The Environment in India and China: Histories and Innovations

- 3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

ICI conference
India and China are two countries, economies and regions often spoken of in terms of innovation. Both enjoy high economic growth rates and have made impressive improvements to economic and social indicators of development which are significant portents of global futures. However both countries also evoke ecological pessimism, such as ongoing resource degradation, increasing industrial pollution and a reluctance to adjust to rapid climate changes. Is it possible to have everything: economic growth, social sustainability and resilient ecosystems? If not, where can or should compromises be made? Lacking any consensus on compromises, who will suffer the consequences?

This conference is designed to enable scholars, activists, designers and policy makers to locate the topic of innovation, and in particular sustainable environmental innovation, in this landscape of optimism and pessimism in the economies and region of China and India through a three-part engagement with the themes of ecology, history, and innovation. First is an engagement with the concept of ecology as a source of meaning, metaphors, and models to better understand the interactions of markets, state policies and ecosystem processes. Second is a discussion of the environmental history, and in particular historical views of nature in these two regions, in order to better understand collectively held beliefs towards the natural world. Third, we explore the ways individuals and groups are engaging with growing environmental problems in these regions, by creating new technological and organizational innovations and / or creatively undoing or repurposing existing technological and organizational innovations.

This event is co-sponsored by Environmental Studies Program, Global Studies Program, and Graduate Program in International Affairs.

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Free; seating is limited; reservations required by emailing


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