From the Publisher

Conrad Kiechel

Published October 11, 2021


From the outset, the Milken Institute Review’s mission been to make economic thought accessible — and even enjoyable. Its founding (and still thriving) editor, Peter Passell, has fulfilled that mandate wonderfully well. The articles you are reading, whether in print or as digital bits, are meant to bring ideas together and then put them in contact with active and engaged minds. The aspiration is to deepen understanding of economic policy, provide fresh perspectives, and even sometimes spark inspiration.

With a similar mission, but in a very different fashion, that aspiration drives another important part of the Milken Institute’s work: convening. That’s the other hat I wear at the Institute, as head of Events and Global Programming. In the past 18 months, the disruptions caused by Covid-19 have transformed that world — but not beyond recognition.

For months, we have been bringing together people virtually. Instead of physical encounters, we have all been compelled to interact with flickering profusions of pixels, images and voices of ourselves and others. These digital avatars have been necessary substitutes for the real thing, and have even satisfied our very human craving for connection. Or, at least, somewhat.

Now, even with ongoing, real public health challenges, we are tiptoeing back to the world of actual human connection. Schools are reopening, sports stadia are full of enthusiastic fans and employees are returning to offices.

We are heartened that our Global Conference will be able to take place this October largely in physical form — though streamlined in scale and with a host of robust and stringent health and safety measures in place. Thereafter, we look forward to resuming more in-person meetings, even as we continue to use the digital conferencing technologies that have become part of our lives. As has been the case for many years, we are sharing the insights from the Global Conference, via livestream and video links, with anyone with access to the internet — just as the insights from the Review are accessible online to all.

The flip sides of disruption and innovation that have marked these past two years will be fodder for discussions at the Global Conference and in these pages for years, as we try to foster understanding of what has happened so we are better able to shape a thriving future. In the meantime, thank you for joining us, whether as a reader of the Review, or as a participant at our events — either physically or virtually. We’ll continue to try to spark your thinking.


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Conrad Kiechel, Publisher