Nick Martin is founder and president of TechChange, which has developed a unique, scalable, and interactive model for online training in international development. With courses ranging from mHealth to financial literacy to open government, TechChange uses a mobile-friendly, MOOC-ready learning management system that includes low-bandwidth support, live video streaming, social media integration, game mechanics, translation support, security and more. To date, TechChange has prepared over 2,000 alumni from over 100 countries to apply technology effectively and appropriately in response to global challenges.
Nathaniel Raymond works with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) to advance the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide.
Through founding HHI’s Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Raymond has helped pioneer the use of satellite imaging and other remote sensing techniques to document deteriorating humanitarian conditions and collect evidence of alleged mass atrocities. A leader in the development of comprehensive ethical and technical standards to guide the use of information communication technologies during humanitarian emergencies, Raymond is helping ensure that the use of new technologies and methods protect, rather than endanger, vulnerable populations.
Miriah Meyer designs visualization systems that support exploratory, complex data analysis tasks and help scientists make sense of complex data. Her visualizations combine novel mathematical models with principles from a range of fields including perception, design and human-computer interaction. Meyer was named a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and to MIT Technology Review’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35. Meyer’s work allows scientists to understand their underlying data in detail and to develop new hypotheses and insights.
Lisa Aziz-Zadeh studies aspects of social cognitive neuroscience including creativity, empathy, embodied representations and social interaction. In addition, her work looks at how motor performance and sensory experience are essential contributors to higher cognitive processes. Aziz-Zadeh has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Berlin, has received numerous grants from agencies such as the NIH and the Dana Foundation, and her work has been featured in a broad range of publications including Current Biology and Journal of Neuroscience. Her work is highly relevant to everyday human experiences, and will shape how we think about and understand ourselves and those around us.
Jonathan Wilker seeks to understand how nature makes materials such as the glues produced in the seas by mussels, oysters and barnacles. His research examines how these biological materials function, and then works to design synthetic mimics with a wide range of applications. Wilker’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. There are currently no adhesives available that are simultaneously wet setting, strong bonding, and non-toxic; yet marine biology may have already solved this problem, and Wilker is seeking to understand exactly how.
Julia Watson is the principal partner of Studio Rede, a collaborative which aims to apply traditional knowledge and practices to contemporary design, helping to sustain social capital in support of local biodiversity and global conservation. Starting with World Heritage sites in Bali, Indonesia, Studio Rede and an IEEE volunteer working group are developing an eGuidebook to facilitate the collaborative design process required to enable the remote inhabitants of cultural landscapes to combine maximum development impact with minimum impact pressure. By reaching across disciplines and inviting unique alliances, Studio Rede's practice empowers communities to protect their cultural landscapes.
Jessica Richman is a co-founder of uBiome, which aims to make the human body searchable using the knowledge, effort and ideas of the public, as well as health data, to solve some of the world’s most important problems. uBiome gathers data by sending participants kits which they can use to sample their microbiomes, and then engages with the public regarding their data. uBiome is changing the way that the world's scientific agenda is set, to be more democratic, decentralized and open to all.
Jason Hong is investigating privacy and security issues for pervasive computing, including smartphone apps. His work focuses on the human element of these security issues and examines how to empower people so that they have better control over and feedback about their personal information. His work has already garnered a great deal of attention from the popular press, including articles in MIT Tech Review, TechRepublic, New York Times and an appearance on the CBS “Morning Show.” Hong’s work draws on ideas and methods from human-computer interaction, crowdsourcing and psychology to develop better tools and user interfaces for everyday people.
Jan-Emmanuel De Neve ’s work in economics shows that there is a wide scope for social progress, particularly when measured not only by the productive capacity of a society but also by integrating metrics of human well-being. This includes examining the causes and effects of well-being, including the genetic component; and practical ways of integrating well-being into our daily lives and policy-making. His research has been featured by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and BBC World, among others. De Neve’s work reveals a clear connection between individual happiness, productivity, and later earnings that implies the real potential for countries that are struggling to boost economic growth.
Fiery Cushman studies the human capacity for moral judgment and behavior. His research spans cognitive, neural, developmental and evolutionary approaches to this topic. It also serves as a platform to address more basic questions about the psychological mechanisms that make Homo sapiens stand apart dramatically from the other 8.5 million species on earth.