Dr. Charles Kenny Announced as 2022 Paradigm Award Winner

Getting Better

Dr. Charles Kenny Announced as 2022 Paradigm Award Winner

The Breakthrough Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Charles Kenny as the recipient of the 2022 Paradigm Award. Dr. Kenny will accept the award at the annual Breakthrough Dialogue in Sausalito, California this June.

Dr. Kenny is one of the world’s leading experts on human development and the economics of happiness. He is a senior fellow and the director of technology and development at the Center for Global Development for and the author of the books and Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, and How We Can Improve the World Even More, The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Great for the West, and The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease. He has been a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a regular contributor to Business Week magazine. Before joining the Center for Global Development, Kenny spent 15 years at the World Bank. In his illustrious career he has researched and advised on governance, anticorruption, Internet, telecommunications, energy and natural resources, and pandemics.

Each year, we bestow the Paradigm Award to recognize accomplishment and leadership in the effort to make the future secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling for all the world’s inhabitants on an ecologically vibrant planet. Past recipients of the award are Mark Lynas, Emma Marris, Jesse Ausubel, Ruth DeFries, David MacKay, Calestous Juma, Rachel Laudan, Stewart Brand, Steve Rayner, and Joyashree Roy — all of whom have changed the way we think about the planet and its future.

And now we are excited to add to those ranks Dr. Kenny, whose work is a foundational component of the theme of this summer's Breakthrough Dialogue,“Progress Problems.” We picked the theme in recognition of the renaissance in interest in human development and “progress studies” in recent years. Kenny in many ways anticipated this development in his research, particularly in his 2012 book Getting Better, in which he wrote that “Realistic optimism is the right attitude with which to face the issue of development.” It is a similar sense of realistic optimism that we at Breakthrough have attempted to bring to all of our work, and which we look forward to interrogating at this year’s Dialogue.

We have long appreciated Dr. Kenny’s research, counsel, and especially his excellent contributions to the Breakthrough Journal, his most recent which can be enjoyed here. We are delighted to recognize his outstanding work with this year’s Paradigm Award.