April 16, 2015
The panel showcased three real-world case studies of unique applications of mobile technology in the field of healthcare, and discussed the next steps for the multi-year project. The project aims to explore the expansion of the use of mobile technology to provide services to a vast population, and find linkages and opportunities for transferability of interventions across various services.
September 4 & 5, 2014
Hosted by the Harvard South Asia Institute at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge MA
The workshop assembled a diverse group of academics, medical practitioners, business executives and leading researchers to discuss the potential of the technology to enable economic and social mobility, particularly in the areas of health, banking, and education. The discussions helped to lay the groundwork for future interdisciplinary research and connections.
April 24, 2014
This workshop, led by Tarun Khanna, HBS, and JP Onnela, HSPH, focused on the promise of data from mobile technology and the challenges of using this data. One of the major current challenges is the tension between data privacy, sharing of data to promote scientific research, and the potential insights this data may be able to generate. This project aims to increase knowledge of, and provide better access to services in areas of mobile-healthcare, banking, education, and improve livelihoods.
Participants also discussed the varying ways societies have adjudicated or ignored tensions about privacy, as well as some of the methodological challenges raised by large datasets. The data and research work done during the Kumbh Mela was also highlighted, which provided powerful insights for further research and teaching on understanding social networks and behavior through studying large data gathered from cell phones used at this mass gathering. In addition, issues about governmental, institutional and regulatory guidelines were also raised.
August 29 & 30, 2013
Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The spirit of collaboration and community that made this year’s Kumbh Mela festival so successful was on vivid display at the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral City workshop August 29 and 30 at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. This gathering of government officials from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh responsible for planning and managing the Kumbh Mela, faculty and students from FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard Divinity School (HDS), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and School of Public Health (HSPH) ; Harvard Business School (HBS); the Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) and Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), epitomized the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration and academic curiosity that inspired the HGHI and SAI to sponsor the workshop.
Representatives from Uttar Pradesh included Higher Education Secretary Devesh Chaturvedi, Professor and Head of the Department of Community Education Shraddha Dwivedi, Mani Prasad Mishra, District Magistrate and Mela Chief Officer, and Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajesh Rathore. Mela Inspector General, Alok Sharma, joined the team from India via Skype.