One of the best things about Harvard is all of the opportunities for collaborative learning. The Harvard i-lab is a great way to combine ideas with others to have a positive impact on the world. Below is a video on the i-lab and a recent update about an initiative known as the Deans’ Challenge.
Deans’ Challenges Finalists Announced
Harvard University announced 18 student-led teams as finalists in three deans’ innovation competitions focused on cultural entrepreneurship, health and life sciences, and urban design. Hosted by the i-lab, the challenges drew 124 proposals from across 12 schools, each articulating a plan to tackle a pressing issue facing society. Read more here or click below to learn more about each challenge.
Health and Life Sciences
- Aldatu Biosciences is improving access to effective HIV patient care worldwide with innovative and affordable diagnostic tools.
- Disease Diagnostic Group is creating a handheld device that provides an accurate malaria diagnosis in less than 60 seconds from a finger prick at a tenth of the cost.
- FlowLight is a building a device that provides real-time, continuous measurement of bloodflow for post-surgical monitoring for lower costs and improved patient care.
- Platelet BioGenesis is developing technology to produce the world’s first donor-independent human platelets from human induced pluripotent stem cells.
- Recon Therapeutics is offering a low-cost, easy-to-use, “one-stop shop” for all drugs requiring reconstitution.
- Voxel 8 is using proprietary functional inks and 3-D printing technology to lower the manufacturing cost and increase the functionality of hearing aids for our aging population.
- Gapelia is a long-form publishing platform that lets storytellers –journalists, artists, scientists, scholars, innovators – create their own digital publications and connect directly with paying subscribers.
- Iconic Energy Consulting transforms renewable energy projects into cultural icons, creating a public dialogue through art and civic engagement.
- PIVOT (Palestine Israel Visual Optimization Tool) is a cutting edge interactive mobile application that reveals to users’ images, videos, and information based on a specific location in a specific time period within modern and ancient Palestinian history.
- SPOUTS of Water aims to create a sustainable workspace for Ugandan potters to carry on the long-lived tradition of pottery in Uganda and be part of SPOUTS’ mission to increase access to clean water in Uganda by sustainably producing and supplying effective and affordable ceramic water filters.
- Worldi is a local discovery interface that helps urbanites explore music and dance from around the world.
- YapZap lets you record, share, and play up to 10-seconds of audio and create a mosaic of conversation on any topic (gallery, song, play, TV).
- CAPA seeks to be the global leader in innovative building components and sustainable materials in the developing world.
- Carewrite is a mobile website that empowers individuals to better coordinate the healthcare of a loved one.
- Cloudcommuting creates the first bike sharing service in the world that will replace trucks and employees with paid users for redistributing bikes.
- MateriaLEASE offers temporary ownership of building components to help young ventures achieve better workspaces while protecting the environment.
- Shipster is a mobile platform that connects deliveries with people heading in similar directions-saving up to 60% on shipping costs and providing a more sustainable alternative to current delivery services.
- Six Foods uses urban insect farming as an alternative source of protein to soy, whey, and eventually livestock.
Coming up at the i-lab
More workshops and events are listed on our calendar!
IP Strategies for Health Sciences Startups
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Biotech and medical device companies are heavily dependent on intellectual property rights, particularly those developing diagnostic, therapeutic or invasive products. The complexity of the technology and rapidly evolving legal landscape make the availability, validity and enforceability of biotech patents highly uncertain. This session, led by Michael Twomey, a patent attorney and partner at WilmerHale, will explore some of the basic IP questions facing health sciences startups. Please register here.
Giving Emotional Meaning to the Quantified Self
Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM
A proliferation of wonderful tools are now available that enable measurement of our health, productivity, mood, and more. First, we’ll review these tools and predict what the next 1-3 years will bring. Next, we’ll dig into the psychology of behavior change and how to take static ‘tools’ and give them the human emotional pull required to effectively change behavior. Please register here.
Opportunities & Challenges: Digital Health and Health System Collaborations
Monday, April 7, 2014 | 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Come to this interactive and action-oriented discussion about emerging opportunities and key challenges that face health care start-ups looking to work and partner with health systems. Founder-CEOs from leading venture-backed digital health start-ups and senior health system executives will share their experiences in developing solutions to improving care and reducing costs under new value-based payment arrangements. Please register here.
Start Up Meet Up: Science and Engineering Edition
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM
The Harvard i-lab and Office of Technology Development is bringing together Harvard inventors, entrepreneurs, students, alumni and more to showcase high potential technologies being developed at Harvard. Our inventors will introduce their exciting technology and commercialization potential to our multi-disciplinary audience. This will be followed by a targeted networking session to enable the attendees to meet with our inventors, better understand each other’s skills and experiences. We will have a direct “Longwood to i-lab” bus for this event (one trip). More info will be sent to registrants. Please register here.
