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 equity?



Lang Center Associates

Tammy Pham '24 Sannan Dhillon '23

Sign up for an appointment with them on the LCA appointment calendar.

Key Faculty & Staff

  • Denise Crossan, Director of Community & Strategic Initiatives and the Social Innovation Lab
  • Katie Clark, Director of the Center of Innovation & Leadership
  • Stephen O’Connell, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Economics
  • Ellen Magenheim, Professor of Economics, Health Economics & Policy specialist
  • Amanda Bayer, Professor of Economics
  • Syon Bhanot, Assistant Professor of Economics, Behavioral & Public Economist
  • Jennifer Peck, Assistant Professor of Economics, Environmental Economist 


Student Groups



Relevant Courses



On-Campus Opportunities

Off-Campus Opportunities




Connect with Swarthmore Student LOS projects

  • Harvest Circle, LOS project, Tyler Huntington ’18
  • SEE Initiative, Lang Center Scholarship, Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17
  • Hands Along the Nile, Nancy Awad ‘20
  • Peace in Focus, Tristan Alston '22

Other campus projects

  • Project Ké, Health-care Provision, Tyler Alexander ’17
  • Haiti: Hands On, Lamia Makkar ‘21
  • Chester Volunteer Council, Yi Wei ‘21


Student Engagements Summer 2021