Task Force: Higher Education and Innovation in Emerging Economies

Indian science students using microscopesProject Coordinator: Muhammad Zaman

Emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America are grappling with a multitude of challenges associated with growth, sustainability, and development. While Turkey, India, China, Russia and Brazil face issues unique to their geographies, demographics, and economic structures, these countries also face challenges that are shared by all emerging economies. Chief among these universal challenges is how to forge and sustain long-term growth and development policies that translate into improved living standards for all citizens.

In efforts to sustain economic growth and social mobility, these nations confront complex issues related to creating, fostering, and sustaining an innovative workforce. Existing higher education and research infrastructures already are strained by rapid growth, population increase, and local demand for highly skilled labor. In addition, emerging economies such as India, China, Turkey, and Brazil are engaged in numerous projects with developing countries that focus on aid, trade, and social development, raising a host of related economic, political, and cultural challenges and opportunities.

The confluence of these two emerging themes — improving local innovative capacity and using this capacity for engagement with less developed countries —  has not previously been studied. The goal of this Pardee Center Task Force is to bridge this gap in our understanding. This interdisciplinary group of experts explore the opportunities, challenges, and policy implications of improving higher education and innovation in emerging economies and the impact of these policies on the relationship of emerging economies with developing countries.


The Pardee Center and the Peace Island Institute held a public event at which Task Force Members gave presentations on April 24, 2014.

Task Force Members:

Ali Coskun, Fatih University, Turkey
Associate Professor, Department of Management

Joseph Harris, Boston University
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

Mihaela Papa, Harvard Law School
Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) Fellow

Hannes Toivanen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Principal Scientist, Innovation and Knowledge Economy

Ali Turtsever, American Islamic College

Muhammad H. Zaman, Task Force Convener, Boston University
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Faculty Fellow, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future

Andrew Zolli, Poptech