Selected Examples of Projects Conceptualized, Initiated, Developed or Managed by Charles Harper*

*with the help of many wonderful, dedicated and superbly talented colleagues



	The Global Leadership Summit Series 
	(Lyford Cay Bahamas, philanthropy leadership meetings series 2005-9
	Private & confidential meetings without internet site records):
	The Global Leadership Summit on Innovation in Philanthropy (examined the role that innovation and change in shaping the strategy, practices, and impact of philanthropy across the entire giving spectrum).
	The Global Leadership Summit on Enterprise-Based Solutions to Poverty (explored strategies that will harness the power of enterprise and the resources of the philanthropic sector for generation of wealth and opportunities for self-empowerment for the poor).
	The Global Leadership Summit on Entrepreneurial Approaches to Education (explored breakthroughs from the application of entrepreneurial mindsets to the challenges of education for the world’s poor. Jim Tooley’s work on private for-profit solutions was of particular interest to attendees).
	The Global Leadership Summit on Science, Spirituality, and Medicine (focused on how philanthropy can encourage more scientific exploration of relationships between spiritual practice and health).
	The Global Leadership Summit on Free Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Wealth Creation in Africa (considered strategic questions concerning the economic transformation of Africa, ranging from transcending barriers to competition, to means for encouraging entrepreneurship and free enterprise).
    The Global Leadership Summit on New Visions for Positive Purpose in Retirement 
        (explored new opportunities for philanthropists, spiritual leaders, and business leaders in the context
        of a growing number of retirees in developed countries).

Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology Program “FQX Institute” (Directed by Max Tegmark of MIT), international grants competitions and network.

Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology Institute 
(Directed by Martin Nowak of Harvard University), international grants competitions and network.  
See:  ;;  

Seven Fund, Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (new grant making and network organization developed with directors Mike Fairbanks and AndreasWidmer):

World Science Festival – John Templeton Foundation Partnerships.  2008-9 “Big Ideas” Series.  Two years.  About five individual public discussion sessions each year.

Columbia Business School Program on Indian Political Economy & Enterprise Solutions to Poverty.  Co-directed by Jagdish Bhagwati, Arvind Panagariya and Glenn Hubbard.  2009.

New research and outreach initiatives to advance the effective-solutions-to-poverty debate.  
Development Research Institute, NYU, directed by William Easterly.  
Major research support & center development project. 2008.

The Norms, Beliefs, and Institutions of 21st Century Capitalism: A Conference Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  Cornell University, 2004, research symposium and book project directed by Victor Nee.
Book:  On Capitalism (2007) ed. V. Nee & R. Swedberg.

X-Prize Foundation exploration group exploring the possibility of developing an X-prize focused on enterprise solutions to poverty in the developing world.

Science & Ultimate Reality:  Celebrating the Vision of John Archibald Wheeler and Taking it Forward into a New Century of Discovery.
 (90th birthday celebration conference and book project.)
Book:  Science & Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology, and Complexity (CUP, 2004)

Amazing Light:  Visions for Discovery  (UC Berkeley, in honor of Charlie Townes and involving 16 of his fellow Nobel Laureates)

New Vision 400 (Beijing, China, 400th anniversary of the telescope.  Research conference & Great Hall of the People student event).
Book: The Astronomy Revolution: 400 Years of Exploring the Cosmos (CRC Press, 2011);jsessionid=2IASBso6oMMc2rMFNUnJLA**

Philosophy of Cosmology 2009: Characterizing Science & Beyond.  (Oxford University, research symposium co-chaired by Joe Silk & George Ellis)

Horizons of Truth: Logics, Foundations of Mathematics, and the Quest for Understanding the Nature of Knowledge.
  (Univ. Vienna, Austria, in honor of the Centenary of Kurt Godel):  ;
Book: Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics: Horizons of Truth  (CUP, 2011)

Kurt Gödel Centenary Research Prize Fellowships (Kurt Gödel Society, Vienna)

Templeton Research Fellows: Physics & Philosophy on the Nature of Quantum Reality (University of Vienna, Center for Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics & Quantum Information. Directed by Anton Zeilinger. )

Noncommutative Geometry & Physics: Fundamental Structure of Space and Time.  
(Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, UK)    

Modeling the Origin of Time and of the Universe (Royal Society, 2008 research symposium)

The Big Question of Time (Imperial College, 2008, public lecture)
National University of Singapore Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Research summer schools series on concepts of infinity in mathematical logic and in interdisciplinary research.  Directed by Hugh Woodin and Theodore Slaman.

Templeton Royal Society Lectures Series, London

Templeton Lecture Series at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London

The “Big Questions” Series.
(Major international series of published multi-author public discussions focused on great questions and debates.)
	1.  Does the free market corrode moral character?
	2.  Does science make belief in God obsolete?
	3.  Will money solve Africa’s development problems?
	4.  Does evolution explain human nature?

British Academy scholarly meeting and reception honoring Charles Taylor’s selection as the 2007 Templeton Prize Laureate.  London (

Seven Fund , Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. Pioneers of Prosperity awards (inaugurated in Kigali, Rwanda):

Private Education is Good for the Poor:  A Study of  Private Schools Serving the Poor in Low Income Counties.  Directed by James Tooley.
( . 2009 book by JT: “A Beautiful Tree.”  Major reform efforts in India and Africa inspired by this research:  ;   Indian School Finance Company: ;  Opportunity International Microschools project: ; Orient Global Education Fund Rumi Schools of Excellence:

What Works in Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, Grants Competition|61

Franchise Businesses and Enterprise Solutions to Poverty: Research and strategy development partnership with the International Finance Corp. Directed by Steve Beck & Dalberg Global Development Advisors.  2009

Film:  The Power of the Poor: Capitalism’s Moment of Truth with Hernando de Soto

The Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project.  Edward C. “Ted” Green: Director.

African Successes: Can Behavior-Based Solutions Make a Crucial Contribution to HIV Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa?  (Kampala, Uganda Symposium & book project, ‘06. )

The Biologos Foundation.  Directed by Francis Collins (Former Director of the Human Genome Initiative; Current Director of the National Institutes of Health. )

Cultural Change Institute, Tufts University ;|23

Positive Psychology Center, Univ. Pennsylvania (

The Purpose Prize  (
(Civic Ventures, San Francisco. Partnership with Atlantic Philanthropies.)

The Arete Initiative, grants competition (University of Chicago)

Defining Wisdom Research Network, grants competition 
(University of Chicago)

Free The Slaves, Freedom Awards. )

House of Lords Anti-Slavery awards in honor of the bicentenary of the Abolition Act of 1807.  Partnership with Geneva Global.

The Faraday Institute (St. Edmunds College, Cambridge University):

Evolvability:  the Evolution of Evolution (Varenna, Italy) 
Co-organized with Simon Conway-Morris (Cambridge), Ard Louis (Oxford) and the Piero Caldirola International Center for the Promotion of Science.

Evolution & Theology of Cooperation Project (Harvard)
Co-directed by Sarah Coakley and Martin Nowak.
( : )

Evolving Evolution (Harvard, 10/2009, Chair: Martin Nowak, research symposium in honor of the 150/200 Darwin anniversary)  Cancelled.

Numinous Numbers: Mathematics, the Philosophy of Mathematics & Philosophical Theology. (Harvard, 10/2009, research symposium in honor of the 200th birthdays of Benjamin Peirce & Hermann Grossmann.  

Fitness of the Cosmos for Life (Harvard) 2003 Research symposium & book project.   Book:

Forgiveness & Reconciliation: Religious Contributions to Conflict Resolution, 1999 Harvard Kennedy School research symposium & book project. (

Empathy, Altruism & Agape: Perspectives on Love in Science & Religion.  MIT, 1999.  Research symposium and book project.

Creativity:  The Mind, Machines & Mathematics:  A Celebration of the 70th anniversary of Alan Turing’s seminal paper, “On computable numbers” featuring a debate on the limits of intelligent machines and a lecture on Turing’s contribution.  MIT, 2006  ;
Debate between David Gelernter and Ray Kurzweil moderated by Rodney Brooks (video record):
Video: Lecture by Jack Copeland, " Alan Turing: Codebreaker and AI Pioneer":

Life:  Cosmic Accident or Cosmic Destiny.  Harvard University Public Event, 2003.

