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The Challenges of Engaged Development in Brazil: Homage to Albert Hirschman and Oscar Niemeyer


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Speaker(s): João Carlos Ferraz
Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun

Recorded on 2 May 2013 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

An overarching sense of uncertainty prevails in the second decade of the 21st century, as dramatic changes sweep most aspects of life in every corner of the planet. This lecture will attempt to discuss the constitutive elements of the uncertainties we live with and their associated challenges. These should compose the boundaries of the debate about what development is, or should be, in the 21st century. The recent economic, social and political evolution of Brazil will serve as a point of reference. Uncertainty must be addressed through the pursuit of knowledge, as effective policies – whether public or private -- require sound analytical pillars. This is where Albert Hirschman and Oscar Niemeyer and their life achievements come in. They were men of their time, men of the future. They designed ideas and monuments; they were politically engaged and engage others to think about and act upon development processes. But they never abandoned the firm belief that development is time- and place-specific, a lesson which applies to Brazil and is more broadly applicable and important to recall today.

João Carlos Ferraz is vice president of the Brazilian Development Bank, BDNES.

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