A proven framework for innovation
We design solutions to the world's most pressing problems, in context, using the most modern technology, with the mentorship of MIT scientists and in collaboration with leaders from Government, Academia and Industry. The Emerging Worlds innovation platform is organized around solving major challenges, empowering citizens, and impacting billions of people with new methods and devices, using the most modern technology.
The emphasis is on bottom-up innovation (in context), open linkage to the local innovation ecosystem, direction and mentorship from MIT Media Lab administrators and scientists, and focus on impactful outcomes.
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.
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?
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.
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.