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The 2022 Ideal Village and WHEELS Conference on

Rural Transformation for Sustainable Growth

Organized jointly by Stanford Ideal Village Program, WHEELS Global Foundation (Pan-IIT Initiative) 
and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi, India on November 11-13, 2022


WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF, and the Ideal Village program (a joint initiative of Science for Society ( and Stanford University School of Medicine), together with the Banaras Hindu University (BHU,  are pleased to announce the upcoming 7th Annual Ideal Village Conference from November 11-13,  2022 in Varanasi, India. Held at Stanford University for the past 6 years, this annual forum is a one-of-a kind-conference focused on sustainable rural development, unique in its holistic scope and emphasis on collaboration among all stakeholders.  

Since 2016, the annual Ideal Village Conference at Stanford University has served as an integrated collaboration platform for NGOs, Corporate entities, Government agencies, Universities, and Foundations working on holistic solutions for water and sanitation, healthcare and nutrition, education, energy and environment, and sustainable livelihoods that lead to healthy, self-sustained, and economically viable rural communities globally. 

WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) is an initiative of the alumni of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), more than 250,000 strong world-wide, incorporated in 2013 at the urging of former President of India, the late Dr Abdul Kalam. WGF has been active in application of Technology in Rural Development in the areas of…

W ater H ealth E ducation E nergy L ivelihoods S ustainability


… leading to the acronym WHEELS.  Given the commonality of objectives and focus areas of the Ideal Village Program and WHEELS, this partnership has led to a synergistic and efficient model for delivering on the essential needs in rural development.

The 1st Ideal Village conference at Stanford University was held in June 2016, focused on Innovations for the Ideal Village, while subsequent years covered significant themes including Collaborations for the Ideal Village (2017), Empowerment of Women in Rural/Underserved Communities (2018), Corporate Social Responsibility (2019), Sustainability and the Pandemic (2020), and Post-Pandemic Normal – The Path Forward (2021). These conferences attracted attendees from over 35 countries and featured experts from over 75 leading organizations and multiple Stanford faculty members involved in a wide spectrum of rural development issues. The presentations in these conferences are listed at:


Given the learnings, diverse global experiences, and success stories shared in the previous Ideal Village conferences at Stanford, the theme for the 2022 Conference will be Rural Transformation for Sustainable Growth, with a focus on Best Practices in Rural Development – to capture the lessons learnt and best practices from successful implementations and to thereby define the future of global rural development. Best Practices will be chosen in each of the key tracks, namely, Agriculture and Farming, Water and Sanitation, Healthcare and Nutrition, Education and Skilling, Energy and Environment, Livelihoods and Sustainability through a global competition to be completed before the conference. For each of the 6 tracks, the three top best practices will be featured at the upcoming 2022 Conference in Banaras, India.  Best Practice (BP) selection criteria will include: Scaling potential, Implementation success, Impact metrics, Collaboration levels, Stakeholder involvement, Sustainability, Unintended consequences (if any), Quality of funding, and related factors.  Corporate sponsors (CSR programs) and State and Federal Government agencies will be invited to support each of the 18 Best Practice winners by providing financial and infrastructure to support their growth and to scale these Best Practices across the nation.

In summary, key goals of the 2022 Ideal Village and WHEELS Global Conference are:

  • To feature major rural development policy programs and implementation successes from select State and  Central Government agencies, Foundations, and Corporate CSR programs

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

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

  • To identify and share Best Practices in rural development for future Scaling through CSR and Governments

  • To launch Rural Development education programs and collaborative councils at Stanford University and sister institutions, such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, IITs, Regional Colleges, in order to encompass Ideal Village and SMART Village learnings and result in a global academic network of rural development centers.

  • To establish a national database of rural development activities


For further information or inquiries about the 2022 Conference, kindly contact any of the following:

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