Social Innovation for Sustainable Environments

The third round of India China Fellowship Program focuses on Social Innovation for Sustainable Environments.
India and China face unprecedented environmental challenges and opportunities in their intertwined futures. Both countries are increasingly conscious of the negative consequences of their current rapid development, such as ecological degradation and global warming. In practice, however, ecological concerns, including water contamination, greenhouse gases, poor urban air quality, and industrial waste dumping, have been sidelined due to urbanization pressures, industrialization, and the current economic downturn. Although the past few years have brought positive experimentation in environmental governance in both countries, much remains to be done to bring attention and action to these pressing issues.

Urbanization and Globalization

The India China Institute chose Urbanization and Globalization as the theme of its inaugural two-year fellowship program with the aim of investigating the effects of large-scale migration, the rapid transformation and redevelopment of cities, and the kind
of governance and policy needed to respond to this unprecedented phenomenon. This pioneering group of fellows from diverse backgrounds met at three residencies and public conferences in New York, India, and China between 2006-8.

The fellows drew on their intensive residencies and study trips to produce an array of innovative, influential, and far-reaching work. They are becoming global resources, reaching beyond their own institutions to speak at conferences, giving interviews and writing op-eds in local, national and international media, and publishing writings that reflect their deepened knowledge of both countries.

The first cohort’s works have been collected in our publication Parallax Visions, as well as in an edited volume Growing Cities in a Shrinking World: The Challenges of Urbanisms in India and China.

Prosperity and Inequality

The economies of China and India have grown spectacularly in the last decade. Strong middle classes in both countries are emerging, but millions are still living in extreme poverty in urban and rural areas.

The Prosperity and Inequality cohort included fifteen fellows—five each from India, China, and the United States, who were charged to address the question: what kind of prosperous society is possible and desirable?

Through a series of four intensive residencies in New York, India, and China, ICI Fellows from government, higher education, business, non-governmental organizations, media groups, and artistic institutions developed highly collaborative projects. These projects included working papers, policy briefs, artistic productions, public exhibitions, and curriculum designs.

India China Institute Fellows Program

The Third Cohort of ICI Fellows

The India China Institute’s signature India China Fellowship Program features a two-year fellowship for emerging leaders from India, China, and the United States, including academics, entrepreneurs, policy experts, politicians, artists, and journalists. Three cohorts of Fellows have participated in these programs over the the past five years. The programs include at least three intensive residencies of one to two weeks each, held in the United States, India, and China, that focus on the study of specific global issues from a trilateral perspective. These residencies aim to stimulate intellectual exchange and knowledge building, with the goal of producing jointly researched policy papers and building a close-knit community of reflective practitioners and active scholars.

In addition to these residencies, fellows of the program actively exchange ideas and information through the pages of ICI’s publications, on its interactive web space, and at roundtable discussions and conferences around the world. The fellowship program thus provides a sustainable mechanism of interaction for its core participants—scholars, practitioners, and decision-makers—through academic, financial, and professional support. It provides them the academic space, the information, and the tools needed to formulate reasoned and effective policies.