Since 1985 UNU-WIDER has built an impressive reputation on the world stage, standing for high-quality development economics research and vital capacity-building. Bringing together perspectives and experience from across the often rigid lines of north and south academia, development, government, and international organizations, the Institute makes extensive use of its unique position.With a mandate to examine structural changes affecting the living conditions of the world's poorest people, poverty and inequality have been constant themes in UNU-WIDER’s work, starting with pioneering efforts on famine and food security. Over the years the Institute has engaged with the very biggest dilemmas of our times: environment and climate change; conflict; macro-economic stabilization and adjustment; transition; and now inclusive growth, foreign aid, inequality, and gender equality. Facing a triple challenge of transformation, inclusion, and sustainability, UNU-WIDER has built its current research programme around these problems, and an emphasis on truly fresh solutions.
The 19th WIDER Annual Lecture will provide a fitting conclusion to the conference, as Nobel laureate and UNU-WIDER founding father Professor Amartya Sen looks at how the challenges of development have changed, and how they have remained the same, over the last 30 years. By celebrating 30 years of valuable work, as well as bold, new approaches, the ‘Mapping the Future of Development Economics’ conference will help to frame the past and future of development economics.