May 23, 2022 6:28 AM EDT

On March 11, 2022, 36-year-old Gabriel Boric became Chile’s youngest-ever President, with more votes cast for him than any other President in the country’s history. The former student leader’s win represented a changing of the guard, but more importantly it marked a change in direction for Chile’s economy, and possibly the world’s.

The night Boric won the primaries, he promised, “If Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave!” and that has become the rallying cry for those around the world looking for an alternative to the right-wing economic policies of the past five decades. Boric’s approach combines fiscal responsibility with a more competitive economy, better social protections and working conditions, social equality and inclusion, and protecting the environment.

With a divided polity and the hard work under way of creating a new constitution, Boric will need all the skills he has already demonstrated—listening and communicating, empathy, and a deep understanding of Chilean history and culture. He is making Chile the social, economic, and political laboratory of the world once again.

Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize–­winning economist and a professor at Columbia University

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