This course may be taken individually or as part of the Professional Certificate Program in Innovation & Technology.
Participatory Design is a process that engages the individuals who are affected by the challenges and will benefit from the resulting innovation
Innovation doesn’t just generate profits—it can also make the world a better place by addressing some of our most pressing humanitarian challenges. This course delves into an evidence-based, innovation-driven, problem-solving approach called Participatory Design.
Pioneered by MIT D-Lab, Participatory Design is a process that engages the individuals who are affected by the challenges and will benefit from the resulting innovation. In this five-day course, nonprofit and corporate leaders will acquire essential frameworks and fundamental tools and learn how to apply them in their own mission.
This course was designed as a complementary course to Applied Inclusive Business: Scaling Technology in Low-Income Markets.
- Define inclusive innovation and its components
- Distinguish between the three types of Participatory Design and the contexts in which each may be most useful
- Recognize and mitigate power dynamics and barriers to participation in innovation processes
- Apply frameworks and techniques aimed at facilitating the Participatory Design process among diverse stakeholders
- Identify and understand the actors and factors that enable an inclusive innovation ecosystem
- Connect with like-minded organizations who use Participatory Design in their work
- Discover how to partner with MIT on inclusive innovation opportunities
Participants will leave the course with a collection of frameworks that enable inclusive innovation processes, including:
- Inclusive Innovation Framework
- Participatory Design Process Framework
- Participation Index
- Lean Research Framework
- Inclusive Team Formation Strategies
- Collective Decision Making Methods
- Local Innovation Ecosystem Framework
Who Should Attend
This course is particularly well suited to professionals working in international development, community organizing, or diplomacy, poverty- and hunger-related issues, corporate social responsibility, grantmaking and philanthropy, global health, government service, social entrepreneurship, technology development, STEM education, and higher education.
Attendees often include:
- Directors and Managers of Partnerships, Strategy, Programs, New Business Development, Training, Research, Outreach and Communications, Monitoring and Evaluation, Product Development, Finance and Operations
This course meets 9:00 am - 5:15 pm Monday through Thursday with optional evening activities, and 9:00 am - 1:30 pm on Friday with an optional session after closing lunch.
MIT D-Lab faculty, instructors, and program staff bring global perspectives and hands-on experience to this new course, which draws on real-life case studies derived from Participatory Design initiatives around the world. In addition to case studies, sessions will have a mix of research, dynamic scenarios and exercises, field trips, group discussions, co-creative sessions, themed games, and networking opportunities. Because of the emphasis on experiential learning, all sessions have roughly a 1:2 ratio of lectures to hands-on activities.
By meeting with MIT representatives, participants will also learn about opportunities to partner with the MIT D-Lab, the MIT Practical Impact Alliance, and the broader MIT ecosystem on inclusive innovation opportunities.
Sher Vogel, MIT D-Lab Global Trainings Manager
Guest lectures or supplemental talks may also be provided by the following:
- Amanda Epting, MIT D-Lab Practical Impact Alliance Manager
- Dan Frey, MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering and MIT D-Lab Faculty Director
- Elizabeth Hoffecker, MIT D-Lab Research Scientist, Local Innovation and Development
- Libby Hsu, MIT D-Lab Lecturer and Academic Program Manager
- Kendra Leith, MIT D-Lab Associate Director for Research
- Libby McDonald, MIT D-Lab Lecturer and Inclusive Economies Specialist
- Bhaskar Pant, MIT Professional Education Executive Director