Development in Transition

About IDC

The Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment Con­fer­ence (IDC) is the longest grad­u­ate student-run con­fer­ence at the Har­vard Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment. We are very excited to be cel­e­brat­ing our 21st anniver­sary this year.

For the past 20 years, the IDC has pro­vided a world-class inter­dis­ci­pli­nary forum on new trends, ideas and prac­tices in inter­na­tional devel­op­ment. The con­fer­ence cre­ates a thriv­ing plat­form for stu­dents, prac­ti­tion­ers, and aca­d­e­mics to engage with one another and share inno­v­a­tive ideas year-round. Together we explore emerg­ing approaches and solu­tions to the most press­ing chal­lenges fac­ing devel­op­ing coun­tries today, includ­ing extreme hunger and poverty, the role of gov­er­nance, local capac­ity build­ing, vul­ner­a­ble sta­tus of women and girls, and poor qual­ity health­care and education.

The Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment Con­fer­ence at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity has steadily grown into one of the year’s land­mark events. Each year we attract over 500 par­tic­i­pants, inspir­ing new con­nec­tions and encour­ag­ing rich cross-pollination among key stake­hold­ers in inter­na­tional devel­op­ment. In recent years, we have had the priv­i­lege of host­ing Ban Ki-Moon, Felipe Calderón, Mar­tin Wolf, and Abhi­jit Banerjee.

This year’s con­fer­ence, titled “Devel­op­ment in Tran­si­tion” will exam­ine the global forces dis­rupt­ing tra­di­tional mod­els empow­er­ing the poor and how new inno­va­tions are redefin­ing and redesign­ing suc­cess­ful development.

We con­tinue to be inspired by Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy, who pas­sion­ately artic­u­lated in the inau­gural speech from which the School derives its motto:

“If a free soci­ety can­not help the many who are poor, it can­not save the few who are rich.”