Our World Economics

Online videos and lesson plans introducing economics to teens and tweens.

A multidisciplinary group of economists, political consultants and educators developed Our World Economics to help teenagers tackle the questions of globalism: Where do our products and services in the United States come from? Why do 600 million children worldwide live in poverty? Can we promote economic development while being respectful of the environment?

Prepare your students for our international world...

Our World Economics explores three broad themes that complement social studies, geography, government and civics curricula:

Unit 1: World store: Observing our divided world
Beginning with a video that takes students grocery shopping in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, this unit familiarizes the class with some of the commercial relationships and economic distinctions between our planet’s wealthiest and poorest nations.
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 1 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

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Unit 2: What’s all the buzz about? Economics as allocation
This unit explores supply, demand and pricing, as well as colonialism and historic trends in the accumulation and distribution of wealth. The video introduces the unit with a case study of beekeeping.
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 2 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

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Unit 3: Rivers and ruins: What is valuable?
This unit ’s video explores a world heritage cultural site and a global priority nature preserve to introduce the concept of common goods – resources normally considered “free,” but also vulnerable. Culture… Language… Nature… How can free market mechanisms protect these examples of our global heritage?
Learning objectives and overview of activities (PDF)
Unit 3 lesson plans and activities (PDF)

Watch the video! 



Economics, we believe, is an exploration of values. Even the formal definition of economics, “the allocation of scarce resources,” suggests that moral and ethical decisions are made every day when we decide what to purchase, what to consume, what to produce, and how to share the world’s resources among our planet’s almost seven billion inhabitants. Through Our World Economics, middle school and high school students can begin to develop the intellectual tools to become responsible and informed global citizens.


Germán Velasco

Germán Velasco is the former prefect (governor) of La Paz, and he has also served in the Bolivian national cabinet as the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. Educated in Bolivia and the United States, Governor Velasco has participated in public and private sector projects in city and regional planning; numerous initiatives to reduce poverty; and development projects with the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Japanese and Canadian national governments.

Ellen Alderton

Ellen Alderton received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University. She has over fifteen years of experience in educational communications, including working as a technical writer for the United Nations. She has executive produced national social marketing campaigns for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Editorial Board

Katrina D’Apice

Katrina D’Apice studied human biology and pre-medicine at Kings College in London. She received her teaching certificate in England and has worked as a K-12 teacher both in the United Kingdom and in Bolivia.

Marieke Veltman

Marieke Veltman de Gonzales studied development sociology at Leiden University in the Netherlands and conducted field work in Santiago de Chile. She has managed social outreach projects and taught social studies at the secondary level in Latin America.

Jose Luis Lupo

Jose Luis Lupo currently serves as the country officer for Brazil for the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Previously, Mr. Lupo worked in the IADB international headquarters after serving in the Bolivian national cabinet as the Minister of Finance.

C. Zinnia Maravell

C. Zinnia Maravell received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. She worked for the U.S. government in management training before transitioning to health maintenance. Currently, she offers movement training in the Alexander Technique, Tai Qi and yoga, as well as acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments.

Marco Antonio Tórrez

Marco Antonio Tórrez is the co-founder of Promade, a Bolivian nonprofit organization dedicated to finding multidisciplinary approaches to economic development. He is a university lecturer in philosophy and in social science research methods in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Germán M. Velasco, Jr.

Germán M. Velasco, Jr. is a third year student and a teaching assistant in economics at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Monica Villavicencio

Monica Villavicencio received her B.A. from Columbia University and her M.A. in anthropology from the London School of Economics. Ms. Villavicencio has held a Kroc Fellowship with National Public Radio and has managed community outreach for national social marketing campaigns targeting U.S. Latino audiences.

Lynn Wagner

Lynn Wagner received her Ph.D. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University where she studied international economics and conducted her dissertation research on international negotiations theory. Currently, she works for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a nongovernmental organization that promotes sustainable development through partnerships, research and communications.