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The South Asia Institute supports a number of multidisciplinary, interfaculty projects, including workshops, like the University Leaders Development Workshop held in August, 2012, and multidisciplinary projects and conferences.

Multidisciplinary Projects

Current Projects

Mapping the Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that occurs every 12 years at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers on the plains of northern India.  Today it draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of a few weeks to bathe in the sacred rivers. The next festival will take place from January 27 – February 25, 2013 in Allahabad.

Harvard faculty and students from the Faculty of Arts and Science, Divinity School, Design School, Business School and the School of Public Health, will journey to Allahabad to study this “pop-up mega-city.”

Click here to read more. 


Past Projects

Inclusive Innovation

Inclusive innovation encompasses innovation in products as well as processes to improve the welfare of traditionally excluded populations (the economic base of the pyramid, or BOP) and other minority groups.

In June 2012, the South Asia Initiative at Harvard University, the Omidyar Network, Growth Dialogue and the World Bank Group convened a Stakeholders’ Roundtable for the Promoting Inclusive Innovation Program on June 22, 2012 at Harvard University. Participants included entrepreneurs and senior policy-makers from Brazil, China, India and South Africa as well as leaders from academia, NGOs, global networks, and donor agencies.

Click here to read more about the roundtable, and subsequent initiatives at Harvard by the South Asia Initiative to promote and study inclusive innovation.


The above photo, taken by Lisa Kristine, shows the many pilgrims who come to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India. This January, Harvard faculty and students will join them as part of the Mapping the Kumbh Mela Project.




In August, 2012, the South Asia Initiative brought 28 university leaders from across Maharashtra for a leadership development workshop at Harvard. In this photo, one of the educators is featured at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, which was one of many sites the leaders interacted with during their week-long stay.