Distinguished Lecture Brings World-Renowned Economist to CU Denver

March 29, 2021

On Thursday, March 18, nearly 90 viewers tuned into the Institute for International Business Distinguished Lecture, featuring Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, and global leader in sustainable development. 

Sponsored by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the Boothby International Executive Lecture, the presentation focused on Sachs’ latest book, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions, in which he explores seven waves of technological and institutional change, beginning with the original settling of the planet by early modern humans and ending with today’s globalization. 

In this book and in his lecture, Sachs underlined the urgent need for new methods of international governance and cooperation to prevent conflicts and to achieve economic, social, and environmental objectives aligned with sustainable development. The Ages of Globalization is a guide map for those wanting to understand and discern the best paths forward for a rapidly changing world. “In just 230 pages,” said Scott Dawson, dean of the CU Denver Business School, “Sachs conveys what most authors would convey in 800 pages.”

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. Photo courtesy jeffsachs.org

During the discussion, Sachs highlighted the United States’ leadership role in the current phase of globalization, which he calls the digital age. Sachs also addressed key topics in international business and geopolitics, including U.S.-China relations and global climate change.

“We need a change of mindset, and that mindset has to be one of cooperation,” Sachs said during the virtual discussion. “I believe that great universities like yours and like mine, and like others around the world, have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to help lead in thinking and understanding, and in research and solutions.”

Sachs currently serves as university professor, president of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He has authored numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of PovertyCommon Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, and The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity. He was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership.

Chancellor Michelle Marks, Provost Roderick Nairn, and CIBER Director Manuel G. Serapio thanked Sachs for his virtual visit and for presenting on such timely and significant issues, especially during the time of COVID-19 when so many people in the US and across the globe have relied on technology to learn, work, and socialize.

“While we in Colorado would like to lead in this exciting new phase of digital globalization, we also recognize that we must prioritize sustainable development and inclusive growth. At CU Denver, we are working to reduce the time and cost of degree, we are revamping our equity and inclusion efforts, and we are addressing sustainability through a variety of initiatives. The issues that you [Sachs] write about and research are so important to us,” Marks said.

As one of only 15 CIBERs in the United States, a prestigious designation awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, CU Denver hosts important lectures to promote international business education and advance U.S. global competitiveness.