Manish Bhardwaj, MIT SM ’01, PhD ’09, is instructor for the D-Lab class Entrepreneurship for the Idealist, a new class being offered for the first time in spring of 2023. He writes, "Fighting injustice holds a particular urgency for our students. I hope this course will empower these idealists to affect real change in the world. My journey working for the rural poor started with MIT IDEAS and D-Lab, so I'm excited to teach the course here!"
Manish is the co-founder and CEO of Innovators In Health (IIH), a non-profit committed to ensuring high-quality healthcare for the rural poor in India. He is also the founding director of an initiative at Princeton University's Keller Center to enable faculty in the humanities and social sciences to tackle our most pressing societal challenges. Manish was previously the James Wei Visiting Professor at Princeton where he has taught idealism, the nature of injustice and the path to justice. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT. He is a Fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT.
Over the past decade, IIH has served close to 100,000 patients in its tuberculosis, maternal and neonatal health, and maternal mental health programs. IIH has also been the bellwether for policy shifts towards more humane healthcare: delivering care to the patient’s doorstep, providing nutrition, advocating for fair pay for female community health workers, and ensuring high standards of care. Drawing inspiration from the late Paul Farmer, IIH works through accompaniment: journeying with the wronged – as equals – until right is done.
Manish believes that enduring justice requires framing issues in moral terms, and using the vocabulary of right and wrong. Science, technology, engineering, innovation, and design are powerful instruments, but they don’t tell us what the world ought to be, what the nature of injustice is, and how to wield these instruments in the pursuit of a better world. These are concerns of moral clarity.
Manish's November 2022 TED Talk: A moral blueprint for reimagining capitalism