The MIT India Initiative is a not-for-profit effort of students and alumni from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to delve into pressing problems in novel, challenging contexts, and tackle these with technology and design. 
The Design, Technology and Social Innovation workshop will be held in Mumbai, India facilitating participants to work on solutions that cut across boundaries of cultures, disciplines, and institutions. MIT and Harvard mentors (with guidance from workshop leadership) will work in teams on problems that relate to their expertise for a week with Indian students, direct them to potential solutions, and run sessions that challenge workshop students to think outside the box.

This is the first version of MIT India Initiative innovation workshop series assimilating the drive of multiple departments from MIT and Harvard to address local challenges of India. This initiative has been greatly inspired from several other initiatives of the past. MIT India Initiative acknowledges the collective effort of MIT, and is grateful for the past work done by MIT alumni and other MIT wide groups including MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design, MIT Media Lab India Initiative, MIT Connected Learning Initiative, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives, MIT D-Lab India, and MIT J-Pal South Asia group.

















Bringing Social Impact Researchers from MIT and Harvard to India.  


Cutting across boundaries

of cultures, disciplines, and institutions.  

The students go through a design studio and technology exposure to build projects relevant to their themes in a time frame of 5 days. The participants go through a process of problem identification with storyboarding, ideating and brainstorming sessions, rapid prototyping, and product development. The last day of the workshop culminates in a public open-house with thousands of students, colleges and professionals coming from across the host city to view cutting edge solutions along with press and media to cover the event. The event ends with a networking session bringing in top industry executives, academicians, MIT and Harvard faculty and researchers. The workshop is a tremendous learning and experimentation ground for MIT and Harvard researchers as well as for the young participants. 

What is the Workshop About?

Social Empowerment through Music

With 1.34 billion people in India, it’s difficult to have a voice, however, the rap and hip-hop scene is quickly growing in India -- a culture where free speech is amplified and speaking your mind is encouraged. However, projecting your voice and being heard as a rapper is challenging: powerful lyrics and strong social messages are often ignored due to poor production and lack of professional distribution.

In this workshop, we’ll show you low-cost production and distribution to create professional-grade music to amplify your voice in dealing with societal issues and personal catharsis. Aside from distribution on professional services, we’ll also focus on using music production for private expurgation of personal issues.




Manohar Paluri

Director, Facebook AI

He is a Director in Facebook AI and lead the computer vision efforts Applied Machine Learning group at Facebook.

His group focuses on pushing state of the art in computer vision with an eye towards forwarding Facebook's mission to connect people. He works at the intersection of research and product and are excited about building experiences for billions of people.

Milind Tambe

Director, Google AI for Social Good

Milind Tambe is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Director of Center for Research in Computation & Society at Harvard University; he is also Director "AI for Social Good" at Google Research India. 
Milind Tambe’s research focuses on advancing AI and multi-agent systems research for social good, 
AI for the protection of endangered wildlife, forests and fisheries, AI for public health and social work and AI for public safety and security. 

Barbara Bulc

Founder & President of Global Development Impact (GD)

Barbara Bulc is the Founder and President at GD Impact and SDG CoLab, a new kind of practice disrupting silos and harnessing collective resources to foster urgent social and environmental systems change. She established SDG CoLab, a non-profit collaboratory for systems transformation, utilizing visual maps and co-creation to empower new change agents such as cities, youth, technology and culture, for the common good.

Sudhindra Venkatesh

CDO, IBM India

Sudhindra is a recognised Thought Leader in Design Thinking, Service Design, Brand Experience Design and Human Centered Design. 

In the field for over 19 years, he has been recognized for his work through more than 14 international awards including ‘Most Innovative Product’ by National Infocomm Awards in Singapore, a ‘Blue Elephant’ at Kyoorius, category best in Interactive Media Awards and Internet Advertising Awards.

Ulrike Reinhard

Publisher, Author, Futurist

Ulrike Reinhard is a German publisher, author, digital nomad and futurist. She is best known for her skatepark in Madhya Pradesh, Janwaar Castle. Reinhard has also been editor of WE Magazine and has written for Think Quarterly. All her work is related to network theory with the Internet at its core. It’s the interactions and co-creation processes within her network she cherishes most. She loves to see things emerging and falling into place.

Anil Gupta

Founder & Director, Honey Bee


Anil Kumar Gupta is an Indian scholar in the area of grassroots innovations.He is the founder of the Honey Bee Network and has been a full-time Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.Besides, he holds an Executive Vice Chair at the National Innovation Foundation.He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.He was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 2004, for his contributions to management education.

Dr.Rajiv Gupta

MGH, HOD Radiology, Professor Harvard Medical School

Dr.Gupta earned his MD at Cornell University, his PhD in Computer Science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, MSc (Physics) and BE (Electrical Engineering) from BITS, Pilani. In addition to serving as the CIMIT Site Miner for MGH, he also directs the Advanced X-ray Imaging Sciences (AXIS) Center at MGH.Conducting research in medical imaging, non-destructive evaluation of aircraft engine parts, and computer vision. Dr. Gupta’s research interests include development of low-cost, lightweight systems for image-guided diagnosis and interventions.

Prof.Rajesh Nair

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Asia School of Business, Kuala lumpur 

He is an inventor, product designer and entrepreneur with more than 25 years experience in multiple startups in the Boston area. He believes that anyone could be trained to become an entrepreneur. His research at MIT and later at ASB is in ways to transform youth in underserved communities into entrepreneurs through programs in design, making, and innovation. He has conducted 60 innovation workshops around the world. His current mission is to create 100,000 entrepreneurs in ten years.

Reena Kallat


Reena Saini Kallat’s practice spanning drawing, photography, sculpture and video engages diverse materials, imbued with conceptual underpinnings. She is interested in the role that memory plays, in not only what we choose to remember but how we think of the past. She has widely exhibited at Institutions across the world such as Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York; Tate Modern, London; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Kennedy Centre, Washington; SESC Pompeia and SESC Belenzino in Sao Paulo; amongst many others. Most recently, she is showing works at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Curitiba Biennial in Brazil.



Yihyun Lim (Director, MIT Design Lab, CMS), Sara Colombo, Ashwin Gopinath (Asst. Prof MECHE) | Faculty Advisors

Vishesh Kumar (UW Madison), Paritosh Goel (Coordinator) | Operations​

Jen Tutak (MIT GSLI Coordinator), Anirudh Sharma, Sarandeep Singh | Mentoring

Tanuja Nailwal (JIIT) | Head of India Communications 






Piyush Verma

Head, MIT India Initiative

(MIT '20, SA+P)

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Safinah Ali

Operations & Logistics


Nynika Jhaveri

Operations & Logistics

(MIT '20, SA+P)

Zahra Kanji

Operations & Logistics

(MIT '21, IDM)

Saket Adhikarla


(MIT '21, IDM)

Samip Jain


(MIT '20, IDM)

Saeb Ali Khan


(Harvard University '20, GSD)



(Research Affiliate, MIT+Harvard)

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Created by The MIT India Initiative Team