One Harvard | Summary and Q&A

May 28, 2013
Harvard University
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One Harvard

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This video showcases the commitment of Harvard University to the perpetuation of knowledge and the exploration of big questions. It highlights the university's engagement with talented individuals from around the world and their work in different disciplines. The video also discusses the impact of Harvard's financial aid program and the transformation it has brought to students' lives. Additionally, it features the Doctor of Education Leadership program and the innovative approaches to learning and teaching. Finally, it touches upon the course on innovation and entrepreneurship, which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and the breaking of traditional boundaries.

Questions & Answers

Q: How can cells be manipulated to help understand diseases and discover new drugs?

Cells have the ability to change from one state to another, making them highly versatile. Through the manipulation of cells, researchers can convert them into disease types that are affected, allowing for better understanding of diseases and the development of new drugs. This breakthrough in cell manipulation has the potential to revolutionize the field of medicine.

Q: How does Harvard promote interdisciplinary collaboration in stem cell research?

Harvard has created a structure of extensions that brings together members from various disciplines to collaborate on stem cell research. This structure has attracted a large number of talented individuals, making Harvard the largest aggregate of people doing stem cell research around the world. The university recognizes the value of breaking down traditional academic silos and fostering a collaborative environment for groundbreaking research.

Q: What is the purpose of the Mumbai studio at the GSD?

The Mumbai studio at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) is an example of extreme urbanism projects. It involves working on a 1,400-acre land that is highly contested and home to a large number of squatters. The studio aims to not only create a research culture but also give back to the city. By partnering with local NGOs, the studio creates instruments for advocacy and provides research that can be used to address housing and hygiene issues. The interdisciplinary nature of the studio brings together business school students and design skills students, fostering a deeper understanding of the moral dimensions of their work.

Q: How has Harvard expanded its financial aid program?

In the past decade, Harvard has expanded its financial aid program in a revolutionary way. This expansion has allowed the university to cast a wide net and attract talented individuals who excel in their respective fields. Harvard's financial aid program sends a message that the university is open to providing opportunities to individuals who demonstrate excellence. The program has doubled since 2004 and has made Harvard accessible to individuals from various backgrounds.

Q: What impact does financial aid have on students' lives?

Financial aid has the power to transform lives. Many students, like the ones at the Harvard School of Public Health, come from limited resources. By doubling the financial aid since 2004, more students have the ability to pursue their education without the burden of financial constraints. This enables them to make a difference in their communities and have a multiplier effect on positive change. Financial aid not only helps students access opportunities but also enhances diversity and strengthens the academic population.

Q: What is the Doctor of Education Leadership program?

The Doctor of Education Leadership program is a three-year professional degree at Harvard designed for individuals who aspire to become leaders in education. Similar to medical or law degrees, this program prepares leaders to transform the current education system and create new approaches to learning. It goes beyond teaching traditional knowledge, recognizing the impact of technological advancements and the need to reimagine learning environments. The program combines expertise from different schools at Harvard, such as the Graduate School of Education, the Business School, and the Kennedy School, to offer a comprehensive education leadership experience.

Q: How does Harvard promote interdisciplinary collaboration in education leadership?

The Doctor of Education Leadership program at Harvard recognizes the need for different ways of thinking and learning outside of traditional education boxes. It partners with other schools across Harvard, such as the Business School and the Kennedy School, to offer a well-rounded educational experience. This partnership enriches the program by exposing students to different perspectives, expertise, and skills. By breaking down boundaries between schools, Harvard fosters a collaborative environment that prepares education leaders to address the complex challenges in the field.

Q: How does Harvard encourage innovation and entrepreneurship?

Harvard launched a course called innovation and entrepreneurship to expose undergraduate students to the concept and resources available at the iLab. The course aims to foster interaction between undergraduates and the Business School, leveraging the talent pool of undergraduate students. It also exemplifies the idea of one university by incorporating lectures from leading experts across different disciplines and engaging students in practical projects with venture capital firms, startups, policy organizations, and governmental organizations. Through this course, students gain both theoretical and practical knowledge about entrepreneurship and innovation.

Q: How does the course on innovation and entrepreneurship challenge traditional boundaries?

The course on innovation and entrepreneurship at Harvard breaks traditional boundaries by drawing on the expertise of people from various disciplines. It brings together students from the college, the business school, the law school, the Kennedy school, and the education school. The projects assigned in the course allow students to challenge ideas and collaborate based on their diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This rich educational experience encourages students to think outside the box and overcome traditional boundaries that restrict innovation and entrepreneurship.

Q: How does Harvard's multi-disciplinary approach benefit students?

Harvard's multi-disciplinary approach offers students a unique and enriching educational experience. By bringing together experts and students from different disciplines, Harvard expands the classroom experience and breaks down traditional academic silos. Students gain exposure to different ways of thinking, problem-solving, and approaching complex issues. This interdisciplinary collaboration prepares them to be adaptable and well-rounded professionals, capable of making a significant impact in their fields.


This video highlights Harvard University's commitment to breaking down traditional boundaries in academia and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. By engaging with talented individuals from around the world and offering expansive financial aid programs, Harvard attracts diverse perspectives and talent. The university's initiatives in stem cell research, urbanism, education leadership, and innovation and entrepreneurship demonstrate the transformative power of interdisciplinary approaches. Through these efforts, Harvard aims to tackle the big questions of the 21st century and create a positive impact on society.

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