Date(s) - 06/26/2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant and the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, President of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, discuss ethics, science and a spiritual path.


Dr. Larry Brilliant is a physician and epidemiologist, CEO of Pandefense Advisory, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the NGO Ending Pandemics. He is also a senior advisor to Jeff Skoll and serves on the board of the Skoll Foundation. Dr. Brilliant was previously the president and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, vice president of Google, and the founding executive director of He also co-founded the Seva Foundation, an NGO whose programs have given back sight to more than 5 million blind people in two dozen countries. In addition, he co-founded The Well, a progenitor of today’s social media platforms. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brilliant was an associate professor of epidemiology and international health planning at the University of Michigan. Dr. Brilliant lived in India for nearly a decade where he was a key member of the successful WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme for SE Asia as well as the WHO Polio Eradication Programme. More recently, he was chairman of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Committee, which was created by presidential directive of President George W. Bush, he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk, and a “First Responder” for CDC’s bio-terrorism response effort. Recent awards include the TED Prize, Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, “International Public Health Hero,” and four honorary doctorates. He has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, Berkeley and many other colleges, spoken at the Royal Society, the Pentagon, NIH, the United Nations, and some of the largest companies and nonprofits all over the world. He has written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and other magazines and peer reviewed journals and was part of the Global Business Network where he learned scenario planning. Dr. Brilliant is the author of “Sometimes Brilliant,” a memoir about working to eradicate smallpox, and a guide to managing vaccination programs entitled “The Management of Smallpox Eradication.”

Expertise: Epidemiology, public health, virology and infectious diseases, diagnostics, public policy, national security, philanthropy

The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is an innovative thinker, philosopher, educator and a polymath monk. He is President & CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a center dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on theethical and humane dimensions of life. The Center is a collaborative and nonpartisan think tank, and itsprograms emphasize responsibility and examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals,organizations, and societies. Six Nobel Peace Laureates serve as The Center’s foundingmembers and its programs run in several countries and are expanding.Venerable Tenzin’s unusual background encompasses entering a Buddhist monastery at the age of tenand receiving graduate education at Harvard University with degrees ranging from Philosophy to Physics to International Relations. He is a Tribeca Disruptive Fellow and a 2018 Fellow at the Center forAdvanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.Venerable Tenzin serves on the boards of number of academic, humanitarian, and religiousorganizations. He is the recipient of several recognitions and awards, and received Harvard’sDistinguished Alumni Honors for his visionary contributions to humanity. He is the author of Running Toward Mystery

Praise for Running Toward Mystery:

“Enthralling from beginning to end, Running Toward Mystery encourages us all to connect with our deeper and higher self. Venerable Tenzin is a spiritual teacher much needed in our complex world hungry for meaning. And his journey, seamlesslytraversing multiple worlds, is awe-inspiring.”

—Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

“In a modern world that is increasingly disenchanted, Tenzin Priyadarshi’s Running Towards Mystery provides a necessary and captivating narrative of spiritual courage and truth seeking far beyond the veil of our contemporary delusions.”

—Sting, Musician

Running Towards Mystery is not merely a book, but an experience, a biography, a formula for living, and a manifesto for a new kind of exploration of life. Tenzin Priyadarshi writes with the extraordinary conviction and grace that can only come from fulfillment. This book produces a kind of joy — and a nudge towards curiosity — that only few books can provide. It is, at the same time, a pathway and a journey. I could not put it down.”

—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of The Emperor of All Maladies