EMDD directors to participate in MIT’s SOLVE community

This year, the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development directors Brad King and Jennifer Palilonis will participate in SOLVE, a community of thought leaders, researchers, students, and change agents convened to identify and implement technology-centered solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

This invitation-only program convened by MIT’s Office of the President and produced by MIT Technology Review will engage King and Palilonis in an ongoing commitment to explore four challenge pillars: Learn, Cure, Fuel, and Make.

Together with thought leaders from around the world, they will address problems where technology, business innovation, and smart policy can be leveraged to bring about real and lasting change.

“We designed the Center for Emerging Media Design & Development for exactly this type of endeavor,” said King. “We want our students learning how to tackle big problems in our labs, and we want them to learn how to collaborate with others while they do this. There is not a better real-world example of that philosophy than SOLVE.”

SOLVE begins Oct. 4-8 on the MIT campus in Boston with keynote talks, classic debates, collaborative roundtable discussions, lab tours, technology demonstrations, and workshops. King and Palilonis will also attend a number of working sessions to dive deeper into the four challenge pillars.

“It’s already clear that while the individual working groups assigned to each pillar will have specific tasks and agendas, there will also be a lot of overlap among them,” said Palilonis. “I am particularly excited about the Learn and Make pillars. There is so much potential for technology-driven intersections that combine quality education with innovative teaching and learning methods.”

After the conference, SOLVE activities will continue throughout the year, and King and Palilonis hope to bring those projects into the EMDD classrooms and labs.

“Finding solutions for these problems won’t be easy or quick, but they will challenge us to push our students and our research beyond the classroom,” said King.

Participating in SOLVE is a perfect fit for faculty and eventually students in our new Center, a program that was built exploring interdisciplinary collaboration, digital storytelling, and technology-based problem spaces.

Solve Pillars
Solve will explore four themes to identify specific challenges where new thinking and emerging technologies have the potential to make the world a better place for all.

  • Learn:Making affordable education accessible to all who want to learn. How can we provide the high-quality education that elite universities now offer to a billion more people, free?
  • Cure:Leveraging innovation to improve health outcomes and bring greater productivity to the healthcare system. Can we cut the mortality and morbidity of diseases such as cancer by 50% in 10 years?
  • Fuel: Powering a planet and its people through a mix of cleaner energy and sustainable production. Will we have enough clean water and nutritious food for the estimated 9.6 billion people on earth in 2050?
  • Make:Providing meaningful work, economic opportunity, and modern infrastructure in a rapidly changing global economy. How can we provide Internet access that reaches everyone on the planet?