Frontiers in Development is an effort to engage with the most innovative and experienced development practitioners around the world; seizing pivotal opportunities to leave behind legacies of success. Over the past year, Frontiers in Development launched an essay competition to collect ideas from some of the brightest minds and best practitioners in development. This compilation is now a publication that is available for public distribution through our website. The essay competition set the stage for the forum, where 40 panelists will speak about the past, present, and future of development.

The USAID Frontiers in Development forum is centered around a three-day conference to be held at Georgetown University in Washington, DC from June 11-13. This forum will draw together development practitioners and recipients, leaders from government and the private sector, academics and concerned actors from throughout the broader community. Frontiers in Development is much more than a great lineup of outstanding speakers (including Bill Gates, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, James Stavridis, and Rakesh Rajani). It is more than a chance for networking, or a few days to interact with talented colleagues and counterparts. It is more than the essays from a range of authors and thinkers included in our companion publication. Rather, Frontiers in Development is an opportunity to focus our joint attention on what comes next – promising solutions, innovative technologies, cutting-edge ideas, and novel applications to development.

Through the USAID Frontiers in Development forum, you are invited to engage on a range of topics and issues – from managing the pressures of demography and climate change on our planet, to adapting democracy and economic growth programming to conflict situations, from seeking means to improve the sustainability of development efforts to communicating the importance of this critical work to a public audience.

As a longstanding leader in the development community, USAID is proud to be hosting this event. The excellent support and cooperation of our partners at Georgetown University, the Gates Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation reflect the changing landscape of the development sphere, including the welcome emergence of an increasing number of active contributors. In fact, this changing development landscape is just one of the themes to be discussed in the days to come and months to follow.

We hope that you will engage in the Frontiers in Development forum – in person or online, by submitting questions for the panels or by reading the thoughtful essays included in the Frontiers in Development publication. Most of all, we hope you will join the conversation on what comes next, and how best to tackle the challenges we face at the Frontiers in Development.