Bringing out-of-the-box thinking to the World Bank.
Jean-Francois Rischard: Well I had a long career there. It was some 27 years. And I was . . . I think, among the 20 or so Vice Presidents, I was always the more strategic one, the more out of the box thinker. So I got the Bank into many things. I was one of those who developed its work in developing private sectors and financial sectors, which was not such a well known idea at the time – meaning improving business environments, being very systemic about strengths in banking sectors, launching capital markets in many large countries and so forth. I got the Bank . . . or I helped get the Bank into using the new technologies of telecommunications and computer technologies on a massive scale for development purposes, in education, in health, in enterprise connectivity and many other areas when this was still a gleaming . . . the first sign of an idea. I helped reorganize the Bank in ’96-’97, making it a more decentralized institution. So I was part of the sort of small team of architects at the time. And when I was still at the World Bank, this time as the European Vice President, I helped Jim Wolfensohn, who was the president at the time, make a strong push towards getting Europe and the World Bank closer to each other, because Europe is actually the largest shareholder with some 33 percent of the votes against 16, 17 percent for the U.S. And Europe to this point hadn’t realized that it was the largest shareholder. So I did a lot of things to strengthen that, and in the process launched a parliamentary assembly for the World Bank – a big effort to get close to the young population of the world on the ________ and the use of development. And I did sort of several things to connect the Bank better not only to Europe, but to constituencies like parliamentarians and others that used to be neglected constituencies of the Bank.
Recorded on: 7/2/07