Design for Second Life Innovations Launch, Arusha, Tanzania

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Design for Second Life Innovations

On Friday, January 26th in Arusha, Tanzania, MIT D-Lab launched a new program, Design for Second Life Innovations, a project aimed at addressing the dual challenges of electronic waste (e-waste) and societal needs in East Africa. The program, a collaboration with long-time D-Lab community partners Twende (Tanzania), Kulika Uganda, and the Youth Social Advocacy Team or YSAT (Uganda and South Sudan), is supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), with Samsung Electronics providing used technology to be upcycled in the program.

The 23-month initiative is set to pioneer second life options for Samsung devices, with a particular focus on the agriculture, energy, education, and health sectors. In a unique co-design experience, MIT students will join forces with communities in Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan, leveraging MIT D-Lab's Creative Capacity Building (CCB) methodology.

The project's primary objective is to generate sustainable solutions for upcycling Samsung mobile phones, effectively reusing valuable natural resources. Beyond environmental impact, Design for Second Life Innovations aims to foster social innovation, providing tangible solutions to challenges faced by refugee settlements in Uganda and low-resource communities in Tanzania and South Sudan.

More information

MIT D-Lab Program: Design for Second Life Innovations

MIT D-Lab Class: Mobiles for Development


Heewon Lee, MIT D-Lab Research Associate, Design for Second Life Innovations Project Manager