Keynote Speakers

Kofi Taha

As part of MIT’s D-Lab, Kofi Taha has developed and supported asset-based approaches to community-driven livelihood and quality-of-life technology design, mostly in subsistence farming communities where people on average earn less than $3 a day. He has facilitated village-level design-thinking trainings in Uganda, Mongolia and Haiti; worked with the Peace Corps to create appropriate technology centers in Zambia; helped interdisciplinary teams commercialize social impact products; provided support to local innovation centers in Brazil, Colombia, India and Tanzania; and, through management of a $15 million USAID project, helped build a global community of 1000+  innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and ecosystem builders focused on addressing the conditions of poverty. Kofi has pursued similar work in after school programs in Mississippi and Massachusetts that focus on making design and educational resources accessible to geographically and economically isolated communities. Regardless of context or whether technology is a focus, what drives his work is a simple commitment to confronting legacies of exclusion through inclusive practices that lead to practical solutions and equitable opportunities.