The Ideation Framework
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM
How can you effectively learn if people will use (or buy) a new product idea before you built it? Josh Wexler, CEO of the Occom Group, will share the process that they use to help anyone (7th graders to C-level executives) validate new product ideas before they are built. Josh will discuss how this process drives clarity among a team and reduces the technical and overall risk of a project. Please register here.
Legal, EiR and Visiting Practitioner Office Hours
The i-lab offers all matriculated, degree-seeking Harvard students the opportunity to meet with Experts-in-Residence (EiRs) and visiting practitioners in one-on-one office hour appointments.
If you’re a student and want to get counseling on your career, venture, or business plan, the EiR program is an avenue you should explore; these meetings are great chance to speak with seasoned professionals who can help you think through your current challenges or upcoming obstacles you face in developing your venture.
For more information on how to meet with experts who can help from product design to pitching, team-building to tech (and beyond) check out our booking page.
Harvard/Boston Startup Ecosystem Events
Global Health Summer Residencies at the i-lab
This summer, the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) is partnering with the (i-lab) to offer a limited number of funded summer residencies for projects focused on addressing a need or solving a problem that impacts the health and well-being of people in the world. Global Health Summer Residents be part of the Summer Venture Incubation Program, have access to i-lab resources, including dedicated workspace, guided mentoring, private workshops, and a number community building events. They will also be part of a cohort of HGHI-funded students who are passionate about global health, and will attend weekly seminars given by global health practitioners. Students applying to this program must identify a Harvard faculty mentor who will provide guidance on their projects during the period in residence at the i-lab. Read the program description for more details. Applications are due by noon on Friday, April 11.
Meet the Shark Tank Casting Team
Friday, April 18, 2014 | 2:00 - 6:00 PM | i-lab 102
Shark Tank, the critically acclaimed, business-themed show is continuing the search for the best Entrepreneurs with the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Emmy-nominated show features The Sharks – tough, self-made, millionaire/billionaires who give budding entrepreneurs a chance to make their dreams come true and become successful — and possibly wealthy — business people. If you’ve got a great product or business and need an investment to propel you forward, the i-lab is providing students, alumni and staff the opportunity to meet the Shark Tank casting team and get information on the upcoming season and application process. More information is here.
The Gifted Citizen Prize 2014 for Social Entrepreneurs call for submissions opens on March 27! Gifted Citizen seeks to benefit humanity by freeing up creative potential and promoting innovation, through incentivizing social entrepreneurship projects from around the world, that can have an impact on 10 million people over the next six years. This prize is an initiative of Ciudad de las Ideas in association with Singularity University and primarily funded by Comex. Contact Eidi Cruz-Valdivieso with any questions.
The Barclay’s FinTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a three month intensive startup program designed to support new businesses on their journey to delivering breakthrough innovations. Entrepreneurs and start-up companies worldwide can apply for the program, with their applications focused on improving the banking experience for consumers. Ten companies will be selected. For more information and to apply, go here. Applications close March 31.
The following was distributed to the HKS Community by the Office for Student Diversity and Inclusion. The Black Policy Conference is in its 10th year.
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I encourage all you to join us for a dynamic opening keynote discussion this Friday afternoon on the topic: Being Black in [Obama’s] America.
It is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and we will be having a special guest, the mother of the late Jordan Davis, Lucia McBath whose teenaged son was ruthlessly slain outside of a Florida gas station. She will be joined by MSNBC contributor Dr. James Peterson, and U.S. Dream Academy’s Diane Wallace Booker to discuss the complexity of black identity in the era of Obama and what policies we need to enact to ensure that there are no more Trayvon Martins, Renisha McBrides or Jordan Davises and that no more black mothers and fathers have to experience the senseless pain that Lucia McBath, Sybrina Fulton, and countless others have endured.
Suzanne Shende, Director of the MC/MPA Mason Program, will be traveling to Sierra Leone April 8-12 and Ghana April 13-17 for recruiting. She will be meeting with leaders from government, civil society, education and other sectors, and looks forward to forging strong alliances in West Africa.
Specific dates, times, and places are still being finalized and will be posted to this blog as details become firm. Prospective students interested in possibly meeting with Suzanne during her trip can send an email to email@example.com with the subject line, “HKS Africa.”
Mpumelelo Nxumalo is the Editor-In-Chief of the Africa Policy Journal. He is a Master of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously worked as a Research Analyst in the African Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) covering the central African region including Cameroon, Congo Rep., Chad, the Central Africa Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. He participated in IMF missions to the central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC), where he got first-hand exposure to the matters pertinent to African country authorities. He graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2010. His professional interests are in macroeconomics, international finance, and industrial policy. Mpumelelo is originally from Zimbabwe.
The Africa Policy Journal (APJ) is run by students at the Harvard Kennedy School who have a passion for Africa’s development. APJ launched its 2014 Call for Submissions on October 15th 2013. We reached a diverse audience through our website and Facebook page. Submissions included book reviews, Op-Eds, and academic articles. We successfully solicited high profile interviews–one with the former Prime Minister of Niger and CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, and the other with UN Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande. A general theme of both interviews is a discussion of the importance of leadership in development.
On the topic of leadership I would be remiss if I did not mention Nelson Mandela who passed away in December 2013. The Economist magazine put it best when it wrote that “the greatness of Mandela challenges us all”. The 2014 edition of the Africa Policy Journal features several commentaries on the subject of leadership in Africa. As one reads through, for example, Professor Frankel’s commentary on the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leaders or the interview with Dr. Mayaki, one cannot help but contemplate on the urgency of this topic in light on Mandela’s passing. I am confident that the Africa Policy Journal will continue to be an indispensable mouthpiece for those who are as excited about Africa’s future as we are.
Thank you to all our supporters. The 2014 print edition comes out mid-April. Pre-order yours today!!
Each spring there is an HKS talent show, and this video made its debut during the show last Friday night. Access to YouTube is required to watch this video and email subscribers may need to visit the blog directly to watch.
"Recently, more than 100 students, faculty, and staff at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) participated in HKS Serves which was organized by the Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC).
The mission of the Student Public Service Collaborative is to maximize the sustained impact of HKS on the local community and beyond by heightening awareness of needs, facilitating hands-on engagement, and building collaborative relationships.
HKS Serves had a record number of volunteer sites. Projects included preparing and serving food for individuals living with HIV at Community Servings; organizing donations at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory in Brighton; doing spring landscaping preparation for the Charles River Conservancy.
Ashley Zlatinov, MPP 2015, co-chaired the project. She is especially excited about working with the SPSC team to increase public service culture and opportunities on campus. She said, “We were thrilled to have increased participation across the HKS Community, involving faculty, Centers, and students from all degree programs, truly making Public Service Week a campus-wide event.”
Christina Marin, MPP 2014 got involved with the leadership team this year. “I find one-day volunteering is a great way to get to know how an organization works, meet staff members, and test whether this is an organization you want to volunteer for/work for in the future. There’s so much good work being done in the nonprofit sector in Boston. It’s a gift to spend a day learning about their initiatives,” she said.
She added, “I wanted to volunteer at all the sites. It was hard to choose the best option. I ended up working with the Charles River Conservancy, an organization I know well and really respect. I’m always looking for an excuse to be outdoors – even if it’s 20 degrees! I learned the CRC is still pushing forward with underpasses to connect the trails along the Charles and that more community pressure is needed to realize this important infrastructure investment.
I’ve had too many close calls with cars while running along the Charles so I appreciate CRC’s efforts in advocacy for this initiative. I also met some pretty cool HKS staff members. As an HKS student, there are not many opportunities to connect with the wonderful and talented people that work at HKS. Friday was an exception!”
Kats Tsai, MPP 2015 also on the leadership team said, “I volunteered at Boston Living Center - I served lunch to 80-120 HIV positive guests. Community service is important because, as students at Harvard Kennedy School, we need to understand that we are highly privileged, and we need to find ways to give back to the community, no matter how small or intangible our individual efforts are.”
Paula Koczera, associate director, employer relations, volunteered at Cradles To Crayons. C2C provides children (from birth to age 12) with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
“We had 20 volunteers (15 students, 5 staff), split into two groups – one groups sorted new donations to check for quality and my group “shopped” for items requested by the families or social workers. As a group, we were able to help well over 100 children. C2C staff did a great job of keeping us focused on the fact that these were ‘real children with real needs’ and accomplished this by asking us the name of the child we were ‘shopping’ for and reminding us to ‘squeeze out the air, and in the love’ each time we prepared a bag for shipment. C2C is an amazing organization with incredible staff. I plan to volunteer there again in the future,” she said.
Above photo taken by Martha Stewart.
Please click here to view more photos on the HKS Serves flickr page.
The following post was composed by Sean McBride and Hayling Price, the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Council Student Admission Representatives.
