The Inaugural China Social Development Forum

The inaugural Forum was successfully held June 22-23, 2007 in Beijing with prominent leaders from Harvard, the Central Party School, and Tsinghua University and other Chinese and international organizations in attendance. The second Forum was successfully conducted on September 25-26, 2009 in Boston. This forum focused on the intersection of the global economic crisis and the issue of social development, as it relates to China. US and Chinese scientists, scholars and senior government officials participated in the forum.

CSDF Group (CSDF_Group_Shot_edited2.jpg)


  • To meet annually alternately in Boston and Beijing to develop a comprehensive understanding of the key social development issues in China, while also seeking to help inform China’s public policy process by drawing on both Chinese and international perspectives and experiences. Each Forum focuses on a specific theme, and the major results of the commissioned studies are then discussed and disseminated. A policy briefing paper synthesizing major findings and recommendations from each Forum is delivered to China’s top policy makers, and an edited volume of the Forum proceedings is published in both Chinese and English and then widely distributed.
  • To coordinate and support a series of inter-disciplinary studies on a select set of social development issues in China. These studies will be carried out by Harvard faculties, research fellows, and students in collaboration with leading Chinese scholars. Major issues to be studied include (but are not limited to):
    • the relationship between economic and social development;
    • governance structure for social development;
    • achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
    • aging society and social security;
    • controlling major public health risks, including nutrition, environmental, and behavioral risks;
    • health care system reforms;
    • human capital and social capital;
    • corporate social responsibilities;
    • leadership development.