|Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired from 2009 till 2015. Her work focuses on cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables. Her books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them thirteen doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, and the 2019 Edgar de Picciotto Prize.
One frequently overlooked aspect of today's world is the extent to which the specialized differences of cities matter to the global economy. There is no perfect city that can provide the enormous variety of elements that modern, large economic actors require. Overlooking this has meant that many city leaderships have given away far too much to major global firms. This built-in notion that governments and cities must accept the demands of major global firms has worked out very well for the firms in question but barely, if at all, for municipal governments and the general population of cities. Addressing these issues is not easy, but address them we must.