The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

RLF Recap: Rocky's Own Andrew Samwick Speaks to Students about the "Resource Curse"

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Professor Samwick used the resource curse to teach us valuable lessons about leadership. His highly interactive session began with a discussion regarding the definition of the resource curse, the difficulty that resource-rich countries face relative to comparable resource-poor countries.  Professor Samwick then helped characterize the causes of the resource curse, breaking them into active and passive, making us realize how deeply ingrained this obstacle is. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of this session was taking the resource curse and applying it to non-state situations.  All kinds of suggestions were brought up for resources that can negatively affect individuals if not managed properly, from increasing information on the Internet to newfound popularity of a cappella groups.  After a rousing discussion, Professor Samwick brought the conversation back to leadership – not only is the resource curse caused by mismanaging resources, but as individuals, we can mismanage our own personal talents that make us the leaders we are.  This newfound awareness will serve as a powerful tool in our personal, academic, and professional lives. 

-By Sahil Joshi '13

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences