MIT D-Lab engages with informal sector workers, multinational corporations, and regional and community leaders to develop inclusive businesses, markets, and economies that promote equity, resourcefulness, and resilience for people living in poverty.
Catalyzing inclusive and resilient base-of-the-pyramid market systems
We do this through the implementation of MIT D-Lab methodologies that provide informal sector workers, including waste pickers, artisanal miners, and smallholder farmers; multinational companies; and community leaders with opportunities to conceive and develop technologies and businesses necessary for building inclusive market systems in regions of the world challenged by inequality, poverty, and, increasingly, the effects of climate change.
Creative Capacity Building (CCB) and co-design are two key D-Lab approaches that are leveraged to catalyze inclusive market systems. CCB workshops invite people to use their creativity and local knowledge to develop solutions to challenges they identify as relevant to improving their own lives and communities. Within the Inclusive Economies program, co-design workshops bring together diverse interdisciplinary teams to collaboratively frame problems and prototype solutions to spur the development of market systems that offer income generation opportunities for people living at the margins. Both of these approaches are employed to identify pathways for the creation of inclusive and resilient businesses, markets, and economies.
BUILDING INCLUSIVE REGIONAL ECONOMIES WITH SMALL-SCALE MINERS - COLOMBIA
To promote safer, healthier, and more equitable participation in regional gold supply chains and to develop alternative income generation opportunities outside of the gold sector, MIT D-Lab is training artisanal and small-scale gold miners Colombian miners and community leaders to design and prototype sustainable solutions to the challenges they face, as well as alternative businesses and market systems. Read more.
RISE CHALLENGE: CCB for MOVEMENT BUILDING WITH WOMEN MINERS - COLOMBIA
This initiative of MIT D-Lab and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) tackles the challenges of gender-based violence (GBV) and environmental degradation in mining communities in Colombia by providing women miners with skills to design and implement campaigns to overcome social and economic GBV through an innovative movement-building approach. Read more.
CCB FOR EMPOWERMENT & ACCESS TO SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH - KENYA
In collaboration with the Society Empowerment Project (SEP), this program leverages D-Lab’s user-generated design approach to build the capacity of teenage girls in Homa Bay County for creating innovative menstrual products and sexcual and reproductive health services that address local challenges, including menstrual management, cultural stigma, HIV/AIDS exposure, and teenage pregnancy. Read more.
NEXT IDEA TO IMPACT - GHANA
NEXT i2i is a three-year initiative launched in 2018 with Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana to launch an incubator, build institutional capacity to support alumni creating social ventures, teach ethical research approaches to engage communities, and convene the wider Ghanaian entrepreneurial ecosystem toward collective action. Read more.
CREACION de COMUNIDADES CREATIVAS - OAXACA
Launched in 2016, this program is a multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary initiative to develop the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in economically-stressed communities of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The program is built around respectful, inclusive, and participatory programs, that stimulate knowledge exchange, collaboration platforms, and community work. Read more.