World Bank President Jim Yong Kim probably knew at the Wall Street Journal’s ‘The Big Interview’ at the WB-IMF Annual Meetings in Tokyo on Thursday that he would have to field some tough questions.
But he probably didn’t expect a slew of “what next?” virtual queries from around the world on Twitter and from the real audience in the room. After explaining the passion behind his #whatwillittake campaign to end poverty by 2030 (or thereabouts) and arguing that there are best practices that can be put into place to achieve that goal, he had a tough time trying to answer two questions from the floor.
One of them was “What will happen if we solve the economic crisis?”. This was quickly followed by a more philosophical “What will happen when poverty ends?” Jim answered the questions without batting an eyelid, saying that the Bank’s work would not be done even if no more people were living on 1.25 U.S. dollars a day. There would always be room for improvement.
And, finally, asked to demonstrate Gangnam-style dance, he declined and went into a professorial analysis of pop culture and linked it to South Korea’s soft power.