Coming Soon!
Lead Instructor(s)
Date(s)
Jun 07 - 11, 2021
Registration Deadline
Location
On Campus
Course Length
5 Days
Course Fee
$5,300
CEUs
2.3
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This course may be taken individually or as part of the Professional Certificate Program in Innovation & Technology.

Image: International design team from International Development Design Summit 2014 tests low-cost coffee bean sheller prototype with farmers in Tanzania.
International design team from International Development Design Summit 2014 tests low-cost coffee bean sheller prototype with farmers in Tanzania.

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.

Participant Takeaways

  • 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

Key Frameworks

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
  • Engineers
  • Researchers

Program Outline

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.

Other Instructors

Course Curator

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