Hello from the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Leadership council! The HKS/HBS joint degree program is oriented towards students pursuing careers that will engage the public, private and nonprofit sectors. As student admission representatives for the joint degree program, we are hoping to provide interested and prospective students with an overview of the program and to answer some FAQs.
If you just recently confirmed that you were accepted at both schools…CONGRATULATIONS! To accept your offer please make sure to take the appropriate steps each school requires to confirm enrollment. Once the 2017 HKS-HBS joint degree class is finalized, you will receive much more detailed information about the program from both school administrations and from the Joint Degree Student Leadership Council.
What is the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program and how is it structured?
Each year, the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program brings together a new cohort of roughly 20-30 students who are working to obtain both an MBA from HBS and either an MPP or MPA/ID from HKS. HKS allows students to undertake concurrent degrees with a number of business schools. However, the HKS/HBS joint degree is by far the most structured of these dual-degree options. The program takes three-years instead of four to complete and requires students to meet the core curricula of both the MBA and MPP or MPA/ID programs.
The joint program schedule across the three years is as follows: the 1st year is at HKS; the 2nd year is at HBS; and the 3rd year is split between the two schools. Each class graduates with the HBS cohort they begin with in their second year. Additionally, students engage in co-curricular seminars throughout their three years with faculty from both HBS and HKS (i.e. the first year course when you are at HKS is taught by a HBS professor and vice versa the next year). This is not only unique for joint MBA/MPP programs, but also for joint MD/MBA or JD/MBA programs.
Why do students choose a joint degree?
Every student comes to the joint program for a different reason. Generally speaking, we can divide these students into three groups. First, you have students who aspire to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in the course of their careers. Next, there is what we often dub the “social entrepreneur” who seeks to combine the skills of multiple sectors in redefining both for-profit and non-profit business models. Additionally, there are students that want to work directly in the intersection of business and government. These careers might include corporate government affairs or government regulatory policy. Alternatively, they might be people who want to work exclusively in the public or private sector but in industries that are highly regulated or otherwise have a lot of government involvement (e.g. health care, energy). The moral of the story is that joint degrees go on to all types of careers post-graduation!
What were students doing before they joined the program?
Just as there is no “typical” HKS or HBS student, there is no “typical” joint degree background. All of us come from different paths. Perhaps more than the general population of either school, joint degree students (or “jointees” as we call ourselves) often come with experience in both the private and public sectors – though that is definitely not the case for all. Current jointees include people formerly in the military, management consulting, finance, policy and politics (including a former elected official!), and social entrepreneurship. Jointees are also very international with people coming to the program from all over the world.
How do students finance the joint degree program?
Similar to other students at HKS or HBS there is a wide variety of financing options to cover the cost of your education. Both schools will provide you with ample resources to learn about all the funding and grant opportunities available. Most jointees fund their education through a combination of federal or private loans, private savings, need-based aid, and fellowship or grant opportunities.
HKS offers a wide array of fellowships, work-study options, and other funding opportunities. A good deal of the financial aid available at HKS is through the different Centers. Be sure to check these out during your financial aid process. HBS also offers very generous aid that is largely need-based. Jointees also have the opportunity to pursue joint degree-specific funding. Many jointees receive Zuckerman or David M. Rubenstein Fellowships at HKS to help offset the costs of the first year of the program, whereas the George Leadership Fellowship at HBS helps a handful of jointees finance their third year.
Both HKS and HBS also offer generous and ample funding opportunities for internships, projects, or career opportunities. For example, many jointees pursue and receive funding through the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative to intern in the public or nonprofit sectors during one of their two summers.
What is the joint degree committee like once you start the program?
HBS and HKS support a joint degree student leadership council that helps create an integrated social and academic experience for us jointees. The Council works with the administrations of both schools to continually improve the program and plan activities within the cohort. You have the opportunity to develop really special bonds with your fellow jointees who share your interests in business, government, and social impact. Each joint degree class graduates with amazing friends from HKS and HBS respectively, but the bonds between fellow jointees are especially strong and special. There is also an active and growing network of jointee alumni who have a special place in their hearts for up and coming HKS/HBS jointees!
What are the cultural differences between the two schools?
It’s funny. As joint degrees we are very attuned to the different stereotypes each school holds about the other. That said most of the stereotypes are just that – generalizations. Ironically, more of our HKS friends than HBS friends have asked for help preparing for their McKinsey interviews. And many of our HKS friends are surprised to hear that the largest student organization at HBS is the Social Enterprise Club. While cultures, of course, vary among institutions there is no “typical” background at either school, making both dynamic and diverse communities.
