Professor Manfred Max-Neef is known as the father of “barefoot economics”—an approach that brings economics down to earth, closer to the reality of poor people—and for his efforts to look for alternatives to make development sustainable and fair. Max-Neef’s numerous awards include the so-called Alternative Nobel Prize given by the Swedish Parliament (the Right Livelihood Award) (1983); Chile’s National Prize for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (1987); and the Kenneth Boulding Award, from the International Society for Ecological Economics (2008). He is a member of the World Future Council, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Club of Rome, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Leopold Kohr Academy of Salzburg.
Max Neef is also the founder of the Centre for Development Alternatives (CEPAUR). He obtained an impressive 5.55% of the vote (4th place) when he ran as independent candidate in the Chilean presidential elections of 1993; and served as the rector of Universidad Austral de Chile between 1993 and 2001. He obtained has PhD in Economics from the University of California Berkeley; taught in that same university for several years; has been a visiting professor at several other universities in the United States, Europe, and Latin America; and has received honorary degrees from the universities of Soka, in Japan; Antioquia, in Colombia; Saint Francis, in Pennsylvania, USA; and the University of Jordan.
Max Neef currently works as professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute of Economics of Universidad Austral de Chile.