September 19, 2005: Hernando de Soto
- Listen to "Empowering the World's Poor"
De Soto is credited with spurring rural land reforms in countries throughout the world, including programs in South Africa and China. His ideas for helping the poor create capital have been championed by the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Economist ranks his Institute for Liberty and Democracy as one of the two most important think tanks in the world. Time magazine included him in its "Time 100" list of the most powerful and influential people in the world for 2004, and the German development publication, Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit, called de Soto one of the most important development theoreticians of the last millennium. His book, The Mystery of Capital, made Fortune's "75 Smartest Books We Know," and Forbes magazine included him among 15 innovators "who will reinvent your future."
On the world stage, de Soto participates in several of the major economic organizations, including the World Commission on the Global Dimension of Globalization, the United Nations Development Programme Task Force to Examine Private Resources for Development, and the Research Advisory Council of The Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs.