Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Economic Development

Economic development is an umbrella term that involves fostering the economic conditions that bring people a certain level of material comfort and basic human dignity. Traditionally, economic development was thought to be propelled by the industrial revolution and technology boom. This introduced the shift from handmade to machine-made industry that spurred productivity and raised standards of living for some, but many still live in conditions of poverty. The issues are continually challenging and numerous, and they require creative, diverse solutions. How can we reimagine “development” to achieve a society where all can not only live with dignity, but also have the opportunity to flourish? Additionally, how can social innovation, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, and alternative economics improve quality of life and drive social equality?


Key Faculty & Staff

Denise Crossan, Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change
Stephen O’Connell, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Economics
Larry Westphal, J. Archer, Helen C. Turner Professor Emeritus of Economics


Center for Innovation and Leadership | Contact: Katie Clark

Student Groups

180 Degrees Consulting | Contact: Phyllis Lee ’17 


SwatTank | Contact: Denise Crossan 
Lang Center Scholarship | Contact: Katie Price


Apply for the President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship

Relevant Courses



  • Project Ké, health-care provision, Tyler Alexander ’17
  • Harvest Circle, LOS project, Tyler Huntington ’18
  • SEE Initiative, Lang Center Scholarship, Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17


  • Project Medishare
  • Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA Ghana)

Lang Center Associate

Mariam Bahmane '19

Lang Center Associate for Economic Development