Becoming Human:  Brain, Mind & Emergence (Stanford research symposium and book project directed by William Hurlbut, DATE)
Video record:

Cosmology & Fine-Tuning Research Program, grants competition

Von Neumann Celebration (Princeton): Budapest the Golden Years: Early 20th Century Mathematics Education in Budapest & Lessons for Today.
Symposium and Public event.
Major scholarly backgrounder prep-document by Tibor Franck:  
“The Social Construction of Hungarian Genius.”

Von Neumann Celebration (Princeton): Living in von Neumann’s World: Scientific Creativity, Technological Advancement, and Civilization’s Accelerating Dilemma of Power.  Evening lecture featuring a special lecture of Von Neumann by George Dyson and an address by  Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling, with a response by Freeman Dyson, Matrin Nowak and Robert Wright. ( )

San Marino Series:

--An annual research symposium series developed collaboratively with the Milan-based organization “Euresis” (, the University of San Marino and the Government of San Marino and also with the annual Rimini Meeting of Friendship Between Peoples (  Charles Harper served as official convenor for these meetings:

 i) Creativity and Creative Inspiration in Mathematics, Science & Engineering:   Developing a Vision for the Future.  2008

ii) Discovery as an Event: Understanding the Dynamics of Human Advancement in Science & Culture.  2009 

iii) Science, Reason & Truth.  2007

iv) New Frontiers in Research on Infinity. 2006
Book:  Infinity: New Research Frontiers (CUP, 2011) 

The Humble Approach Initiative Series:
--A major program of 35 high-level scholarly interdisciplinary research symposia and associated publications.  For the full list of symposia, see:    

Highlights include:

--(i) Exceptional Creativity in Science & Technology.  Chaired by Baruch Blumberg, 2008, in honor of Freeman Dyson on the occasion of his 85th birthday, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.) 

-- (ii) Music:  Its Evolution, Cognitive Basis & Spiritual Dimensions.  Chaired by Simon Conway-Morris, Wolfson College, Cambridge University, 2008.

--(iii) Games, Groups, Gods and the Global God.  Chaired by Simon Levin.  Princeton University, 2007.,_Groups,_God(s)_and_the_Global_Good/

-- (iv) Learning from the Disabled.  Chaired by Xavier le Pichon. L’Arche, France, honoring Jean Vanier on the occasion of his 80th birthday. 2007

-- (v) Creativity:  The Mind, Machines & Mathematics.  Chaired by Rodney Brooks. MIT, 2006

-- (vi) Universe or Multiverse? Chaired by Paul Davies, 2003.  Stanford   Public event:

-- (vii) Multiverse & String Theory: Toward Ultimate Explanations in Cosmology.  Chaired by Paul Davies & Andrei Linde. Stanford, 2005

-- (viii) Kindling the Science of Gratitude.  Chaired by Robert Emmons. Thanksgiving Square, Dallas, TX, 2000.

-- (ix) Love and the Ultimate Nature of Reality.  Chaired by John Polkinghorne.  Queens College, Cambridge University, 1998.

--(x) Enlightenment, Modernity & Atheism. (Honoring the 80th birthday of Leszek Kolakowski.  Chaired by Alister McGrath. All Souls College, Oxford University.,_Modernity,_and_Atheism/ )

--(xi) Homo Symbolicus:  The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality.  Chaired by Christopher Henshilwood.  
Cape Town, South Africa.  2009.

--(xii) Top-Down Causation & Volition. Chaired by Christof Koch.  Yosemite National Park, 2007.

--(xiii) Conscious Process and Free Action.  Chaired by Roy Baumeister. Amelia Island, Florida, 2008.

--(xiv) Mathematics and its Significance. Chaired by Sir John Polkinghorne.  Castel Gondolfo, Italy. 2007

--(xv)  Purpose in Evolution.  Chaired by Simon Conway-Morris.  Castel Godolfo, Italy, 2004.

--(xvi)  The Far Future Universe.  Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 2000.  Chaired by George Ellis.
(with Co-organization of the first awarding of the Gruber Foundation Prize in Cosmology.

--(xvii)  Relational Ontology in Science & Theology.  Chaired by the President of the Academy of Athens, John Zizioulas with Sir John Polkinghorne, The Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece. 2005.

