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Fueled by advances in science and technology, the 20th century brought significant economic growth worldwide. However, singularly focused development approaches prioritizing economic growth are now challenged by pressing concerns of inequalities, global environmental change, conflict and violence, demands for equal access to resources, and migration to cities. This is further compounded by global aspirations for sustainable futures for all. Addressing these concerns with foresight has become the moral and political imperative of the moment. The global knowledge economy is also changing, as technological innovations around communication networks are impacting development outcomes. Yet, technology transfers, which are often viewed as the engines of development, are challenged by emerging alliances and vibrant grassroots and citizen movements on local levels.
In light of this, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) has established a doctoral degree in Innovation in Global Development (IGD) that creates new values about the meaning of development and has a real impact on societies. This degree will expand the intellectual foundations needed to address the complex global development challenges of the 21st century. By providing coursework and real-world exposure to both the successes and failures of past models of development, the program provides opportunities for students to reimagine development policies and practices crucially needed for the world, which includes challenging the orthodoxies around technology and development. By maintaining significant academic rigor while offering an array of course choices, this program produces critical and independent thinkers who provide leadership for innovative solutions to development issues that meet the needs of the present while enhancing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.