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Innovation

Promoting systemic change in the Middle East, the “MIT way”

The Middle East is a region that is facing complicated challenges. MIT programs have been committed to building scalable methodologies through which students and the broader MIT community can learn and make an impact. These processes ensure programs work alongside others across cultures to support change aligned with their needs. Through MIT International Science and […]

MIT Governance Lab hosts speaker series on governance innovation

Late this spring, the MIT Governance Lab (MIT GOV/LAB) hosted a pair of online conversations between public service leaders about governance innovation. Discussion topics included how governments can be motivated to innovate and what role design can play in reforming government and public services.  MIT GOV/LAB is an applied research group directed by Lily L. […]

Bringing hope and transformation to the Democratic Republic of Congo

MIT graduate student Milain Fayulu is on a mission. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fayulu is telling, and selling, the story of his nation in the hope of aiding its people and transforming its economy. For decades, the DRC has been hobbled by corruption and bloody civil conflicts. “I grew up with […]

Expanding energy access in rural Lesotho

Matt Orosz’s mission for the last 20 years can be explained with a single picture: a satellite image of the world at night, with major cities blazing with light and large swaths of land shrouded in darkness. The image reminds Orosz SM ’03, SM ’06, PhD ’12 of what he’s trying to change. Orosz is […]

Affordable prosthetics and orthotics to rival the world’s best devices

In 2014, Arun Cherian returned to his home country of India to help his sister with her wedding. By that time Cherian had earned his master’s in mechanical engineering at Columbia University, spent four years as a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, and was pursuing his PhD at Purdue University, where he […]

Multiplying the MIT $100K’s impact

In two weeks, students will gather in Kresge Auditorium for the 26th annual MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. The event has served as a springboard for a number of iconic companies over the years. But the full impact of the $100K competition has been far wider. For more than 20 years, the $100K format — which […]

Leveraging science and technology against the world’s top problems

Looking back on nearly a half-century at MIT, Richard K. Lester, associate provost and Japan Steel Industry Professor, sees a “somewhat eccentric professional trajectory.” But while his path has been irregular, there has been a clearly defined through line, Lester says: the emergence of new science and new technologies, the potential of these developments to shake […]

Bridging communities to reimagine cultural preservation

Many young people in rural communities around the world feel the need move to big cities in order to find work. The migration has unfortunate ripple effects. In the cities, people with less formal education are often relegated to slums and can become the victims of exploitation. Meanwhile, the families, communities, and rich cultural traditions […]

Training STEM teachers to uncover students’ full potential

In the summer of 2011, MIT PhD student Heather Beem travelled to a rural region of Ghana to try engaging students from low-resource schools in hands-on learning projects. She began by asking a group of high school students what they wanted to work on. “They said, ‘Anything, whatever you want,’” Beem recalls. Hoping to narrow […]

A life-changing fertilizer for rural farmers in Kenya

Most commercial fertilizer travels a long way before it reaches rural farmers in Kenya. Transportation costs force many farmers to rely on cheap, synthetic fertilizers, which can lead to the acidification and degradation of their soil over time. The situation amounts to a multigenerational crisis as elders have watched their crop yields dwindle over the […]

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