--(xviii) Evolution Purpose & Meaning.  Co-chaired by Martin Seligman and Robert Wright,  Lyford Cay, Bahamas,  2000.

---(xix) Psychoneuroimmunonlogy and the Faith Factor in Human Health.  Chaired by Harold Koenig.  Duke University, 1999.

---(xx)  Innovations in Material and Spiritual Cultures: Exploring the Conjectured Links.  Chaired by Lord Colin Renfrew.  Les Eyzies, France, 2004.

---(xxi)  Spiritual Dimensions of Healing.  Chaired by Sarah Coakley.  Queen’s College, Cambridge University, 2004.

---(xxii)  Emergent Reality:  A Critical Appraisal.  Chaired by Paul Davies.  The Alhambra, Grenada, Spain, 2002.

---(xxiii)  The Science of Non-Locality and Eastern Approaches to Ultimate Reality.  Chaired by Bruno Guiderdoni.  Jongny-Sur-Vevey, 2002.

---(xxiv)  Light From Light:  An Exploration of Scientific and Theological Relationships Referencing Reality.  Chaired By Gerald O’Connor and John Polkinghorne.  Istanbul, Turkey, 2009.

(Additional 11 symposia: )

Water of Life:  Counterfactual Chemistry and Fine-Tuning in Biochemistry
(Symposium & book project, Varenna, Italy, in partnership with the Piero Caldirola International Center for the Promotion of Science.)

Science and Beyond: Consciousness, Cosmology and Technology in the Indic Traditions, 
January 8-11, 2003

National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

Forgiveness Research Project / Forgiveness & Reconciliation Research,
Major grants competition and multi-donor fund development project:

The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, grants competition 
(SUNY, Stony Brook)  Very large scale project.*
* Productivity:

Deep Beauty:  Mathematical Innovation and the Search for an Underlying Intelligibility of the Quantum World  (Princeton, 2007, research symposium and book project )

Spirit in the World: The Dynamics of Pentecostal Growth (at USC, 2006)
Major grants competition:

Extended Life; Eternal Life.  U Penn, 2000, research symposium and book project.

Origin of the Laws of Nature and the Existence of God.  
2004 Paris symposium at the Ecole Normale Superieur.

Dio, la natura e la legge.  Villa Monastero, Varenna, symposium & book project, partnership with the Piero Caldirola International Center for the Promotion of Science. 

First Oslo Freedom Forum/ Human Rights Foundation (Oslo, Norway, 2009)  (Talks on-line.  To become an annual series, based on the initial success of the first ‘catalyst’ program.)

British Abolitionism, Moral Progress & Big Questions in History (London, 2007) Research symposium and public lecture by David Brion Davis: “Slavery, Emancipation & Human Progress.  ;
With an additional special prizes event at the House of Lords

Templeton Freedom Awards (large-scale international program):

The Teach Freedom Initiative of the Atlas Foundation for Economic Research.

Templeton Institute for the Advanced Study of Freedom. 
Newport, RI, May 1999

Templeton Institute for the Advanced Study of Freedom. 
Galway, Ireland, May 2000

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics meeting on the future development of “Exoplanetary Astronomy/Cosmology”, 1999

Harvard University, Vision-development & planning meeting, 2003
for the Spiritual Capital Research Project

Spiritual Capital Research Program, grants competition:

Spiritual Transformation Research Project, grants competition

Templeton Advanced Research Program, grants competition:

Emergence of Biological Complexity, grants competition:|54

Templeton Research Lectures, grants competition:

Faith in the Future: Health Care, Aging & the Role of Religion (Duke University, 2001, partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Future Visions 2000, partnership with the State of the World Forum.
(Also developed a Templeton themes track for the 1999 State of the World Forum meeting, San Francisco.)

Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health

Religion & Social Capital; American Grace; Civic Engagement in America (Harvard)  Research projects directed by Robert Putnam.

Reflections on Religious Liberty (Princeton University)

Constituting the Future: A Symposium on Religious Liberty, Law and Flourishing Societies (Istanbul, April 2009)  Included a televised public meeting broadcast on Turkish TV. Included an audience & address by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Darwin 150/200 Anniversary Conference (Istanbul, 2009.  Included:
  - British Council Mobile Museum Exhibition
  - Dramatic presentation of the Charles Darwin-Asa Grey correspondence; 
  - Expert panel and audience Q&A filmed on Turkish Television.  
  - & book project.

