“What I am trying to do with my work these days is to support global ideas and an interconnected society at peace,” declared Prof. Dr. Sachs at the beginning of his lecture to the ISET community.

As a sustainable development promoter, instead of covering a particular economics topic, Prof. Dr. Sachs talked about global issues that modern-day societies face. Prof. Sachs believes that the world is not succeeding in dealing with these issues, and there is no cooperative spirit among these societies that is crucial for achieving shared objectives. According to Prof. Sachs, there are two major objectives that are important, namely sustainable development and demilitarization.

The climate change crisis, biodiversity crisis and pollution crisis are key issues that Prof. Sachs highlighted as being particularly urgent. Resources and attention should be directed towards solving extreme poverty, the lack of quality of public services, unfairness in income distribution, and environmental damages.

Prof. Sachs (who is an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres) briefly talked about the UN and SDGs, stating that the United Nations is a noble concept but difficult to implement. He stated that it is good to have an international cooperative system based on law, but it’s also very difficult because the United States and other powers find that it can restrict their own interests.

According to Prof. Sachs, in this dynamic and fast-changing environment, for countries like Georgia, it is important to have an economic development strategy that is more holistic than just economic growth; most measurements of economic development would be how fast growth is, which is not completely unreasonable, but life expectancy, gini co-efficiency and air quality are not less important.

Prof. Dr. Sachs,a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development, often referred as "The most influential living economist" (The Economist), "The world's best-known economist," (Time magazine), "Probably the most important economist in the world" (The New York Times), paid his first visit to the South Caucasus, with Georgia being his first stop.

Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University. He is the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Professor Sachs was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership.

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