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D-Lab Academics
D-Lab Scale-Ups
- Research
- International Development Innovation Network
MIT Practical Impact Alliance
- D-Lab Alumni 
Earthquake Relief

Our hearts go out to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Please consider supporting the earthquake relief efforts of Abari, a socially and environmentally committed research, design and construction firm in Nepal. One of Abari's chief architects is Nripal Adhikary, a member of International Development Innovation Network, headquartered at D-Lab.
Miss the 2015 conference? Wish to revisit certain sessions?

Blog Posts

Reaching the Last Mile: Distribution Models for Energy Products
- Saida Benhayoune

Measuring Impact on the Path to Scale
- Laura Budzyna

Getting the Right Products to Scale: Technology Evaluation for Water Filters
- Susan Murcott

Collaborative Innovation Networks and the Challenges of Building Them - Rebecca Smith

Making Impact Assessment Meaningful and Manageable
- Elizabeth Hoffecker

Bridging the Affordability Gap: Increasing Access to Products & Services through Financing
- Benji Moncivaiz

Stay tuned for additional conference blog posts next month!

Conference Video

Welcome with Joost Bonsen, Fiona Murray, Chris Shipley and Victor Grau Serrat.

"Big Impact from a Thing: Four Questions"Keynote speaker Kevin Starr, Mulago Foundation 

"Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid, By the Base of the Pyramid" - Panel discussion with 
Betty Ikalany, David Monina Sengeh, David Saleh, Amy Smith, Bhaskar Chakravorti, moderated by Kara Miller

"Measuring Outcomes and Impacts on the Path to Scale" - Panel discussion with Kevin Starr, Kasia Stochinol, Mike McCreless, Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, moderated by Kendra Leith.

"Collaborative Innovation Networks and the Challenges of Building Them" - Panel discussion with Winthrop Carty, Sean Hewens, Amit Mistry, moderated by Jona Repishti

USAID Higher Education Solutions Network & Global Development Lab - Keynote speaker Ticora Jones

D-Lab in the News

Pictured above: The Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR), which was brought into the D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program by Kevin Cedrone. The sensor and feedback device offers doctors, nurses, trainers and trainees live feedback on their resuscitation technique to improve their skills.

Scale-Ups Fellow Kevin Cedrone Giving newborn babies 'air' to breathe
BBC - Apr 21, 2015

D-Lab: How to Attract Female Engineers
New York Times - Apr 27, 2015

D-Lab: The Innovative OS That’ll Bring PCs to the Developing World
Wired - Apr 17, 2015

Scale-Ups: MIT Scaling Development Ventures: Bridging innovation and impact
MIT News - Apr 7, 2015

Scale-Ups Fellow Kwami Williams: Taking action in Africa
MIT News - Apr 7, 2015
Header Images (l-r): D-Lab's Amy Smith and members of the MIT Practical Impact Alliance in the D-Lab workshop; D-Lab: Energy student on spring break fieldwork in El Salvador; D-Lab Scale-Ups fellow Kwami William's latest product line from MoringaConnect - Minga Foods.

From plight to promise

The following is an excerpt from a blog post by D-Lab associate director Kofi Taha, "Reflections on on an earthquake: from plight to promise."

I feel deeply privileged to be part of D-Lab where we collectively try to learn how to best answer the call to act, not only in moments of dramatic crisis, but also in response to the quiet crises that threaten opportunity and well being every day  for half the world's population. Through our small program – where an exciting mixture of students, staff, faculty, alumni and international collaborators from the public and private sector regularly interact with creative force – we will only touch a tiny fraction of the need we speak of when discussing "global poverty," but without a doubt, we are learning more everyday about moving from plight to promise. I invite you to explore the wide range of ways we pursue this knowledge, many of which are highlighted below. 

           - Kofi Taha, Associate Director, MIT D-Lab 

D-Lab Academics

Attracting female engineers - the D-Lab way

"At the interdisciplinary D-Lab at M.I.T., which focuses on developing “technologies that improve the lives of people living in poverty,” 74 percent of over 230 enrolled students this past year were women. This makes the D-Lab one of the few engineering initiatives in the country that has a severalfold higher enrollment of women than men. . . It is not just about gender equity — it is about doing better engineering for us all." Read full New York Times article.

