European Union statecraft for sustainable development

Kapuscinski Development Lecture by economist Jeffrey D. Sachs

Sustainable development requires a new kind of statecraft: global and transnational rather than national; long term rather than short term; plan and market combined rather than plan or market alone; and multi-stakeholder at the core. The new EU Commission has the opportunity to put the EU into the global lead of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, with great benefits for Europe and the world.

Join us for a discussion with Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

With words of welcome by Henrik Enderlein, President, Hertie School, Jörg Wojahn, Head, European Commission Representation Berlin, and Jan Szczycinski, UNDP Regional Centre.

Keynote speaker

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development.  He is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change.  He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, for Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and Antonio Guterres (2017-18). 

Professor Sachs was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and has received 28 honorary degrees.  The New York Times called Sachs “probably the most important economist in the world,” and Time magazine called Sachs “the world’s best-known economist.” A survey by The Economist ranked Sachs as among the three most influential living economists.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.  He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. Sachs was Director of the Earth Institute from 2002 to 2016.

Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.


Anke Hassel is Professor of Public Policy at the Hertie School. Her research centres on the institutional foundations of business systems, labour rights and corporate social responsibility. Hassel is also a faculty member at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies. From 2009 until 2012, she was Senior Visiting Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to that, she was Professor of Sociology at the Jacobs University Bremen, after working for the Planning Department of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWA) in 2003/2004.

About the Kapuscinski Development Lectures

Top global thinkers discuss development in the European Union countries. The series “Kapuscinski Development Lectures”, named for Ryszard Kapuscinski, a Polish reporter and writer who covered developing countries, is organized jointly by the European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme and partner universities and development think-tanks. Over 100 lectures gathered since 2009 over 30,000 participants.

The lecture series offers students from the European Union member states an unprecedented opportunity to learn and discuss about development issues such as climate change, human rights, aid effectiveness, Europe-Africa relations, Sustainable Development Goals among other. The high-level events contribute to the debate and formulation of the European development policy.

As mentioned above, the lectures honor the name of Kapuscinski, a Polish journalist and writer, who died in 2007. Kapuscinski, whose books were translated into many languages, was often named the “Third World Chronicler” or the “Voice of the Poor” for his famous reportages and books describing developing countries on all continents. Among other books, he was famous for: “The Emperor” on Ethiopia, “Shah of Shahs” about Iran, “The Shadow of the Sun” about Africa, “Another Day of Life” about Angola, and “Imperium” about the Soviet Union. More about “Kapuscinski Development Lectures” and planned events: http://www.kapuscinskilectures.eu


The project is a joint initiative of the European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme and the Hertie School.