Wednesday, June 4, 2008

World's Leading Minds on the Top 30 Global Challenges: Inside the Copenhagen Consensus


--celebrity + charity + global relief--

In 2004 the Copenhagen Consensus was established as a sort of Olympics for big thinkers who would meet every four years to take stock of the world biggest problems and suggest best solutions. The Consensus asked thought leaders to consider the list of problems as well as to imagine if given $75 billion to donate to worthwhile causes - where would they start and what would they do. The conclusions of this consensus was expected to be an eye opener for policy makers worldwide and would serve as a powerful vehicle to help decision makers on global issues.

This year marks the second Copenhagen Consensus and is comprised of fifty economists, five Nobel Laureates and the world eight top economists. The group has spoken and believe that the world's best investment is vitamins for undernourished children. The conclusion is a result of over two years of efforts to find the best solutions to the world's biggest challenges. Although the final list of world's biggest challenges included twenty nine other issues, the efforts to provide micro nutrients for over 80% of the 140 million children who lack essential vitamins topped the list. Specifically administering vitamin A capsules and a course of zinc supplements was the plan - an effort that would cost $60 million a year yet, but would yield benefits of over $1 billion. This cost benefit breakdown means that for every dollar spent to create such benefits (defined as better health, fewer deaths and increased future earnings) the result of the benefit would be $17 for every $1 spent.

The other issues on the list include:

  1. Micro nutrient supplements for children (challenge=malnutrition)
  2. The Doha development agenda (challenge=trade)
  3. Micro nutrient fortification - iron and salt iodization (challenge=malnutrition)
  4. Expanded immunization coverage for children (challenge=diseases)
  5. Bio fortification (challenge=malnutrition)
  6. Deworming and other nutrient programs at school (challenge=malnutrition)
  7. Lowering the price of schooling (challenge=education)
  8. Increase and improve girls schooling (challenge=women)
  9. Community based nutrition promotion (challenge=malnutrition)
  10. Provide support for women's reproduction role (challenge= women)
  11. Heart attack acute management (challenge=diseases)
  12. Malaria prevention and treatment (challenge=diseases)
  13. Tuberculosis case finding and treatment (challenge=diseases)
  14. R&D in low carbon energy technologies (challenge=global warming)
  15. Bio-sand filters for household water treatment (challenge=water)
  16. Rural water supply (challenge=water)
  17. Conditional cash transfers (challenge=education)
  18. Peace keeping in post conflict situations (challenge=conflicts)
  19. HIV combination prevention (challenge=diseases)
  20. Total sanitation campaign (challenge=water)
  21. Improving surgical capacity at district hospital level (challenge=disease)
  22. Micro finance (challenge=women)
  23. Improved stove intervention (challenge=air pollution)
  24. Large multi purpose dam in Africa (challenge=water)
  25. Inspection and maintenance of diesel vehicles (challenge= air pollution)
  26. Low Sulfur diesel urban road vehicles (challenge=air pollution)
  27. Diesel vehicle particulate control energy (challenge=air pollution)
  28. Tobacco tax (challenge=diseases)
  29. R&D and mitigation (challenge=global warming)
  30. Mitigation only (challenge=global warming)
What do you think of this list? We want your comments and feedback.

For more information on the Copenhagen Consensus go to their SITE


(Pictured Above: Bjorn Lomborg, organizer of Copenhagen Consensus w/participants)



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