economist, political scientist, expert on violence, and seasoned peacebuilder.
    • The inspiration behind why Chris wrote Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.
    • Chris’s response to John Mearsheimer’s observations on the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
    • Why Chris is content that his book was published before Russia invaded Ukraine.
    • The five logics of war applied to the Ukraine-Russia conflict: unchecked interests, intangible incentives, uncertainty, commitment problems, and misperceptions.
    • Why Chris feels that peace drives competition and innovation better than war.
    • The George Washington example: what it means and how it can be applied to other situations.
    • Why Chris is interested in applying Machiavellian logic to his research and blogging.
    • How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted levels of violence within the USA, and why.
    • Why the Mr. Rogers principle is so effective, and examples Chris has come across in other countries.
    • CBT and how it can be applied to reduce poverty.
    • The monetary values associated with CBT across different cultures.
    • Why oversimplifying complex problems is bad for the solution, and why including locals in the solution is key to success.
    • An example of one of Chris’ RCTs that failed!
    • Why Chris feels that he might have had a larger impact on society if he had moved into consulting in Africa.
    • The factors that helped to make the Harris School the success it is today.
    • Why Chris thinks giving cash is more effective at reducing poverty than other interventions.
    • How decentralizing power will be the ultimate solution to poverty.
    • Chris’s thoughts on the Charter Cities Institute and goals.
    • Where Chris is now, and the issues he will be researching in the next five years.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisblattman/ (Chris Blattman on LinkedIn)
    https://chrisblattman.com/ (Chris Blattman)
    https://chrisblattman.com/why-we-fight/ (Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace)
    https://www.amazon.com/Better-Angels-Our-Nature-Violence/dp/0143122010 (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-tilley-obe-a242501b8/?originalSubdomain=uk (Charles Tilley on LinkedIn)...

    • 1 hr 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

nels podcast listener ,

In-depth conversations with renowned experts

This group is thinking big about the future of cities and this podcast is very well informed.

sir stacksalot ,

Immediately engaging; Lit my brain on fire

The conversations are always a great balance of approachable and intellectual. The topics follow an interesting theme, and I find myself thinking about it for hours afterwards.

Evade Chikzy ,

Excellent

Very informative!

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