The Emerging Worlds Special Interest Group (SIG) is an MIT Media Lab initiative. It is a unique, bottom-up co-innovation platform designed for addressing grand challenges in emerging economies. They set up innovation hubs in collaboration with key stakeholders in industry, academia and government. They address themes across many sectors, including food and agriculture, financial inclusion, health and wellness, housing and transportation. Using digital technologies such as machine learning, Internet of Things, and mobile devices, they can leapfrog. They are solving billion dollar problems to impact a billion lives.
The program is highly selective; typically they select 100 innovators from a pool of 1000 applicants to participate in a weeklong workshop, followed by 6-month internships at the DISQ innovation center in Nashik, India. There are also opportunities for innovators to be visiting students at the MIT Media Lab. Members join in order to test and progress ideas, be part of an innovation ecosystem, cultivate innovators, and make a difference.