Paul Romer spoke at TEDGlobal on his new idea of ‘charter cities’. Charter cities are catalysts for economic development as they are the appropriate arena for new ideas (villages are too small and nations are too big). Economic development not only involves technologies (a main emphasis of Romer’s theories); it also involves rules. Charter cities are the ‘greenfield’ sites where new rules are implemented. As they succeed, cities nearby will become influenced and development will spread. Just as Hong Kong was a charter city which influenced Shenzhen and other cities, Romer proposes charter cities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (calling Canada to take a partnership there) and throughout Africa. Singapore’s experience complements Romer’s theory perfectly. I caught his attention with the idea of a TEDxCharter Cities to take these ideas further and encourage bottom-up discussion about the concept and its application. Something to think about…?