Are classes taught differently at the two schools?
The classroom experience is substantially different across schools. HBS is entirely case-based, with the exception of FIELD. If you have not sat in a class or watched the online video you should do so now to see what you’ll be getting into! It’s an intense and exciting experience that really depends on student participation to drive the class. At HKS, the structure of classes is much more diverse, with some professors relying on lectures, case examples or other, more interactive formats.
What kind of advising do students receive?
Probably the greatest advantage of being a joint degree student is that you have access to the advising services of two world-renowned institutions. Starting from your first of three years, joint degree students receive both in-person and virtual assistance from both career service offices in addition to designated faculty and administrations who sit on the joint degree advisory board. Perhaps even more important is the advice we get from each other as a tight cohort of peers who all share a common interest in both business and government. Both of us have been known to refer to the joint degrees as our “family” and rely on our cohort heavily for both personal and professional guidance.
Where can I learn more about the joint program?
Several jointees were recently on a webinar where we answered prospective students’ questions about the program. It is a good way to learn more about current jointees’ experiences and reflections on the program, including why we decided to do the joint HBS/HKS program instead other options.
Also, please feel free to contact the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Council Student Admission representatives with any questions you might have!
Prospective students with administrative-related inquiries regarding the joint HKS/HBS program are also welcome to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Juana Hernandez is a first-year Master in Public Policy candidate concentrating in Social and Urban Policy. In addition to serving as the Managing Editor of Print for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Juana serves as a graduate student coordinator for the Public Policy Leadership Conference, which empowers undergraduates of underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers and graduate study in public policy.
Before coming to HKS, Juana served as the Assistant Director of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program. In this role, she collaborated with Hispanic-serving institutions and federal government agencies to administer a student employment program across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Prior to this, Juana worked in academic advising and retention programming at the University of the District of Columbia, the District’s only public post-secondary institution, and a historically black university. There she helped launch various academic support measures for nontraditional student populations, as well as provide guidance on institutional policy alignment.
For her leadership in public service, Juana has been recognized by the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Harry S. Truman Foundation, the Public Policy and International Affairs fellowship program, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and the American Education Research Association. A proud Chicana, Juana was born and raised in southern California, within a Mexican immigrant household. She graduated magna cum laude from UCLA, with a B.A. in American literature, and minors in political science, education studies, and Chicana/o studies.
She kindly authored this post on the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.
I came to HKS eager to sharpen my skills in policy research and communications, as I have seen how critical these skills are in framing policy debates and influencing final decision-making. At HKS students are able to build these skills through involvement in nine student journals, including the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy (HJHP).
Founded in 1985, HJHP is the oldest student publication at HKS and the only one dedicated to examining the policy issues that impact the U.S. Latino/a community. Each year HJHP culls through countless submissions to publish the most timely, innovative, and inspiring policy ideas. In this way, HJHP serves as a platform for policy thought leadership, publishing the work of respected faculty and experienced professionals alongside that of emerging scholars.
Our 26th volume will launch on April 4th and includes pertinent research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, a call for an environmental justice agenda for the Latino/a community, and an exclusive interview with Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez on comprehensive immigration reform. It also highlights the work of Favianna Rodriguez and Nancy Guevara, two artist-activists who have used their artwork to give voice to the Latino/a community. With an active and growing subscription base, our readership cuts across academia, government, and the nonprofit sector, linking researchers with practitioners.
In addition to our annual print publication, HJHP is committed to driving policy discourse and promoting Latino/a leadership through our website and social media presence. This year, we unveiled a new website to target a wider audience through more diverse content, including opinion editorials. We have also launched a collection of PolicyCasts that feature candid discussions with prominent Latino/a leaders like former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. HJHP’s Facebook and Twitter pages provide real time coverage of Harvard-wide happenings that pertain to the the Latino/a community, such as a recent lecture by award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos.
Beyond all this, HJHP remains committed to promoting the success and retention of Latino/a students at HKS, and across the Harvard campus. Our editorial staff includes graduate students of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and we regularly collaborate with student leaders of the university-wide Harvard Latino Student Association and of the Harvard Latino Law, Policy, and Business Conference. In addition, we routinely support initiatives of the HKS Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Admissions Office, and the Kennedy School Student Government to facilitate outreach to new and prospective students.
HJHP is fortunate to have the support of a robust Executive Advisory Board. The 16-person board includes HKS alumni and influential leaders from top research universities, think tanks, consulting firms, and government.
To learn more about the journal please visit our website www.harvardhispanic.org where you read our online content and subscribe to the 26th Volume.