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Leadership News

D-Lab Course & Instructor News

International Development Innovation Network

Practical Impact Alliance

D-Lab in the News

Dan Frey named D-Lab faculty director
MIT News, Jul 27, 2016

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow Wardah Inam

Wardah Inam wins D-Lab Scale Ups fellowship for social entrepreneurship
Tata Center for Technology and Design, Jul 26, 2016

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship

D-Lab Scale-Ups awards four fellowships totaling $80,000 to social entrepreneurs
MIT News, Jul 25, 2016

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow/IDIN Network Member Arun Cherian

This Indian Left His PhD in the US to Create the World’s First Prosthetic Legs Made of Cane
The Better India, Jul 23, 2016

D-Lab Alumna

Founder of MyH2O talks about “connecting solutions” to map water quality in China
Tata Center for Technology and Design, Jul 14, 2016

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow Kristin Kagetsu

Video! 100% Biodegradable Sanitary Pads To Improve Menstrual Hygiene of Women in Rural India
The Better India, Jul 12, 2016

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abioloa

Quartz Africa Innovators 2016 list
Quartz, Jul 8, 2016

D-Lab Creative Capacity Building

United Nations teams up with MIT to overhaul "very top-down" refugee design strategy
dezeen, Jul 5, 2016

Fall 2016 D-Lab Classes

Fall Registration Day Open House: Tuesday, September 5, 12-1 pm at D-Lab!

11.025/11.472 (G)
A hands-on introduction to international development and appropriate technology. Enrollment limited by lottery; must attend first class session. Instructors: Libby Hsu, Bish Sanyal, Amy Smith

EC. 721
Student teams conduct semester-long wheelchair projects relating to hardware design, manufacturing, biomechanics modeling, and business plan development. Instructor: Matt McCambridge

EC.729 /2.729
Students work with social enterprises to develop established prototypes toward market-ready products. Lessons are hands-on and case based. Students from all majors encouraged to enroll. Instructors: Matt McCambridge, Kate Bergeron, Harald Quintus-Bosz

An exploratory action lab on founding, financing, and building entrepreneurial ventures targeting developing countries, emerging markets, and underserved consumers everywhere. Instructors: Joost Bonsen, Sandy Pentland

Introduces concepts of supply chain design and operations with a focus on supply chains for products destined to improve quality of life in developing countries. Students conduct projects on supply chain design or improvement.   Instructor: Stephen Graves

A multi-disciplinary approach to waste management in low- and middle-income countries with strategies that diminish greenhouse gas emissions and provide enterprise opportunities for marginalized populations. 
Instructor: Kate Mytty

A course that provides a framework for understanding gender dynamics, and offers students the skills they need to conduct a gender analysis and integrate gender-sensitive strategies into large- and small-scale development solutions.
Instructors: Libby McDonald & Martha Thompson

International Development Innovation Network Summits

Hands-on design experiences that bring together people from all walks of life to create low-cost, practical innovations to improve the lives of people living in poverty.

IDDS Cookstoves
Aug 1- Aug 19, 2016
Kampala, Uganda

IDDS Sustainable Homes 
June 11-26, 2017
Sololá, Guatemala

IDDS Climate Change  
June 19-July 2, 2017
Bogotá, Colombia

IDDS Sisaket
July 21–August 9, 2017
Sisaket, Thailand

MIT Nov 10-12

A convening of researchers, students, entrepreneurs and innovators, development and field practitioners, and private sector representatives focused on highlighting cutting-edge solutions to critical development challenges. 

Sign up here for updates!  

Read advance MIT News story here!
Header Images (l-r):
1) Sand wheelchair project, IDDS Botswana..  
2) Participants from IDDS Amazon.

3. New D-Lab Scale-Ups fellow Wardah Inam of uLink in the field.


Summer transitions 

Eight years ago, Victor Grau Serrat became the first official D-Lab employee. Hired by founder Amy Smith, Victor went on to become Co-Director, teaching numerous classes and playing a major role in D-Lab’s significant growth in funding, programming, and impact. He stepped down from his position earlier this month to pursue interests in impact investing. We are grateful for his many contributions and will deeply miss his good humor, warmth, friendship, and leadership. Meanwhile, Dan Frey, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, joined D-Lab as our new Faculty Director. We are pleased to add Dan’s talent to the leadership team to help us achieve our research and program goals. Stay tuned for an announcement on a newly established Executive Director position and for all the latest news on Amy Smith’s summer work in the field. Until then, please enjoy this months's digest which is chock-full of IDDS, Scale-Ups, and class updates.
   - Kofi Taha, D-Lab Associate Director; IDIN Program Manager

D-Lab Leadership News

Victor Grau Serrat reflects on more than eight years with D-Lab

"We dreamt big along the way, wrote grants and successfully raised millions of dollars to first launch D-Lab Scale-Ups, and later the International Development Innovation Initiative (IDIN) and the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) in collaboration with others. During my tenure, D-Lab moved from a shipping and receiving room, to a condemned building, to the fantastic suite of classrooms, offices, and workshops that it occupies today above the MIT Museum." Read Victor's parting blog post, My journey with MIT D-Lab: (personal) Discovery and (professional) Development!

Please welcome Dan Frey, D-Lab's new Faculty Director!

Professor J. Kim Vandiver, MIT dean for undergraduate research, who has functioned in the role of Faculty Director since D-Lab's earliest days says, “I am delighted to have Dan Frey take on this important leadership role in D-Lab ... He combines a deep interest in design with a desire to strengthen research, which will have positive impact in the developing world.” Says D-Lab Founder Amy Smith, “I’ve had the pleasure of teaching with Dan and am excited that he will be joining us in this capacity. Dan and his approach to systems thinking will be a valuable asset for D-Lab as we move forward with our strategic plan.” Read more about Dan Frey and his D-Lab appointment on MIT News!

D-Lab Course & Instructor News

New fall 2016 course! D-Lab: Gender

Martha Thomson and  Libby McDonald will teach a new course, D-Lab: Gender in fall 2016. The course will explore gender roles, illuminate the power dynamics and root causes of inequality, provide a framework for understanding gender dynamics, and offer students the skills they need to conduct a gender analysis and integrate gender-sensitive strategies into large- and small-scale development solutions. Read Martha's blog post about the course!

D-Lab: Mobility instructor Matt McCambridge works with IDDS Botswana team on deep sand wheelchair

D-Lab: Mobility instructor Matt McCambridge attended his first International Development Design Summit (IDDS Botswana) and coordinated a team working on a wheelchair that would function in the deep sand. While the team proved the value of the concept, and set up a team member to continue to work locally, Matt will make the continuation of the project a priority for the D-Lab: Mobility class this fall.  Read Matt's blog post about their process and design.

D-Lab: Education - Teaching electricity, lighting, and circuit building in Uganda

A team of students from D-Lab: Education (Barbara Lima MIT ’16, Kelly Liu MIT ’16, Jeannie Yoon Wellesley ’17, Ava Zhang Harvard ’16) that worked throughout the 2016 spring semester to develop a curriculum on the fundamentals of electricity, lighting, and circuitry for Ayilo Primary School had the chance to implement their work in Uganda this summer! Read D-Lab: Education student blog post!

International Development Innovation Network (IDIN)

Playing, creating and learning together at IDDS Educación

Forty-seven participants gathered from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, United States, Canada, El Salvador, Finland, México, and Thailand for IDDS Educación. Together they spent two weeks sharing experiences from different educational contexts all over the world, building new education tools, and filling the halls of our lodgings at Escuela Taller with music and dancing. Read Tricia Johnson's blog post about the summit!

Dkar Innovation Center Opens in Botswana!

In mid July, the D'kar Innovation Center officially opened its doors to the public in Botswana. Known locally as Tcee Nquu, or the "House of Creativity and Innovation," the innovation center is comprised of two parts: a workshop, and an information communications technology (ICT) space. In the workshop, members will have access to power tools, hand tools, and prototyping materials. In the space, computers, printers, and wireless internet will be available. Read more!

Video from IDDS Amazon!

For two weeks in July, IDDS Amazon brought together 40 participants from diverse backgrounds to co-create development solutions with “ribeirinhos,” fishing and farming communities who live along the banks of the Amazon River in northern Brazil. Five teams formed to operate temporary workshops, or “laboratorios,” which served as collaborative spaces to co-create innovative solutions to development challenges related to water, food, energy, construction, and one open call topic. Get a glimpse into the IDDS Amazon experience with this lovely video!

Practical Impact Alliance

Creative Capacity Building & the Fall 2016 PIA Co-Design Summit

The MIT Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) Co-Design Summit is a hands-on design experience that will bring together a diverse group of people from PIA member organizations, Zambian entrepreneurs and innovators, and members of a local community to co-create solutions to pressing local problems and catalyze an innovation ecosystem more broadly. Read this interview with D-Lab Founder Amy Smith about the role Creative Capacity Building will play in the summit!

Copyright © 2016 MIT D-Lab, All rights reserved.

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

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