The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) D-Lab will be supporting three summits this year and applications are now open! International Development Design Summits Kenya is July 8 – 22nd and will bring together 36 participants from all over the world to co-create innovative, viable financial products and services that expand access in the low-income space.
What are the International Development Design Summits?
International Development Design Summits (IDDS) are intense, hands-on, community-based design trainings that bring together a diverse group of people to teach them the co-creative design process and how to prototype low-cost technological solutions to improve the livelihoods of people living in poverty.
These summits are programs of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), a consortium comprising MIT, Olin College of Engineering, Colorado State University, University California in Davis, KNUST in Ghana, USP in Brazil, and NTBC in Zambia. To learn more, check out their website.
During the summit, participants form teams and collaborate with community partners and other stakeholders to better understand a particular challenge in order to create a solution that fits the local context and constraints. At the end of IDDS, the summit organising team makes resources available to teams that have a promising strategy for implementing their solution.
In moving the technologies from ideas to implementation, they aim to create real ventures, not just business plans. IDDS originally started in 2007 and there have since been 22 summits in 12 different countries, involving 800+ alumni and creating over 100 successful projects / ventures.
Bringing financial inclusion to Kenya
This year is the first time IDDS will be hosted in Kenya. It’s also the first summit in Kenya that is focused on solutions which promote financial inclusion. Kenya is particularly well-suited for this because of its strong entrepreneurial culture, its emerging tech sector and its history of being a leader in financial inclusion.
Even though Kenya has seen impressive progress towards financial inclusion, there is still work to be done as the focus shifts from consumers having access to financial products and services to consumers deriving value from financial products and services.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in participating, simply complete this application form and submit it by the 15th of February 2018 at 5pm EST. They will select 15 – 40 participants and will notify each applicant on whether or not their application was accepted (soon after).
No matter your background, this summit is for you. Innovation flourishes at the intersections of disciplines – our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. If you have any questions, check out the IDDS Kenya website.