What’s the track record of multi-billion dollar projects affecting the lives of millions of people? Surprisingly poor according to this week’s guest, Oxford University”s Bent Flyvbjerg on such megaprojects.

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1. What are your top three takeaways from this week’s episode?

2. Do you know of a local public megaproject that seems like it was a massive mistake or alternatively, a great investment? Do a little research and see how much of it was paid for locally vs. paid for by others and report back here.

3. Flyvbjerg notes four “sublimes” that make megaprojects so attractive- the political, technology, economic, and aesthetic sublimes. Which of these do you think bears the most influence, and why? Which is the most problematic?

4. How does “Hirschman’s Hiding Hand” lend in justifying megaprojects? Are there any megaprojects you are now happy to see in existence? To what extent would they have been justified ex ante absent Hirschman’s hand? Which #megaprojects are you happy to see in existence today?

5. Russ finds “Hirschman’s Hiding Hand” an “appalling argument.” Why? Do you agree?