The following people contributed to the conversation:

Deepak Shimkhada is a scholar, artist, author, and community leader. He teaches religious studies at Claremont School of Theology and has edited books including Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity (Marg Foundation, 2011) and The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia (Cabridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).

Stephen Mikesell is an anthropologist who lived and worked in Nepal for many years. He is the author of Class, State, and Struggle in Nepal—Writings 1989-1995 (Manohar, 1999).

Thupten Lama is a businessman and founder and vice-president of the Society for Partners in Development, Nepal. He has worked in international development, diplomatic missions, and the private sector, in senior management positions.

Krishna Belbase is a senior evaluation officer at UNICEF in New York. He was educated at Cornell University.

Daniel Lak is the Canada correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Previously, he covered South Asia for the BBC.

David Seddon is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Director of Critical Faculty, and independent consultancy. Previously Professor of Politics and Sociology at the University of East Anglia, he is author of several books on Nepal, including Nepal: A State of Poverty (Vikas Publishers, 1987) and (as editor), In Hope and Fear: Living Through the People’s War in Nepal (Adroit Publishers, 2010).

Ryan Conlon is a Canadian living as a monk at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery in Kathmandu, and holds an MA from the Rangjung Yeshe Institute at Kathmandu University.

Ian Gibson teaches global studies at Abilene Christian University and is author of Suffering and Hope: Christianity and Ethics Among the Newars of Bhaktapur (Ekta, 2017). He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Oxford.

Pramod Mishra is department Chair of English Studies at Lewis University and a columnist for the Kathmandu Post.

Jan Sacherer teaches Anthropology and Asian Studies at University of Maryland University College, and was previously Collegiate Professor there. She has published extensively on the Sherpas, including the chapter “Rolwaling: A Sacred Buddhist Valley in Nepal” in Rana P.B. Singh (ed.) Sacredscapes and Pilgrimage Systems (Shubhi Publications, 2010).