Professor Manfred Max-Neef is a Chilean economist who focuses on ‘development alternatives’, with a particular emphasis on promoting global equity and justice.

After teaching economics at Berkeley in the early 1960s, he served as a visiting Professor at a number of US and Latin American universities. He has worked on development projects in Latin America for the Pan-American Union, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Labor Organization.  Max Neef traveled through Latin America and the United States, as a visiting Professor in various universities, as well as living with and researching the poor. He worked with the problem of development in the Third World, describing the inappropriateness of conventional models of development that have contributed to poverty, debt and ecological disasters for Third World communities.

In 1981, he wrote the book From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics, for which he is best known. The book elaborates on practicing ‘economics as if people matter’. In the same year, he founded CEPAUR (Centre for Development Alternatives).  In 1982, Max Neef won the Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, for his work in poverty-stricken areas of developing countries. He ran for President of Chile as an independent in the 1993 election. He achieved 4th place, with 5.55% of the vote.

In 1991 he published Human Scale Development. In 1993, Max Neef was appointed rector of the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia. He served in that position for eight years. He is a council member of the World Future Council.

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