Communities of Practice

Learning communities aim to build intentional relationships between like-minded actors in order to accelerate shared learning, collaborative problem-solving, and collective action. MIT D-Lab uses communities of practice as forums for the exploration of ideas, experimentation, analysis, reflection, and capacity building that is essential to driving social impact. Currently, we are cultivating four communities of practice:

Social Entrepreneurs

The Scale-Ups Fellowship offers support to social entrepreneurs bringing poverty-alleviating products and services to market at scale. Launched in 2012, the program provides fellows with a $20,000 grant, tailored mentorship, skills-building, and networking opportunities. Scale-Ups has worked with ventures on four continents in sectors including agriculture, energy, water, health care, housing, livelihoods, mobility, recycling, education, and personal finance. Learn more

Social Intrapreneurs

The MIT Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) is a membership network that fosters collaborative action, innovation, and shared learning among a community of changemakers from leading business, civic, governmental, and academic institutions. Through PIA’s activities –  working groups, summits and innovation challenges — member organizations strive to increase their individual and collective impact while leveraging and supporting the work of MIT-wide programs focusing on global poverty alleviation. Learn more.

Ecosystem Builders

Launched in 2017, the MIT D-Lab Ecosystem Builder Fellowship connects and equips exceptional supporters of local innovators and entrepreneurs. These innovation ecosystem builders spend a year learning from each other, experimenting with MIT D-Lab's participatory design methodology, refining their own approaches, and devising collaborative initiatives to address local and global challenges. Learn more.

Livelihood Innovation Facilitators

Experienced facilitators spread MIT D-Lab’s participatory design approach at the community level by teaching people a process for creating technologies and ventures that improve their lives and livelihoods. MIT D-Lab supports this community of practice by offering workshops in the Creative Capacity Building (CCB) methodology, sharing curricular resources, and promoting platforms to share results and experiences.