CoLab offers many opportunities for students to engage with real world problems through practice and study – from informal gatherings and speaking engagements to skill-based workshops, research, reading groups, courses, and paid and unpaid internships. CoLab Radio also welcomes contributions from students around the world who want to share their stories of innovative projects and urban planning research with an international audience dedicated to improving cities.
Internships - fall 2017
Fundred Youth Ambassador Program Intern
Commitment: 10-20 hours/week
CoLab's Empathetic Aesthetics Program, which connects urban planning resources and expertise to the social justice projects of community-engaged artists, is seeking a part-time intern to design and pilot a Youth Ambassador Program for the Fundred Dollar Bill Project. In the face of lead poisoning, an invisible, environmental health threat to children, the Fundred Dollar Bill Project, led by partnering artist, Mel Chin, is a creative currency that demonstrates public will for a healthy, lead-safe future for all children...
Community-Based Research and Evaluation Intern
Commitment: 10-20 hours/week
CoLab's Empathetic Aesthetics Program, which connects urban planning resources and expertise to the social justice projects of community-engaged artists, is seeking a part-time intern to support on-going documentation and evaluation of the Fundred Dollar Bill Project. In the face of lead poisoning, an invisible, environmental health threat to children, the Fundred Dollar Bill Project, led by partnering artist, Mel Chin, is a creative currency that demonstrates public will for a healthy, lead-safe future for all children...
CoLab offers research opportunities both internally and with outside partners.
For more information, please get in touch!
Partner-based research opportunities
[No current opportunities]
CoLab Research Opportunities
[No current opportunities]
Every year, CoLab supports one or more courses offered in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. CoLab staff support the course development and execution and connect enrolled students to community partners. CoLab is working to support at least one Practicum course each academic year, guiding students in reflective practice in the field and providing students with opportunities to support social innovation in marginalized communities.
Current & upcoming CoLab Courses:
Course Description: Builds on Participatory Action Research (PAR) 1 to deepen focus on knowledge co-production with communities. Explores co-designing and co-conducting research with community partners at various stages of the research process; actual cases in which PAR-like methods have been used; and interaction with community members, organizations, and individuals who have been involved in PAR collaborations. Students will be expected to produce a PAR research proposal, as well as content that can be added to the actionresearch.mit.edu website.
PAR 1 and PAR 2 may be taken in any order.
Instructors: Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director, and Alison Coffey, Research Associate
Dates: February 6 - March 22 (T/TH 5-6:30pm)
CoLab's network of collaborating organizations work on a variety of projects and initiatives. Innovators in their fields, these organizations are creating new approaches to solving complex problems of equity, inclusion, wealth creation, democratic engagement and more. Our partnerships are built around shared values and interest in exploring how to drive greater sustainability in communities and at larger scales of regions, nations and among nations.
CoLab’s efforts are guided significantly by partner-defined problems. We engage students and faculty to provide technical support to partners’ work and to give students immersive experiences in real-world problem solving, particularly around issues of equity, inclusion, wealth creation and democratic engagement.
CoLab has limited resources for developing new partnerships. However, beyond specific projects and initiatives with organizations, we support innovative practitioners in several ways. Some examples:
- Each year the Mel King Community Fellows program invites 10-14 practitioners to participate in a one-year fellowship organized around themes of economic democracy and self-determination. The Fellows spend a year exploring the theme and its relevance both to theory and to their own practice, collaboratively developing innovative prototypes to advance their work, connecting to faculty and students at MIT, and sharing their experiences. Please click here for more information on the Mel King Community Fellows Program.
- CoLab Radio, a storytelling platform that focuses on first-person narratives, welcomes contributions from innovative practitioners around the world seeking to share their efforts to improve cities with a global audience of their peers.
If you are interested in being a community partner or connecting with one of our current partners, please be in touch.
Our work around democratic engagement, shared wealth generation, and urban sustainability is dependent on the generosity of our donors. Without their support, CoLab could not carry on the important work of providing students, faculty, and community practitioners the resources that they need to implement real change.
To donate to CoLab, please use this link and give to the Community Innovators Lab fun on MIT's donation hub.
if you would like information on supporting specific CoLab programs and initiatives, please contact Mercedes Soto at sotom [at] mit.edu.
FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT COLAB:
- Ford Foundation
- Kendeda Fund
- MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
- MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
- The Nathan Cummings Foundation
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Kresge Foundation
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Open Society Foundations