Lawrence Haddad: The Importance of 'Reimagining' the Future

    The international development community needs to take more calculated risks and start broader explorations on the future of development work, the head of a U.K.-based think tank says, explaining that current lines of thinking fail to take into account the potential effects of rapid globalization and technological advancements.

    Things in the present are changing “so rapidly” and there are a lot things emerging, such as the internet and mobile technology, that could help the international development community achieve its goal, Lawrence Haddad of the Institute of Development Studies says of why development professionals and thinkers should focus on “reimagining” the future.

    “If international development is to transition smoothly to, say, a focus on quality of life, ecological sustainability and human solidarity, we need to begin taking more risks in the present by funding explorations that will either have a very high payoff in the future or will sink without a trace,” he explains in a blog post in the Guardian.

    He adds that unless the international development communicty take enough calculated risks at present, it “will only be storing up uncalculated ones for the future.” 

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.