The New Global Middle Class: How Will Rising Global Consumption Transform Innovation, Trade, and Markets?

On October 19 and 20, 2012, The Aspen Institute Socrates Program in partnership with PBS NewsHour and Intel, convened a seminar and evening reception in Washington, D.C. providing a forum for emerging leaders to discuss the implications of the rising global middle class.

Seminar Topic
The strength of the US middle class — as producers, consumers, and economic drivers — has long been critical to the American national identity, as well as to the global economy; today some 90 percent of Americans self-identify as “middle class.” But the real story of dramatic middle-class growth is happening well outside of our borders, in emerging markets.
With growing middle class consumption in China and India, and economic challenges facing the west, what will be the impact on global economic growth and innovation? How will technology and cultural differences impact this power shift and the future global marketplace? This seminar examined the key economic, technological and cultural influences on changing global markets with a growing middle class.

Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of The Aspen Institute and Peter Cleveland, Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs and Director of Global Public Policy for Intel, provided welcoming remarks.

Moderators included:
  • Jack Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel, Jr. Professor, George Mason School of Public Policy; Director, Center for Global Policy, George Mason University
  • Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China business editor, The Economist; and author, Need, Speed, and Greed
  • Hari Sreenivasan, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Photos by: Laurence Genon