MIT’s rich culture of innovation is manifested in labs and in dorm rooms across campus where our community of faculty, researchers, and students are in constant pursuit of taking their novel ideas from concept to real-world impact. While the pipeline of innovation at MIT remains strong, we must take a critical look at our system and ask if there is more that can be done to better foster and diversify our culture in ways that will allow for a greater breadth of ideas and solutions. The MIT Innovation Initiative aims to enable higher levels of diversity and inclusion in the innovation system. There is ample evidence demonstrating that diversity is a key factor for innovation that can help unearth inherent biases in technological solutions, educate our community to make better decisions, and drive stronger performance.
At MIT, we have a special responsibility to serve as a catalyst for change. By optimizing our infrastructure, we strive to play a vital role in shaping the skills, capabilities, and expectations of our community in the innovation economy; lead the way for other universities in breaking some of the barriers students face in becoming fully engaged as productive inventors; and opening the door to a network of like-minded partners here on campus, in corporations, in entrepreneurship, and in government.
Our first set of Inclusive Innovation Programs are designed to address the specific challenges of gender and racial disparities in I&E.
We hope to create an I&E environment where underrepresented groups at all levels thrive and where the effects of gender and racial disparity simply can’t exist. We’ll soon announce several programs under the #sheINNOVATESatMIT and #InclusiveInnovation campaigns designed to promote these focused efforts.
Fiona Murray (Co-Director MIT Innovation Initiative, Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion) discusses how drawing in different stakeholders provides different points of view and experiences that help enable innovation. Learn more in her course, Innovation Ecosystems https://executive.mit.edu/eco.