The world has gone through major upheavals. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives like never before since the World Wars and the tectonic shifts in geo-politics have resurfaced some of the most complex challenges that our society faces. The war on Ukraine came as a major blow to the world and its impacts reverberated across global economies. The COP26 in Glasgow brought to light the grave challenges that climate change poses and highlighted the increased pressure on nations to meet their goals. For Nepal, examples of crisis and transformation are not too far with Sri Lanka grappling to emerge out of the economic crisis and Bangladesh catapulting across all sectors.
Nepal has been through a fragile political transition into a coalition government that will change soon after the federal elections. The recent local elections witnessed a new ripple of hope with youthful and new aspirations. While the economy continues to walk a tight rope between growth and recovery – the increase in digital transformations, 90% of the eligible population being vaccinated, and concerted efforts to advance towards a greener and more resilient Nepal has given reasons to be hopeful. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, Nepal’s road to recovery has been augmented by innovations and initiatives. The success of the Netflix documentary, 14 Peaks, and achievements of Nepalis in international platforms have taken Nepali food, culture, and heritage to reach the globe beyond expectations.
In this backdrop, this edition of the Kantipur Conclave brings together thought leaders from across fields to envision challenges into opportunities and understand what happened in the past, what is happening in the present and what may happen in the future.