SP.723 D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good

Spring 2007

A hand-powered vacuum pump features a wooden flywheel that connects to two commercial vacuum pump units, mounted on a wooden frame.
This human-powered vacuum pump was developed by SP.723 students on the Vac-Cast project for use in rural clinics. Using the pump, technicians can make a mold in sand around an amputated limb, to quickly and cheaply cast a fitted prosthesis. This technology won $7,500 funding in the '06-'07 MIT IDEAS Competition. (Image courtesy of Vac-Cast Project: Tess Veuthey, Goutam Reddy, Irina Azu, Maria Luckyanova, Aron Zingman, and Stephen Samouhos. Used with permission.)

Course Highlights

This course features a gallery of student projects, which were deployed in various communities during the summer of 2007. It also contains a full set of class discussion notes.

Course Description

Third in the trilogy of D-Lab courses, D-Lab III focuses on disseminating innovations among underserved communities, especially in developing countries. Students acquire skills related to building partnerships and piloting, financing, implementing, and scaling-up a selected innovation for the common good. The course is structured around MIT and outside competitions. Teams develop an idea, project or (social) business plan that is "ready to roll" by term's end. Course includes an on-line forum discussion board, student-led case studies and a final proposal or business plan for realizing your dream innovation.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .mp4, .rm.

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Susan Murcott

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session