“Cities In A World Of Migration: India and China in Global Perspective”: April 28 and 29
Keynote Speaker: Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware)

New York, NY, April 17, 2006—The India China Institute at The New School (ICI), supported by a generous $10 million grant from the Starr Foundation, will hold its inaugural conference, “Cities in a World of Migration: India and China in Global Perspective,” April 28 and 29. The conference will provide a rare forum for insight into the political dimensions and economic dynamics of cities in India, China, and the United States. In conjunction with the conference, the India China Institute has appointed its first ten fellows. Between 2006 and 2008, the fellows—emerging leaders from India and China—will participate in two-week residencies in India, China, and the United States. To learn more about these outstanding figures, visit

Joining the fellows at the conference on April 28 and 29 are many international experts, including keynote speaker Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware), former chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. For three decades, Senator Biden has played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. His legislative interests have focused on a wide range of foreign policy issues, including terrorism, arms control, and the Middle East peace process. 

“We created the India China Institute because we wanted to include Asia in the university’s involvement in global issues,” New School President Bob Kerrey said. “India and China are key players in this era of globalization. The ICI Fellows Program and this conference give us the opportunity to join in the greater international debate. The New School has always promoted social change. And using this kind of collaborative process, I hope the ideas discussed here can be converted into a political agenda—that, ultimately, is where success lies.”

In keeping with ICI’s aim to address socio-cultural, economic, and environmental challenges through collaborative solutions, the conference panelists will consider the issues surrounding migration from multiple perspectives. Scheduled discussion topics include: How do we understand urban and rural migration in both directions? Because cities in India, China, and the United States evolve from different physical and political environments, how do those differences affect approaches to urban governance and planning? What are the opportunities and constraints for imagining and building democratic futures in the emerging cities of the world?

The rapid economic emergence of India and China has significantly altered the landscape and context of their cities. Not only does the massive increase in migration mean established cities must grow; it means new cities must be created. The scale of globalization and urbanization in India and China is unprecedented and presents challenges not only for them, but for the United States and the rest of the world. These challenges include massive migration to cities, environmental degradation, and growing socio-economic inequalities.

“Urban areas in all three countries are experiencing enormous growth,” said Ashok Gurung, Director of ICI and core faculty member in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School. “By 2030, Asia’s cities are expected to grow by 1.3 billion people.  At the same time, rural areas are decreasing in population. Through their interactions, the fellows and conference participants will learn from each other how their respective countries are confronting issues like this.”

The keynote address will be given by Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware). Joining Senator Biden will be Bob Kerrey, New School President; Arjun Appadurai, Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and John Dewey Professor in the Social Sciences at The New School; Benjamin Lee, Dean and Professor of Anthropology and Philosophy at The New School for Social Research; and Ashok Gurung, Director of ICI and core faculty in the graduate program in International Affairs. Panelists will include scholars, urban planners, developers, architects, business leaders, and policy makers from all three countries. A full conference schedule follows on the next page. It is also available at

The conference will take place at The New School, April 28–29, at the Teresa Lang Center, 55 West 13th St. (near Sixth Avenue). The keynote address will be April 28 at 6 p.m. in Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th St. (near Sixth Avenue). Admission for the public is $50 for the full conference, $12 for a single session; admission for students with a valid ID is $15 for the full conference and $5 for a single session.  A webcast will be available at For reservations and additional information, call The New School Box Office at 212. 229.5488 or email The Box Office at 66 West 12th Street is usually open Monday-Friday, 1-8 p.m. When events are scheduled at other times, it will open half an hour before the event begins.

Established in 2004, ICI is becoming the hub of an international network of institutions and activities that nurture conversations about India, China, and the United States and deepen our understanding of global processes. Made possible in part by a generous grant from the Starr Foundation, ICI is committed to analyzing major issues and trends in India, China, and the United States, and to helping leaders, managers, public intellectuals, and opinion-builders in all three countries address key challenges through collaborative solutions. Consistent with The New School’s overall mission of developing knowledge and skills to promote social change, the institute provides a vibrant environment for the circulation of people and ideas. In addition, ICI explores collaborations with other institutes involved with India and China and with the Indian and Chinese diaspora in the United States.

Under the leadership of president Bob Kerrey, ICI draws upon The New School’s distinguished faculty, including two ICI endowed chairs: Arjun Appadurai, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and John Dewey Professor in the Social Sciences; and Benjamin Lee, Dean of The New School for Social Research, where he is also a professor of Anthropology and Philosophy whose research deals with the internationalization of culture and communication and the globalization of risk and finance. Ashok Gurung, Director of the India China Institute and core faculty in the graduate program in International Affairs, has over fifteen years of international development experience. He was recently the Program Officer for the International Fellowships Program, the largest global leadership initiative ($280 million) of the Ford Foundation. A native of Nepal, he has worked extensively in India and China. For more information, visit

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