Every now and then you get an opportunity where your gut takes over and says, “Yes. I am doing this.” That was the feeling I had when I learned that a few of us from the MIT Media Lab might be able to attend the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival later this month. The Aspen Ideas Festival is a week-long conference for sharing thoughts about the future with some of the world’s most important thinkers, innovators, and business leaders. The Media Lab was asked to bring a few examples of the disruptive work we do here.
At the Media Lab, our antidisciplinary model of undirected research encourages exploration at the periphery—the undiscovered edges where disruptive innovations grow. Our delegation will focus on "Seeding Innovation”—exploring unexpected approaches to innovation that offer small, yet critical changes with the potential to trigger human-scale improvements for global impact—including solutions to problems that don't even exist yet.
This event will give Media Lab participants an opportunity to hear about the problems faced by many of the largest organizations in the world. Our hope is to find a good a match between our collection of solutions and the problems they face daily. Our participants come from groups across the Media Lab:
Each group offers a unique perspective on some of the major issues of the day, such as unemployment, the future of manufacturing, robotics, medical devices, and education. We look forward to reporting back on what we learn, and starting a broad-based discussion on how these new ideas can both impact our research here at the Lab and help those around the world.
M. Todd Farrell is a PhD student in the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab.