Each location presents new challenges and new innovators. We hold conversations with citizens and government administrators. We recruit and select innovators with experience and skills in business, engineering, IT and design, as well as a passion for creating impact. And we build and strengthen relationships with industry, local government and academia. Universal themes are health, citizen empowerment, housing, transportation, food, agriculture, financial inclusion, energy, water, and education. The specifics can vary in each location, while the solutions should have broad applicability.
Innovators form teams around challenges. They take field trips. They select key stakeholders to focus on. They identify data sets they need. After several rounds of mentoring, they propose a solution to address the problem for the stakeholders, using the data they will collect. Many of them will continue as interns, to work on their solutions throughout the year.
Corporations join the MIT Media Lab and the Emerging Worlds initiative to access bottom-up innovation, train their employees in innovation, recognize talent, and have an impact.
We ask big, provocative questions such as: What billion dollar ideas could impact a billion lives in health, education, transportation through DIPS, DOPS and DAPS -- digital interfaces, digital opportunities, and applications for physical systems? What can be solved with technologies and tools like machine learning, computer vision, Big Data, sensors, mobile technology, diagnostics and crowdsourcing?
EyeNetra: a solution to a big problem
We know that solutions to big problems are possible, since we have created so many already. One notable example that came out of the MIT Media Lab is EyeNetra, a portable system that can dial someone’s prescription correction. Innovations like this launched the effort to create the Emerging Worlds initiative.
Portable and Modular
This innovation platform is both portable and modular. After proving the model in three sites in India – Hyderabad, Mumbai and Nashik – we are bringing it to Mexico, Slovakia and Brazil.