Global Civil Society Speaker Series: Nina Munk and the Quest to End Global Poverty

The RGK Center, the MGPS Program and Innovations for Peace and Development present a talk with Nina Munk.

Vanity Fair editor and author Nina Munk came to UT on February 10, 2014, to talk about her book, The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty. In 2006, Sachs, an American economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, launched the Millennium Villages Project to test his theories for alleviating poverty through integrated rural development projects in a dozen villages in sub-Saharan Africa. 

For six years, Nina Munk traveled around the world with Sachs and spent considerable time in two Millennium Village sites. Based on her research, she concluded that the idea was too ambitious and over-reaching with “too many moving parts.” She described how some project efforts, even successes, actually created new problems for the villagers. For example, harvests of high-yield crops in one village led