MIT D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges. The program’s mission is pursued through interdisciplinary MIT courses, research in collaboration with global partners, technology development, and community initiatives—all of which emphasize experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, scalability, and impact assessment.
Courses. D-Lab challenges and inspires talented students to use their math, science, engineering, social science, and business skills to tackle global poverty issues. D-Lab offers more than 20 courses that introduce students to D-Lab's approach to co-design, design for scale, collaborative design, supply chain management, and business venture development as well as sector-specific courses on energy, mobility, water and sanitation, prosthetics, education, schools, architecture, and more. Many courses provide an option for fieldwork.
Research. D-Lab's research groups include Agriculture and Water Sanitation, Biomass Fuels and Cookstoves, Developing World Mobility, Local Innovation and Development, Mobile Technology, and Off-Grid Energy.
International Development Innovation Network (IDIN). IDIN is building an international network of innovators to design, develop, and disseminate low-cost technologies that alleviate poverty. IDIN holds multiple design summits around the world annually and provides support to its network of over 600 inventors and social entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries. IDIN, an international consortium, is led by D-Lab and supported by the US Global Development Lab.
MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship. Since 2012, D-Lab has offered the MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship program for social entrepreneurs available to MIT alumni and alumni of the International Development Design Summit. The fellowship offers a $20,000 award, mentorship, skills building, and networking opportunities.
MIT Practical Impact Alliance (PIA). The MIT Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) is a D-Lab-hosted network of leaders working across industries and geographies on market-driven social impact initiatives. PIA draws its membership from multinational corporations, government agencies, foundations, and established social enterprises.
MIT Scaling Development Ventures Conference. The MIT Scaling Development Ventures conference was conceived in 2012 by MIT programs committed to advancing entrepreneurship and international development. Each year since then, the conference convenes some of the world's most inspiring social entrepreneurs, at all stages of development, to explore strategies, models and resources that can help development ventures achieve scale for significant social impact.
Creative Capacity Building (CCB). CCB is a methodology that encourages and trains people to make technologies that generate income, improve health and safety, or save labor and time. At present, D-Lab offers three main implementations of CCB: Village-level Training, Community Innovation Centers, and the International Development Design Summit.
D-Lab Workshop. The D-Lab workshop, the heart and soul of D-Lab, is a place for D-Lab students, fellows, innovators-in-residence, and others to bring technologies for the developing world to life. The workshop includes a large collection of hand and power tools, steel fabrication and welding tools, an open shop with multiple workbenches, and a dedicated wood shop and long-term projects room.
Email D-Lab for more information.