Economist Hernando de Soto to Speak in Redlands

Town & Gown Cultural Series Presents Expert on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor in Developing Nations

Redlands, California — April 06, 2010 — Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto will speak in Redlands on Thursday, April 8, 2010. De Soto is president of Peru's Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), a Lima, Peru-based think tank that promotes property rights in developing countries. The public is invited to the event, which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the ESRI Conference Center, 380 New York Street.

Known for his expertise on informal economies, de Soto works to bring property rights to the poor in developing nations as a means of helping them lift themselves out of poverty. His ideas are documented in his 2000 book The Mystery of Capital and more recently in the film The Power of the Poor with Hernando de Soto, which was broadcast by the PBS television system in 2009. De Soto has based his work in Peru and around the world on the premise that free markets, individual freedom, and especially the right to property can transform the poor into the most powerful resource in the world.

With ILD, de Soto has worked with governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet nations to generate reform programs that bring businesses, as well as property sectors, into mainstream economies. In the 1980s and 1990s, ILD was responsible for new initiatives, laws, and regulations that reformed Peru's administrative system. The programs gave property titles to more than 1.2 million families and, through reductions in bureaucratic procedures, helped more than 300,000 businesses in Peru leave the black market and enter the formal economy. Currently, ILD is working with the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon to explore their concepts of property rights and ownership.

De Soto received recognition from Time magazine in 1999 as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century and again in 2004 as among the 100 most influential people in the world. He was also listed by Forbes magazine in 2002 as one of the 15 innovators "who will reinvent your future."

Admission is free; to guarantee seating, attendees should register for the event on the Internet at or by calling 909-748-8011.

About University of Redlands Town & Gown

The Town & Gown organization strives to promote a positive relationship between the university ("gown") and the Inland Empire area ("town"), provides scholarships to qualified area students, and showcases the cultural and entertainment activities on campus. Town & Gown membership, which costs $30 annually per household, provides access to specific events as well as a variety of other arts and cultural events on campus. To join, contact the university's Alumni Relations office at 909-748-8011.


Susan Harp
Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-2860
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