THE CAMDEN CONFERENCE‘s mission is to foster “informed discourse on world issues.” We do this by means of our February conference, our community events at libraries during the autumn and winter, and our student education programs in high schools, colleges, and universities around Maine. Learn more >
INDIA: Rising Ambitions, Challenges at Home
February 16-18, 2024
Seventy-five years after independence, India is on track to have both the world’s largest population and the second largest economy. It is pursuing a unique path as a democracy and as an ambitious player in global affairs. Possession of nuclear weapons gives it prestige globally and confidence in its security amid unstable neighbors. Domestically, a diverse, complicated, multicultural mosaic of issues—from poverty, caste, religion, to repression of women and minorities—pose unrelenting challenges for democratic institutions. How will a younger generation of Indian leaders choose its priorities? What’s at stake for China, Russia and the United States as India expands its role in the global economy and becomes a more assertive leader in the Indo-Pacific region?
We invite you to join us February 16-18, 2024 to learn more about this exceptional country and its potential as a global player.
*** Ticket sales begin November 1 for Conference members, and December 1 for the general public . See you at the Camden Opera House! ***
Chhibber, Ajay and Salman Soz. Unshackling India: Hard Truths and Clear Choices. HarperCollins,
2021. (492 pages)
A look at human capital, technology, agriculture, finance, trade, public service and more and the limitations of the Indian state.
Dubash, Navroz K. India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development.
Oxford University press, 2020 (504 pages)
A look at the challenges of addressing climate change compounded by a sense of injustice-we did not cause the problem—and the immediate challenges of poverty and development.
Ghosh, Amitav. The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis. University of Chicago Press, 2022 (336 pages).
A powerful work of history, essay, testimony and polemic, stating that the origins of our contemporary climate crisis is in Western colonialism’s violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment.
Guha, Ramchandra. India After Gandhi Revised and Updated Edition: History of the World’s Largest Democracy. Ecco, 2019. (992 pages)
Understanding post-independence, from 1947-2017, Economist and Wall Street Journal Book of the Year. 2017.
Please join us in welcoming two new Camden Conference staff
Bill Taylor Award Winning Essays
The weekend couldn't have been better planned or managed. What a rich and charming experience it was.
….the speakers were all first-rate and were all lovely individuals, and Indira Lakshmanan was everything you could ask for in a moderator. The venue, the peripheral events, the flow of the programming, the questions we got from the audience – all of it was a delight. I think the format, especially, is something I might want to draw on for other conferences I'm involved in… In short, I've been to many, many conferences as this certainly rates as among the very best.
What a phenomenal and timely program. Every speaker and every panel hit it out of the park. While we were reviewing how much my wife and I learned over the weekend, I realized that the speakers themselves very likely learned or developed new ideas themselves. And since they have a far larger impact on the events of the day, their experience from the weekend may have even more value than ours. Thank you to the Camden Conference. Five stars to the Camden Conference organization.
I was impressed by the skills, background and range of speakers … I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend such a conference.
I found this year’s Camden Conference to be absolutely amazing. For me, it was … one continuous increasingly gratifying experience from beginning to end. The panel members were all extremely knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. They were articulate and they all were extremely insightful. They truly were committed to helping all of us become better informed about this chaotic world we live in. The panel represented such a wonderful degree of diversity. More importantly is the fact that such diversity could have differing opinions and find common ground.
I found this the most relevant and meaningful Conference I’ve attended (and I’ve attended a lot). A wonderful, stimulating event in mid-winter Maine. I plan to attend the Conference annually.” Conference attendee
“The audience was very engaged, the questions were excellent, and it was very stimulating to hear people with diverse opinions debate with each other.
Camden is the next Davos!
Thank you again for inviting me to the Camden Conference, which was truly a wonderful experience. As I have told colleagues and friends everywhere, it was one of the best organized and best attended conferences I have ever spoken at. It was also, even more importantly, one of the most interesting. What a great cast of speakers. Please call upon me again if you think I will fit the topic of a future conference.
The conference, in my opinion was as good as I could hope for. It was wonderful. Such a terrific and credentialed and scholarly faculty. It was tremendous. And I learned a huge amount. I might not be so stupid when I hear talk about immigration and consider inserting my “two cents worth” - Thank you for a wonderful educational experience. Learning never hurts
…The Camden Conference just might be the best conference of its type in the United States.