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William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University, joint with Africa House, and Co-Director of the NYU Development Research Institute. He is also a non-resident Fellow of the[…]

Individual creativity and freedom is the mainspring of all human progress.

Well if I had to give a one-sentence answer as to what drives human progress, which is the biggest question of all time, I would have to say individual freedom. It was really the freedom of creative individuals to figure out how to solve their own problems, how to solve other people’s problems that led to remarkable discoveries like the accidental discovery of penicillin by a guy just tinkering around in a laboratory. That kind of individual creativity is the mainspring of all human progress, I think. And it’s a society that values the individual, that lets individuals be free to find their own solutions – those are the societies that progress, that value individual freedom. Recorded On: 7/6/07