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Robert Aumann: Planting seeds for the future

2010. 4 March

Robert John Aumann was born in Frankfurt in 1930. The mathematician and economist won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contribution to the development of game-theory. He teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

( China with its ancient heritage on the one hand and rapid economic development on the other is a most befitting host to World Expo 2010.
Sustainable urban development should be a natural sequence of all that has preceded it, integrating within it old wisdoms and cultural values with innovative solutions, in order to cater to the diverse needs of urbanization.  Chinese Version>>


The Talmud (an ancient Jewish text of oral law and lore) tells us a story about a righteous man named Honi.“Rabbi Johanan said:…One day he (Honi) was journeying on the road and he saw a man planting a carob tree. He asked him, `How long does it take for this tree to bear fruit'? The man replied: `Seventy years.’He then further asked him: `Are you certain that you will live another seventy years?’The man replied: `I found carob trees in the world. As my forefathers planted these for me, so I too plant these for my children.’”

This legend is about 2000 years old, yet it upholds one of the main concepts of sustainable development, namely the resources we leave for our offspring. Our current needs have changed immensely since then and have become very complex, requiring great ingenuity, big investment, and long-term planning. World Expo 2010 Shanghai is a most remarkable opportunity for sharing knowledge and experience in this relatively new field.

China has contributed many inventions to civilization, such as paper, printing and the compass, to mention just a few. We hope World Expo 2010 Shanghai will become a showcase to the world, pointing to positive directions in which urbanization can proceed. We trust it will strengthen human bonds and encourage cooperation between countries and individuals.