D-Lab Spring Student Showcase, May 8

What are students working on D-Lab this semester? A device to allow riders who have only one arm to propel a wheelchair, a passive heating strategy for a high-altitude school, and much more. Students from D-Lab: Design, D-Lab: Earth, D-Lab: Energy, and D-Lab: Dissemination WASH-Env will be presenting projects. With community partners in Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Puerto Rico, Jordan, El Salvador, Uganda, and Tanzania, student projects range across sectors including agriculture, energy, water sanitation and access, and assistive devices.  Read more!

D-Lab Scale-Ups

Scale-Ups Fellow Retreat

Each year, D-Lab Scale-Ups brings together a group of past and current fellows for a retreat and to attend the MIT Scaling Development Ventures conference. Fellows from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, Ghana, and US-based fellows came together to learn from each other and from invited guests. Workshops focused on decisions facing fellows about manufacturing and how fellows can make their ventures investment-ready. This year, fellows also got to meet with members of the MIT Practical Impact Alliance. Read more.

D-Lab Research

D-Lab Biomass Fuel & Stoves Group

Traditional means of cooking pose acute and chronic health risks, introduce time burdens on women and children, contribute to unsustainable harvest of forests, and in many cases, represent a significant cost burden on base of the economic pyramid households. D-Lab is committed to addressing these issues through:

  • Applied research to evaluate existing fuel and stove technology and design improved solutions
  • Supporting a community of social entrepreneurs who are supplying clean fuels and stoves to their communities
  • Engaging in international agreements to increase the quality, availability and sustained adoption of clean cooking technology
Learn more about the D-Lab Biomass Fuel & Cookstoves group including research areas, testing capabilities, and partners!

Advancing lean research in international development

Academics, researchers, practitioners, and donors from leading institutions in international development came together in April for a the second meeting organized by the D-Lab and Tufts Lean Research team, which has established principles for conducting human-centered field research. Visit the Lean Research webpage to download the Lean Research Framework and the draft working paper, and to sign the Lean Research Declaration! Read MIT News article.

International Development Innovation Network (IDIN)

Two IDIN teams named MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Award winners

Two IDIN-affiliated teams—Sensen and Voca—were named winners in this year’s MIT IDEAS Global Challenge competition. This year, nearly 60 student teams competed for just 11 prizes. IDEAS, which is managed by the MIT Public Service Center, was co-founded by IDIN director and MIT D-Lab founder and co-director Amy Smith. Read more!

A conversation with the organizers of summits in Colombia, India, and Botswana

IDIN communications coordinator Lauren McKown sat down with the organizers of  this summers' three design summits to learn more about their plans. Read her conversation with Thabiso Blak Mashaba (left), lead organizer for IDDS D’Kar in Dekar, Botswana; Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, lead organizer for IDDS Zero Waste in Cali, Colombia; and Habib Anwar, lead organizer for IDDS Aarogyam in Chennai, India.

Practical Impact Alliance

Members convene, learn new skills

On April 10, Practical Impact Alliance members from around the world dug in to case studies related to the year’s selected Working Group themes, connected with with up-and-coming entrepreneurs supported by the D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program, engaged with MIT student innovators through the IDEAS Global Challenge, and rolled up their sleeves for a team-building activity that doubled as an introduction to lost-foam casting, a basic manufacturing process particularly useful for prototyping. Read more!

D-Lab Alumni

Netia McCray, founder of Mbadika

Netia McCray graduated from MIT in 2014 with a degree in political science. While an undergraduate, she founded Mbadika, fostering youth-driven innovation and entrepreneurship through hands-on workshops in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Netia writes that her "main motivation to participate in D-Lab was to learn how I could incorporate D-Lab's methods and knowledge in order to increase the impact of Mbadika." Read Netia's blog!

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MIT D-Lab is tackling the poverty challenge through experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, and scalability.

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