MIT D-Lab to launch industry collaboration this fall
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
This February, in conjunction with the MIT Scaling Development Ventures (SDV) conference,D-Lab convened representatives from 15 organizations including multinational corporations, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations in Cambridge to discuss the creation of a collaborative, global network of organizations actively engaged in scaling up innovative, market-driven solutions for global poverty reduction.
The participants, who included representatives from companies such as Unilever, General Electric, Vodafone, and Mars, as well as nongovernmental organizations such as the Grameen Foundation, responded enthusiastically to the proposition. “The most urgent need is for academia, nonprofits, social enterprises, and global corporations to roll up their sleeves and work on taking existing … innovations to scale,” Alex Counts, CEO of the Grameen Foundation, said.
Following continued engagement to refine the goals of such an initiative, the Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) at MIT is scheduled to launch this fall. MIT’s D-Lab Scale-Ups program will lead the initiative and is in the process of recruiting founding members to participate in a pilot this fall.
“The idea of PIA emerged when D-Lab started engaging large organizations in scaling up MIT innovations against poverty,” explains D-Lab Scale-Ups program director Saida Benhayoune. “We saw the opportunity for much greater impact if those organizations were to share and collaborate not just with institutions like MIT, but with each other.”