Monthly Archive for July, 2010

Meet IDEAS10 Winners!

Thanks to summer intern Stephen Kaliski for this brisk introduction to some of the people and ideas behind this year’s winning IDEAS teams. Kudos all!

MIT IDEAS Participants from MIT Global Challenge on Vimeo.

A Passion to Make the World A Better Place

There are many familiar faces in this inspiring MIT Department of Engineering video – congrats to everyone, ans a special shout out to IDEAS winners who continue to apply problem-solving prowess to humanitarian problems!

The International Development Design Summit

Fort Collins, Colorado has been hosting the International Development Design Summit for the past few weeks. It’s a gathering of students and teachers, professors and pastors, economists and engineers, masons and mechanics, doctors, welders, farmers, and community organizers from around the world. Attendees come together to develop new technologies, build prototypes and work towards the realization of ideas. MIT is co-sponsoring the event and some of our own from the D-Lab can be found in Colorado. This year their focus has been on the dissemination of nine featured inventions.

Those nine ideas range from a pressurized, portable bamboo treatment system in Nepal, a water filter in India targeted towards women, a method for transforming Haitian agricultural waste into fuel, an affordable nipple shield to prevent HIV from spreading through a mother’s milk, a safer way to clean water with chlorine, a household water filter in Africa, irrigation technologies for smaller farms in Asia, a solar heating system in Brazil, and solar lights in the Himalayas. If you find yourself in Fort Collins this afternoon, the prototypes are open to the public.

An introduction and a hello.

katemyttyHello! I’m Kate Mytty, the newest addition to the MIT Public Service Center team. I’m joining Lars in the building and growing of Global Challenge and managing the IDEAS Competition. You’ll see me here talking about what’s going on at MIT, with the Global Challenge, international development and all things related.

To give you a bit of an idea of who I am: I’m from Nebraska, lived in Wisconsin for eight years and then moved out to Boston. When I’m not here, you can find me exploring the world by foot or bicycle, reading every book I can, and starting various ideas. My previous experience in the publishing world and at a small consulting firm, gave me a strong background in the ideas shaping the future of business and how to communicate and start a dialogue around those ideas.

Which brings me back to here. What excites me about being amongst you, is a common passion for social entrepreneurship — the development of ideas that benefit and help improve the lives of others. Here on the blog, I’ll continue to build on what Lars has started; I’ll help share the ideas we run across on a daily basis, the people behind those ideas, the debates we encounter and what we’re learning as a result. As we go along, I’d love to hear from you — what you’re seeing, what you’re finding, and who you are. Please say hello.

(Also — if you’re on twitter, join me here.)

MIT Students, Alum Prepare for Learning Trip

My colleague Alison Hynd who manages public service fellowship and internship opportunities at MIT will be introducing MIT alumni to a project students are involved with in Ecuador this Summer. To help orient alumni to their upcoming trip to the Kallari cacao farmers and chocolate production facilities, the students put together this outstanding welcome video – check it out!

Bruce Nussbaum: The New Imperialism

During the period of rapid American mechanization and industrialization – from roughly the late 18th century through the 19th century – the United States benefitted significantly from the contributions of foreign inventors and entrepreneurs. One might go so far as to say, the founding of American industrial strength out of this period was formed out of strong continental ties and a lively exchange of ideas and designs.

Explicit knowledge transfer programs like worker training and study tours thrived as societies sought to keep abreast of the latest technological advances – as did less formal modes of learning, including philosophical societies and outright espionage.

Against this backdrop of the lively exchange of knowledge and commerce, it comes as a bit of a shock to read the latest musing of Bruce Nussbaum, a professor of Innovation and Design at the Parsons School of Design, who mused in a recent Fast Company Design article whether “Humanitarian design is the new imperialism?” Granted, this is a line of enquiry he’s used in the past, for example in a 2009 Businessweek article when he asked whether “Green” was the new imperialism.

Continue reading ‘Bruce Nussbaum: The New Imperialism’

MITGC Introduction Slide Deck