The Media Lab's motto is Deploy. We build prototypes and we put them out into the world. That way we learn more about how people actually use the technologies we develop. We also partner with many companies around the world who are interested in turning our research into new products and services for their clients. How can we apply what we have learned about these R&D partnerships to the public library? What conditions are needed for librarians and Media Lab researchers to start designing research projects together, and then deploy them with local communities. In many countries, public libraries are the crucial public institutions that is expected to provide a growing number of essential public services. Tapping into the R&D capabilities of institutions like the Media Lab could help public libraries explore the future role of their institutions. And it could help technology-focused research groups like the Media Lab, better understand the context of local communities, and the institutions and people that serve them.
The MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 as an interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It works at the convergence of technology, science, art and design - focusing on a broad area of topics from music, to artificial intelligence, from urban planning to learning. The Media Lab is organized in 26 research groups, has about 150 researchers and staff, and about 150 graduate students who are pursing degrees in Media Arts & Sciences.
J. Philipp Schmidt is Director of Learning Innovation at the MIT Media Lab, where he leads the ML Learning initiative. He is also a cofounder of Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), a non-profit organization that provides access to online courses in public libraries. Philipp is a committed advocate for open learning, served on the founding board of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, and co-authored the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. He has received Shuttleworth and Ashoka fellowships, and moved to Boston after spending more than ten years in Cape Town.