finm and I are interviewing Jeffrey Sachs on our podcast next week.

Prof. Sachs is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He was a leading figure in creating the Millenium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, serving as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General from 2001-2018. He is the author of "The End of Poverty" (2005), "Common Wealth" (2008) and most recently "The Ages of Globalization" (2020).

We are very keen to ask Prof. Sachs questions that he might not have come across before. In particular, we want to ask him:

  • What a post-2030 SDG agenda could look like, and how it might align with EA thinking, especially incorporating the welfare of future generations and animals
  • How Covid has changed his thinking about sustainability, and what the international community could do to take GCRs/X-risks more seriously

If you have a question you would like to ask Prof. Sachs, we would love to hear it. This could be about any of the cause areas mentioned, the role of law in EA more generally, or anything else.

Fin and I always find these comments useful, and we will pick our favourites (weighted by upvotes). Thanks all!




Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:01 PM

It's great that you are interviewing Sachs.

Here's a possible question: William Easterly has admitted that Sachs was closer to the truth in their disagreement over the effectiveness of malaria bed nets. Is there a disagreement where Sachs thinks Easterly was the one closer to the truth?

Congrats! I'll gladly listen to your interview.

I guess you already have a bunch of questions prepared... I have a peculiar curiosity / interest in hearing Sachs talk about how a warmer climate might impact economic development. I think he could summarize his own view, then conflicting opinions, and draw conclusions about future impacts of climate change.

This might not be a very original question, but how have his views about Big Push approaches to poverty reduction evolved over time? I'd find it interesting to hear a discussion of how (or if) he consciously updates his views as new and often conflicting evidence about such theories emerges over time.

  • How are the Sustainable Development Goals selected? Who decides which ones are important to include?
  • How can we  encourage companies to create more effective CRS/Sustainability programs (and donate resources to effective causes?)

What are the key things he thinks the average EA doesn't know about global development?

He may well have been asked this before, but I'd want to know what, if anything, he thinks would be lost be replaced the SDGs - at the least insofar as they apply to current humans - with a measure of happiness.

Also, if/how he thinks about intergenerational trade-offs.

What interventions are underrated in his opionion?

FYI: the episode is now published.