Manish Bhardwaj is the CEO and co-founder of Innovators In Health (IIH), a non-profit committed to ensuring that the rural poor suffering from tuberculosis (TB) get care that matches the best in the world. As of early 2012, IIH provided access to care to a catchment of 85,000 residents in rural Bihar, India.Prior to IIH, Manish was a co-founder and Vice President at Engim Inc., a private venture backed wireless semiconductor startup. Manish has won several awards including the IBM Research Fellowship, the MIT Graduate Student Council teaching award, and the Compaq Gold Medal. He has Ph.D. and S.M. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Applied Science from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. A native of India, he has lived in Singapore, Indonesia, Austria and the U.S.
Sophia Brueckner, born in Detroit, MI, is an artist and engineer. Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg. She received her Sc.B. in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Brown University. As a software engineer at Google, she worked on the front-end development and interface design of products used by tens of millions and later on experimental projects within Google Research. Brueckner earned her MFA in Digital + Media at the Rhode Island School of Design and was also an instructor there teaching a course on science fiction and art. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally, and, in particular, she is interested in interaction design, generative art, algorithmic writing, and, as a technology antidote, painting. She feels an urgency to understand and bring awareness to technology’s controlling effects, and to encourage the ethical and thoughtful design of new technologies. She recently joined the MIT Media Lab where she is a researcher in the Fluid Interfaces group and teaches Science Fiction to Science Fabrication, a course combining science fiction and invention.
Alia Crum is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She received her PhD from Yale University and BA degree from Harvard University. Dr. Crum’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Her work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a robust demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body. She is interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes outside the realm of medicine, in domains such as exercise, diet and stress. More specifically, Dr. Crum aims to understand how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness. To date, her research has won several awards including a Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, the William Harris Prize, and notoriety in several popular media including the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and in the The New York Times Magazine’s 2007 “Year in Ideas.” In addition to her academic research and teaching, Dr. Crum has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and an organizational trainer and consultant, creating, delivering, and evaluating workshops on mindset change and stress management for organizations including UBS, Colgate Palmolive and the United States Navy.
Mike Halsall is Senior Network and Information Security Analyst at MIT, and currently sits on a number of steering committees for various Information Sharing and Analysis Centers. He has 18 years working in both corporate and academic environments, having held positions at IBM, AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Vermont Technical College and Middlebury College. As a fellow for The Center, he will be exploring various frameworks for making ethical decisions in the domain of computer security. Because one can’t discuss computer security without discussing privacy, privacy implications will be a dominant theme in the exploration of ethical decision making frameworks in the computer security field.
Sandeep Kishore is a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and co-chair of the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN), a global network of over 300 young professionals from over 40 countries committed to the equitable prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a social justice issue. YP-CDN is rooted in a community-driven approach from the bottom-up. Through this work, Sandeep has become committed to community-building as a vehicle for effective advocacy and social change. He seeks to leverage lateral thinking and trans-disciplinary approaches at universities worldwide, with the goal of preparing and cultivating the next generation of young leaders to tackle health challenges, particularly in the global South.Sandeep’s work has been featured in the popular press (Scientific American, The Huffington Post and The Scientist), as well as in scholarly journals and textbooks. He is a chapter co-author in the forthcoming Sick Societies: Responding to the Global Challenge of Chronic Diseases, to be published by the Oxford University Press. He received his PhD from Cornell University, where his dissertation focused on the evolution of malaria parasitism in humans and for which he was awarded the national Raymond W. Sarber award in microbiology. He is a graduate of Duke University (B.S) and Oxford University (M.Sc), and is the first The Lancet awardee for community service.
Aseem Inam is the Associate Professor of Urbanism at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. Previously, he was a Visiting Faculty in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, where he received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. He has also taught at Tufts, UCLA, and the University of Michigan, where he received the Outstanding Faculty Award on three different occasions.Dr. Inam’s book, Planning for the Unplanned: Recovering from Crises in Megacities, is a comparative analysis of successful urban planning in Mexico City and Los Angeles. His research has also been published in several international journals, including Journal of Urban Design, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, and Planning Practice and Research. His scholarly work has received awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Skidmore Owings and Merrill Foundation, and the California Planning Roundtable.Dr. Inam has worked as an architect, urban designer, and planner in Los Angeles, Montreal, New Delhi, Paris, and Washington DC. Early in this career, he was the founding architect-in-charge of the Aga Khan Development Network’s rural habitat development program in Gujarat, India. Most recently he was a project leader for urban design and planning projects in California, the Caribbean, Idaho, and the U.S.-Mexico border with the award-winning firm, Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists.
Kentaro Toyama (www.kentarotoyama.org) is a researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He is working on a book that argues that the intrinsic growth of people and institutions should be the primary focus of global development. Previously, Toyama co-founded Microsoft Research India, where he started an interdisciplinary research group to understand how electronic technology could support the socio-economic development of the world’s impoverished communities. The group’s projects – including Digital Green, MultiPoint, and Text-Free UI – have been seminal in ICT4D research, even as Toyama has gone on to be a vocal critic of techno-utopian hype in development. Prior to his time in India, he did computer vision research at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. Toyama graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a bachelors degree in Physics.
Vicki Abadesco is the co-founder and director of Soul Shoppe, an organization that teaches character education and life skills to elementary school communities. Last year Soul Shoppe served over 75,000 students through interactive workshops and assemblies. Vicki is an award-winning creator of compelling curriculum for adults and youth, spotlighting communication skills, conflict resolution, bullying prevention and peacemaking tools.
Sousan Abadian holds an M.P.A. in International Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, an M.A. in the Anthropology of Social Change and Development, and a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Her doctoral dissertation was principally supervised by Nobel Laureate in Economics Amartya Sen, and discusses the impact of trauma on indigenous peoples and the renewal underway.
Student Research Fellows
Olivia K. Bitsuie (Navajo) is an undergraduate student (senior) pursuing a major in Business Management with a minor in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. Her research as fellow would focus on promoting developmental opportunities in the American Indian reservations while preserving the value system.