MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced the seven Fellows selected for the 2019 MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship. Each Fellow will receive $10,000 in funding and will work with Solve to broker partnerships within MIT and beyond to advance the Fellows’ projects.
Selected Fellows include:
- Marla Bull Bear: Lakota Youth Development-Honey Lodge
- Erin Genia: Iapi Gallery
- Burrell Jones: Food & Water Warriors: Indigenizing Diné Entrepreneurship
- Gloria Lane: Navajo Ethno-Agriculture
- Fiona Teller: Anti-Human Trafficking Alliance
- Patrisse Vasek: Weaving Tradition and Science to Heal our Lands and Waters
- Cherilyn Yazzie: Coffee Pot Farms Revitalize Corn Field
“This Fellowship reflects Solve’s core belief that the talent and ingenuity needed to solve problems really do exist everywhere — including rural areas and reservations.” said Solve’s Executive Director, Alex Amouyel. “The incredible entrepreneurs and projects in chronically underfunded Indigenous communities need additional resources — Solve and the broader MIT community are proud to support this work.”
The Fellowship, presented with shift7, supports projects that benefit and scale sustainable economic development and resilience using technology. Solve will support Fellows to expand and accelerate their projects and their impact.
“[MIT is] thinking in a very compassionate way about how to make technology work for people’s well-being,” said Joe McNeil, one of Solve’s inaugural Fellows from Standing Rock.
Fellows will attend Solve at MIT in May, Solve’s annual flagship meeting, where they will have the opportunity to find partners among 500+ cross-sector attendees, MIT faculty, staff, and students. Together, Fellows will craft a plan of action to support their projects, and MIT Solve will leverage relationships within MIT and outside to broker partnerships and find resources to uplift the Fellows’ projects.
All Fellowship applicants and those interested in Indigenous entrepreneurship are encouraged to keep an eye out for additional ways to engage with Solve in the future, including regional events in the Midwest and Southwest that will feature the selected Fellows and serve as a celebration of the impactful and innovative work happening throughout Indian Country.
About MIT Solve
MIT Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Global Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.
Last year, more than 1,150 people from 110 countries submitted solutions to Solve’s four Challenges. Solve’s open Challenges include (1) Circular Economy, (2) Community-Driven Innovation, (3) Early Childhood Development, and (4) Healthy Cities.