To support the community of innovators throughout the Middle East, Wamda and MIT Media Lab are hosting a multi-day workshop to explore best practice in innovation, from February 24th to 27th.
MIT's Media Lab is known for its unconventional research that mixes and matches disparate research areas, on a mission to build disruptive technologies, such as digital solutions for neurological disorders, a stackable electric car for sustainable cities, or advanced imaging technologies that can “see around a corner.” With over 25 research groups working on more than 350 projects The Lab has gained global recognition for its work to radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play.
The workshop will host design innovators, technologists, entrepreneurs, creators, makers, thinkers, and doers with great ideas or products who want guidance on next steps and would like to build a global community.
With hands-on instruction in four different tracks, attendees will have a chance to build new prototypes, iterate on an existing product, brainstorm new changes within an existing model, and strengthen their company’s brand, while receiving advice and mentoring from MIT Media staff.
Leading researchers at the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory devoted to projects at the convergence of technology, multimedia and design, will instruct innovators in four tracks:
1) Food technology
Kent Larson and Caleb Harper will lead a session on smart food production in challenging climates. Larson, who leads Media Lab’s Changing Places group, studies responsive urban housing, new urban vehicles, ubiquitous technologies, and living labs, while Harper studies food technology, and leads CityFARM, a project that aims to invent the future of agriculture using cutting edge engineering, big data, and network connectivity.
2) Health technology
Ramesh Raskar, who previously led the Camera Culture research group at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, will lead a session focused on the hardware and software design related to improving health, especially eye health. Raskar studies computational photography, inverse problems in imaging, and human-computer interaction.
3) Sensors and networks
Joe Paradiso, who leads the Media Lab’s Responsive Environments group, will lead a session focusing on the design of bio-inspired low power sensors and networks, which track nature’s responses to rapid urbanization. Attendees of this track will receive a sensor tool kit and will build environmental sensing networks that reveal the tensions between urban infrastructure and wild nature.
4) Crowdsourcing & crowdmapping data
David Kobia and Juliana Rotich, the founders of Ushahidi, will lead a session on mobile technology, user experience design, and startup growth. Ushahidi, which was initially deployed in Kenya, is web-based reporting system that utilizes crowdsourced data to formulate visual map information of crisis situations in real time.
Each of these tracks, while specialized, will reveal the Media Lab's interdisciplinary research, design, and development cultures, while inculcate an attitude of hands-on creative learning (learning-by-doing) and "hacking" (rapid prototyping).
Bilal Ghalib, the Iraqi entrepreneur who builds hackerspaces in the developing world through the GEMS Initiative, will also be present to assist builders.
For more on the speakers, see the MIT Media Lab’s Abu Dhabi 2014 Workshop website.