Growing Aspirations of People Around the World—How Do We Meet Them?


“Aspirations are rising as never before because of access to the Internet. Everyone knows how everyone else lives. Has our ability to meet those aspirations risen as well?”

Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group, posed this question at the April 2017 TED Conference in Vancouver. The theme of the conference was “The Future You,” and the title of Kim’s talk was, “Doesn't everyone deserve a chance at a good life?”

In the 20-minute talk, Kim discusses how technology is reshaping our world through the constant use of the Internet and smartphones. He examines the importance of rethinking development finance to meet today’s development needs and how the World Bank Group is rising to the challenge. He shares how the Bank is working to improve the lives of people in the poorest countries by boosting investment and de-risking development, such as political risk insurance or credit enhancement.

To drive this narrative, Kim described his own personal story—growing up in Korea, his parents’ journeys, and his work in Haiti and Peru. After his talk, TED’s leader and curator, Chris Anderson, joined Kim on stage for a short Q&A.

The World Bank recognizes that continuous learning is one key to meeting peoples’ aspirations and solving the development challenges Kim mentions in his TED talk. The World Bank launched the Open Learning Campus (OLC) in January 2015 to fill this learning need for its clients, staff, and partners. Kim has said, “We want the OLC to be the place to go when you need to solve a development problem but don’t know where else to turn.”

The OLC harnessess educational technologies for just-in-time, data-driven, and easily accessible learning. Since its launch, more than two million learners have visited the site. A popular learning mode is TED talks, which can be found in the OLC’s WBx: Talks or Bite-Sized Learning section.