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Global Reads: From Development to Democracy

October 23, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm EDT

Aga Khan Foundation Canada is pleased to invite you to join our book club series, Global Reads.

Join us on October 23rd for another captivating Global Reads session on From Development to Democracy: The Transformation of Modern Asia. We will be joined by the esteemed co-author, Joseph Wong, a renowned scholar in comparative politics, to dive into the book’s engrossing exploration of Asia’s evolution in the context of democracy and development within the region.

Margaret Biggs, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Center for Sustainable Development with years of experience in research, policy, and foreign development, will engage the co-author in an informative conversation about the book’s themes.

Be a part of this invaluable conversation, whether you are fascinated by Asia’s transformation or passionate about insightful global affairs topics.

Additional information for attendees:

  • Networking/Refreshments: In-person attendees are encouraged to participate in an informal networking session and enjoy refreshments after the event. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with the author, lead discussant and guests in an inspiring literary dialogue.
  • Book giveaway: Register anytime between today and September 18, 11:59 PM ET for a chance to win a free copy of the book (open to Canadian residents only).
  • Please note that this event will be offered in English only.



Joseph Wong

Vice-President, International, University of Toronto

Professor Joseph Wong is Vice-President, International, University of Toronto, where he is also the Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and Professor of Political Science. He held the Canada Research Chair in Health, Democracy, and Development for two terms from 2006 to 2016. He is the author of many academic articles and several books, including the latest From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia in 2022, published by Princeton University Press. Inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals, in collaboration with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Professor Wong founded the Reach Alliance.

Margaret Biggs

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution

Margaret Biggs is the former President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and immediate past Chair of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). As CIDA President, Ms. Biggs was responsible for overseeing Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance efforts worldwide. Ms. Biggs is currently a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution and Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy at Queen’s University. She serves on the Boards for the Canadian Partnership on Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH), World University Service Canada (WUSC), the McCall MacBain Foundation and the International Foundation for Electoral Support (IFES). Ms. Biggs is also a member of the Advisory Councils for the REACH Alliance (University of Toronto) and FinDevCanada, Canada’s development finance institution which supports the growth and sustainability of businesses in developing markets.

About the series

Global Reads is a book club series where participants can connect and learn together with other globally minded professionals. Global Reads primarily explores recent works focused on international affairs, policy, or practice—with an emphasis on innovation, new voices, and diverse perspectives. Notable leaders and thinkers from the international affairs, global development, and allied sectors facilitate lively and inclusive discussions, providing a structure for collaborative interpretation, learning, and growth.

Join Global Reads to:

  • Forge new connections with likeminded, globally focused thinkers
  • Encounter inspiring, challenging, and unconventional ideas
  • Gain a fresh perspective on your work
  • Reignite your professional development goals


Register Today!


Questions? Please contact [email protected]


October 23, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6 Canada


Aga Khan Foundation Canada