The Future of Freedom in Russia (Library of Congress, Washington DC, 1999 conference & book project.  Chaired by the Librarian, the Hon. James H. Billington. Book: )

Accelerating Creativity (1999 Washington DC research symposium)
(The Gruber Foundation Prizes were initiated as a consequence of Peter Gruber’s participation in this meeting, listening to John Barrow’s lecture.

The Science of Optimism and Hope (in honor of Martin Seligman’s APA Presidency, Philadelphia 1998 symposium and book project.

The Science of Wisdom and the Laws of Life. (Fuller Seminary, Symposium 1998 and book project. )

A Journey to Hope: A Research Workshop to Launch the John Templeton Foundation’s  Program to Encourage the scientific Study of Forgiveness.  (Hope College Symposium 1997 and book project. )

John Templeton Oxford Seminars on Science & Christianity  (for faculty).  Directed by Alister McGrath.

Biology & Purpose: Altruism, Morality & Human Nature in Evolutionary Theory. Calvin College, summer research seminar for faculty, 2001.  Directed by Philip Clayton & Jeff Schloss.

Works of Love: Scientific & Theological Perspectives on Altruism.  Calvin College summer research seminar for faculty, 2004.  Directed by Stephen Post.

Nature in Belief: Evolutionary Explanation, Biological Function, & Religious Purpose.  Calvin College summer research seminar for faculty, 2004.  Directed by Jeff Schloss & Alvin Plantinga.

Science & Religion in Islam.  Paris-based major international program directed by Bruno Guiderdoni, director of the Observatory of Lyon.

The Big Questions in Science & Religion. Keith Ward book project, 2008.

Galileo Goes to Jail.  (Conference & book project.)
Book: Harvard University Press, 2008.  Editor: Ron Numbers, President of the History of Science Society and of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/ Division of History of Science and Technology.

Immaculle Ilibagiza (Rwandan genocide survivor, writer, visionary).  
Bahamian speaking tour, 2008.

2009 NYC Harvard Club public event featuring Dambisa Moyo on her book, “Dead Aid”, hosted by William Easterly.  On-line video record:

Developed initial vision and strategy for the Higher Education Reform Affinity Group of the Philanthropy Roundtable  (Several meetings.)

Stanford-interdisciplinary research project on understanding the “emergence of civilization” involving spirituality & religious ritual  at Catalhoyuk, Anatolia.  Directed by Ian Hodder. 2006.

Special public events for the “Campaign for Forgiveness Research.”
	--Atlanta, dinner hosting Desmond Tutu, hosted by Andrew Young
--Boston, dinner with South African scientist, anti-apartheid activist 
and Quaker leader, George Ellis

Developed concepts for programs of the radio show “Speaking of Faith” directed and produced by Krista Tippett.  For example: “Science & Hope.”
And: “Einstein’s Religion”:

Developed concepts for programs of the PBS radio show “Philosophy Talk.”   For example:

Philadelphia area colleges & universities lecture tour for 2008 Templeton Laureate:  Michael Heller.

St. Anne’s College, Oxford University.  Celebratory faculty dinner-discussion meeting for the 2008 Templeton Laureate, Michael Heller.
Organized by Andrew Briggs.

Initial development of the “Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies” of the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.  Director:  Michael Heller

Planning symposium, “Toward a New Philosophy of Cosmology.”  The Royal Society of  London, May 2007.

90th Birthday celebration book project for Sir John Templeton.  
100 scholarly essays. Book:  “Spiritual Information: 100 Perspectives.”
A second book of “10 Best” expanded essays is in-press.

85th Birthday celebrations  (students special evening and celebratory dinner) at Peking University for Ian Barbour (born in Beijing, October 5th, 1923).  Featuring Nobel laureate  Charles Townes and three Templeton Laureates:  Ian Barbour, George Ellis & Paul Davies.  Linked with a Cambridge University Faraday Institute day course for students developed by Denis Alexander, October 2008.

More than 40 large-scale board meetings  (Advisors, Members, Trustees) with many adjunct activities (cruises, tours, lectures, special events).

“Salon” series of special themed dinner events in my home. (2005/6/7/8)