Stanford economist Paul Romer first studied how to speed up the discovery and implementation of new technologies. Romer is developing a radical new model of growth and governance, which calls for the establishment of city-scale special administrative zones “Charter Cities” where people can be safe, self-interest can protect the environment, and investment can bring families all the resources that the modern world has to offer.
Romer takes the example of special economic zones in China: “One of the zones next to Hong Kong has a city called Shenzhen. In that city there is a Taiwanese firm that made the iPhone that many of you have, and they made it with labor from Chinese who moved there to Shenzhen. So after the four special zones, there were 14 coastal cites, that were open in the same sense. And eventually this demonstrated successes in these places that people could opt in to, that they flocked to because of the advantages they offered. Demonstrated successes there led to a consensus for a move toward the market model for the entire economy.”
View the video from TED: Talks Paul Romer’s radical idea: Charter cities