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Dhruv Kazi, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Cardiology), Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Center for Healthcare Value, University of California San Francisco, Division of Cardiology, San Francisco General Hospital

Tarun KhannaDirector of Harvard South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

Rahul MehrotraProfessor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Facilitated by Meera Gandhi, CEO and Founder The Giving Back Foundation; Advisory Council Member, SAI

Purchase tickets here.

The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that occurs every twelve years at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers on the plains of northern India. Since its inception early in the first millennium CE, the Kumbh Mela has become the largest public gathering in the world. Today it draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of a few weeks. The most recent observance of the festival took place from January 14 to February 25, 2013 in Allahabad, with an estimated attendance of over 80 million people.

Because of its size and complexity, the 2013 Kumbh Mela inspired the Harvard South Asia Institute’s flagship multi-year interdisciplinary research project in a number of complementary fields: business, technology and communications, urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, and public health. Over fifty Harvard professors, students, administrative staff, and medical practitioners made the pilgrimage to Allahabad, India to analyze issues that emerge in any large-scale human gathering. Launched in 2015, the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard.

The faculty leaders, representing Harvard Business School, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will discuss their experience studying the world’s largest festival, and lessons learned for future research.

Book sale to follow.

Cosponsored by the Asia Society.

Read a summary of the event here.