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The Ideal Village Conference 2023


The Ideal Village Concept

In 1921, literary giant Rabindranath Tagore and agricultural economist Leonard Elmhirst set up the "Institute for Rural Reconstruction", in the Surul village of West Bengal (India). Over a century later, the challenges of rural development still remain, and, even as global wealth has multiplied, we face greater societal issues today due to the staggering inequities between the top 1% and the underserved poor.  Between 15-20% of the global population still lives on less than $1/day, with limited access to healthcare education, clean water, etc.
The Ideal Village Project at Stanford University was conceptualized as an integrated collaboration platform for NGOs (non-profits), corporate entities, government agencies, universities, and foundations working on holistic solutions for: (1) water & sanitation, (2) healthcare & nutrition, (3) education & skilling, (4) energy & environment, (5) agriculture & farming, and (6) sustainable livelihoods.  It seeks to establish healthy, self-sustained, economically viable rural communities globally. The recent pandemic impacted all lives across the globe, irrespective of national origin, color, gender, social or financial status, or other classifiers. It highlighted the importance of the Global Village and brought into sharp focus the urban/rural inequities, lack of public trust, internal strife, climate change, and other complex global challenges with no easy answers.    


The first six Ideal Village conference were held at Stanford University with focus themes each year as follows:
2016 - Innovations for the Ideal Village;  2017 - Collaborations for the Ideal Village
2018 - Empowerment of Women;  2019 - Corporate Social Responsibility;  2020 - Sustainability and the Pandemic;  2021 - Post-Pandemic Normal – The Path Forward.


The 2022 IV Conference ( was held in Varanasi, India with 600+ in-person and 1000+ online attendees from 35 countries, with a focus on “Rural Transformation for Sustainable Growth”.


2023 Ideal Village Conference

Given the learnings, diverse global experiences, and success stories shared in all previous Ideal Village conferences, the theme for the 2023 Conference will be “Innovations in Healthcare and Livelihoods to bridge rural-urban chasms in the US”, with a focus on good health, skills development and employment as the engines for reviving rural communities and reducing societal barriers.  The Conference will feature experts and distinguished speakers from reputed global organizations in each of the key Tracks to share their experience and innovation successes.  Speakers at past conferences have come from a diverse range of organizations, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, Tesla Energy, Starbucks, Anhesier-Busch, Mississippi State Economic Development Board, Harvard University and Stanford University. 


Key goals for this conference: 

  • To examine important barriers for rural healthcare and job creation, discuss successful solutions 

  • To launch a national Ideal Village Movement which impacts 20% of the rural US by 2030  

  • To create the foundation for a Rural Economy Framework which can accelerate long term GDP growth

  • To identify and share Best Practices in rural development for future scaling across US states.

  • To partner with the Govt agencies (like USDA) and create a US database of rural development activities.


Date & Location:

This year’s conference will be held at the University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff campus on November 7-8, 2023.


Key contacts

Prof. K. S. Anand (, Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Stanford University CA

Jessica Leino (, Executive Director, King Center for Global Development, Stanford CA 

Dr. S. Kamath (, Senior Vice President, Sanmina Corporation, San Jose CA

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