I just recently finished reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, and I've been thinking a lot about how prediction markets could be mainstreamed into the work of development institutions.
Any social media evangelist surely knows the objection all too well: you try to make the case for Web 2.0 and the power of conversations that it enables when someone inevitably comes up with "conversations are all very well, but what about real work? And real impacts?"
Dambisa Moyo is a formidable critic - this much I learned from her presentation at the World Bank earlier this week. M
Who's the newest aid critic in town? This time it's not another white guy from Oxford (or New York University).
If you really want to stimulate the economy, give out gift cards, or so says Virginia Postrel in the May edition of the Atlantic. And make sure to put a short deadline on it. Otherwise, consumers tend to be "hyperopic" - they put off enjoyment too long and let the card expire. Money quote: