“Prosperity and Inequality: Debates in India and China”:  March 27 – 28
Keynote Speaker: Kemal Dervis, Administrator, UN Development Programme

New York City, January 23, 2008—India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, established with a generous grant from the Starr Foundation, will hold a major international conference, “Prosperity and Inequality: Debates in India and China,” March 27 - 28. The conference will be a groundbreaking forum for critical perspectives on economic growth and human development in India and China.

The “Prosperity and Inequality” conference will also launch ICI’s second round of 20 distinguished fellows—emerging leaders from academia, media, environment, and legal fields in both private and public sectors—5 each from India and China, 5 faculty experts from The New School, as well as 5 student fellows.  For the next two years, ICI fellows will meet during intensive residencies in New York, India, and China to share and discuss a broad range of issues concerning prosperity and inequality and collaborate on creative solutions. To learn more about the fellows, visit

Joining the fellows at the conference on March 27 and 28 are many international experts, including keynote speaker Kemal Dervis, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. An expert in development economics from the World Bank and in his native Turkey, Mr. Dervis also serves as chair of the UN Development Group, a committee comprising the heads of all UN funds, programs and departments relating to development issues. 

“Now in its third successful year of convening fellowship residencies, holding public debates and facilitating trilateral research collaborations, the India China Institute is on the cutting edge of global economic and development issues,” New School President Bob Kerrey said. “The India China Fellowship Program and this conference allow us to join in the greater international debate on globalization and social change. It is our hope that the ideas discussed here can be converted into a political agenda—that, ultimately, is where success lies.”

In keeping with ICI’s goal of finding collaborative solutions to socio-cultural, economic, and environmental challenges, conference panelists will include ICI fellows from the 2006-’08 program on Urbanization and Globalization, as well as this year’s 2008-‘10 fellows, and a range of domestic and international experts on economic growth, social development, and sustainable design. The conference aims not only to provide benchmark assessments of the two countries’ wealth formation and human development, but to address the social and political risks associated with rapid economic growth in two massive agrarian societies and the potential for creating a “third way”—a development model that incorporates the unique experiences of India and China into a new Asian social contract.
“This year’s distinguished fellows will join our conference to build a trilateral discussion to deliberate on the implications of the rapid economic expansion taking place in India and China,” said Ashok Gurung, director of ICI and a core faculty member in the graduate program in International Affairs at The New School. “By providing context, dialogue, and debate, we are working together to incubate a long-term, responsible approach to previously unfettered and unequal growth. Through these interactions, participants will learn from each other how their respective countries can build unique and effective solutions for the people of Asia’s economic engine.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Kemal Dervis, UN Development Programme Administrator, with an introduction by Bob Kerrey, president of The New School. Additional participants include Arjun Appadurai, John Dewey Professor in the Social Sciences at The New School, Ben Lee, provost of The New School; and Ashok Gurung, director of ICI, as well as scholars, economists, activists and artists from all three countries.  To view the conference agenda, visit

The conference will take place at The New School, March 27 and 28, at Arnhold Hall in the Theresa Lang Student and Community Center, 55 West 13th Street (near Sixth Avenue). The keynote address will be delivered March 27 at 6:00 p.m. in Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street (near Sixth Avenue). Admission for the public is free, but please RSVP to India China Institute at 212.229.6812 or

Established in 2004, ICI is emerging as 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 $10 million grant from the Starr Foundation, ICI is committed to analyzing major issues and trends in India, China, and the United States and 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 to collaborating with institutions in India and China, ICI also collaborates with organizations concerned with vital issues relevant to these countries.