While entering the Cathay Pacific flight from Manila to Hong Kong, as usual I picked up the Herald Tribune. It is one of those action that have turned into habits and make travelling nice. One sentence by star economist Dambisa Moyo in her article How to get America Back on Track, caught my attention as it is closely linked to my area of work. She write: ‘successful policymaking must induce individuals to make choices that will benefit the whole economy.’ There are elements of the importance of incentives that governments need to establish in order to motivate individuals’ actions. There are also elements of participation and empowerment in this sentence, but most of all there is a question of what is the role of research and knowledge in creating the conditions for this successful policymaking. As Dambisa Moyo concludes, an important role is to re-educate and re-skills individuals so that their efforts, creativity, investment go into productive activities rather than just consumption. Research has a role to play in this by capturing and analysing stories from different countries, cultures and individuals.