Directed by Graça Castanheira • Documentary • With Esther Duflo • 2013 • 30 minutes
Ten personalities from diverse social and geographical backgrounds reflect on the world and its future. A portrait in multiple voices of contemporary reality, revealing the deep connections that exist between our mental models and the consequences thereof in our present day—for the individual, for life, and for the planet. A series of lessons about our time and the way we live in it.
Episode 6 stars Esther Duflo, the French professor of Economics at MIT and founder of 'Poverty Action Lab'. She is a regular contributor to the weekly newspaper Libération. Motivated by the responsibility that came with having been born in the Parisian upper class, Esther Duflo chose to be an economist, reconciling research and action. Starting with the interrogation on what constitutes poverty, she tells us about the way reality is materialized by politicians. According to Duflo, many of the development policies, where the issue of poverty is the central object, are largely ineffective, because they stem from wrong assumptions about poverty and about the poor. A trap that Duflo calls the “triple i”: ideology, ignorance, and inertia. Duflo deconstructs some of the stereotypes about poverty and reveals to us the way the cycles of poverty work: in other words why, the poorer the people, the higher the probability that they will stay poor.