Our Next Event at the MIT Media Lab is Monday, April 11, 2016

About the Event:

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Roll up your sleeves with other participants as the MIT Media Lab team leads an innovation exercise to “spot” and “probe” on exciting Emerging Worlds challenges.
  • Discuss the Emerging Worlds platform and innovations and learn how to scale your ideas and contribute your problem statements.
  • Bring colleagues from your organization interested in the Emerging Worlds innovations and sandboxes to share the experience.

Read the event website HERE

For information on OUR Most recent EVENT IN NASHIK, INDIA JANUARY 23-29 Click HERE


The Emerging Worlds Initiative

The Emerging Worlds initiative is a unique, bottom-up innovation platform designed for addressing big challenges worldwide. Emerging worlds – cities, states, or regions – present great opportunities to test and deploy ideas. We convene people with diverse interests, skills and backgrounds – young engineers, business people and designers – to collaborate openly with government officials, business leaders and academics, as well as with Media Lab researchers. Together, we look for creative solutions to pressing local challenges that can be solved with new technology, including machine learning, Internet of Things, Big Data and mobile devices. We understand the culture of deployment. Join us to get in on the action!

Celebrating Success in Nashik, October 2015

On October 26th and 27th, 2015, we hosted a fantastic event at the MIT Media Lab about the Emerging Worlds initiative! Thank you for those who attended and made it memorable and meaningful.

Elected officials, government leaders, business executives, innovators and entrepreneurs joined us from Nashik, India to share their experience with the Kumbh Mela. With a lot of planning, coordination and hard work, along with innovative development, the festival of 30 million people went without a hitch. The city of Nashik set a high bar for future pop-up cities.

In this pop-up city, over the course of a year or so, innovators developed solutions that made a difference. Solutions ranged from crowd management to food logistics, pop-up housing and 3D mapping. Other cities where we are fostering innovation include Mumbai and Hyderabad, India; Bratislava, Slovakia; Guadalajara, Mexico; and São Paulo, Brazil. In each location, innovations are created by citizens for citizens, in the context of the local culture. It is very empowering to all involved!

Watch Ramesh Raskar present on Emerging Worlds at the MIT Media Lab


Social and economic impact on A large scale

Emerging Worlds is a Special Interest Group (SIG) focused on emerging opportunities for citizens in resource-limited settings. It is a co-innovation initiative to build platforms to solve pressing challenges in areas such as health, education, financial inclusion, food and agriculture, housing, transportation, and local business.

Emerging Worlds are vibrant ecosystems where we roll out new and innovative citizen-based technologies to create a framework to support wide-ranging needs of urban populations. The innovation efforts all utilize the same methodology, host camps or "buildathons", and maintain a year-round relationship with MIT mentors and local innovators. Each location is also a hub of the area’s innovation ecosystem – bringing together innovators and various stakeholders from government, industry, and academia.


Watch selected talks from the October 27 Emerging Worlds Event including: Media Lab Director, Joi Ito, TCS CEO, N Chandra, and government officials from Nashik, India


Early stage innovation: “spot” and “probe”

The innovation efforts specialize in early stage innovation – through prototyping. The “spot” phase generates ideas for solutions, which will satisfy a significant need. The “probe” phase creates a working prototype to test the technical and business feasibility of the solution. When innovators are ready to grow and scale their solutions, they can go to market right away, or pivot to another solution. Every innovator participant continues to have access to fellow innovators and others in the ecosystem.



The Emerging Worlds platform is creating a model for “smart citizens” that is being tested in India, so that it can be deployed in other non-metro cities around the globe that are home to a significant portion of the world’s population experiencing similar challenges. From an Open Systems Interconnection model perspective, the team is facilitating the connection between the data and physical layers, thus enabling interoperability, communication and functionality. This is a highly collaborative project, involving researchers from multiple disciplines such as public health and safety, biology, computer science, statistics, mathematics, fabrication, hardware and software simulation and modeling.