On August 26, 2017, the Center for New Structural Economics（CNSE） and the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD) jointly held the 17th International Development Forum at Peking University. The forum launched Age of Discovery—Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance and the authors of the book—Ian Goldin, Professor and Director of the Oxford Martin School, the University of Oxford; and Chris Kutarna, Fellow of the Oxford Martin School, the University of Oxford—were invited as speakers. Professor Justin Yifu Lin, Director of the CNSE and Professor Jun Fu, Academic Dean of the ISSCAD attended the forum as guest commentators. Dr. Jiajun Xu, Executive Deputy Director of the CNSE, hosted the forum.
Professor Ian Goldin delivered a keynote speech on how we could navigate the risks and rewards of our New Renaissance. According to Professor Goldin, globalization has brought about a large amount of uncertainties, which provided both chances for countries to be connected more closely and ideas to be spread more freely, as well as problems such as inequality and population explosion. The book, he highlighted, aimed at helping people learn lessons from the previous ages, in order to deal with common challenges in the “new age of discovery”.
Dr. Chris Kutarna shared his own experience with China’s changes and the gist of the book. He used the invention of printing as an example to emphasize the need to meet new challenges with courage and lessons learned from the past.
During the roundtable discussion, Professor Lin agreed that all countries were confronted with new opportunities and challenges in the current “age of discovery”. In addition, based on the book, he raised questions for further discussion, including how to overcome the middle income trap, and how developing countries can catch up with the leading economies after the Second World War. The most essential lesson for all countries, according to Lin, is to tackle contemporary challenges by learning from the history.
Professor Fu highlighted the ideas of “crisis” and “gaining new insights through reviewing the past” in his comments. He pointed out that the book reminded us of the progress we now face, and encouraged us to think deeply about the profound changes of our age.