CoLab Fellows

Katrin Kaeufer
CoLab Senior Research Fellow of Social Innovation

Dr. Katrin Kaeufer leads a research effort on “Banking as if People Mattered”. She conducts case studies on value-based banks and support the Global Alliance for Banking on Values in their efforts to build a global network of value-based banks. Katrin is also the research director of the Presencing Institute, a Cambridge-based network of change makers focused on advancing social technologies of transformation and change.

Kaeufer earned her MBA and Ph.D. from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. Her dissertation on Socially Responsible Banking was published as a book in 1996. While working with peace researcher Johan Galtung, she co-founded and directed "Peace Studies Around the World," a year-long global studies program. She has consulted with a global pharmaceutical company, the World Bank, a learning network of small and mid-sized companies and non-profit organizations, as well as with the United Nations Development Program in New York. She is also a founding member of the Presencing Institute.

Aditi Mehta photo
Aditi Mehta
SAGE/Marilyn Jacobs Gittell Activist PhD Fellow

Aditi is a PhD student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where she also received her Masters in City Planning in 2010. Her research interests include participatory planning, technology and civic engagement, community development, as well as issues around racial and ethnic diversity. Aditi’s research at CoLab focuses on a comparative analysis of community-based research methods across the Urban Research-Based Action Network (URBAN), (a platform that seeks to promote community-based research and engaged scholarship across the U.S.), providing CoLab and its partners with an early understanding of emerging patterns in the field.

Previously, she worked with the Community Innovators Lab as a NOLA Fellow from 2009 to 2010 and was partnered with Broad Community Connections (BCC), a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing Broad Street, a historic business corridor in New Orleans. Although assigned to complete a market study for a proposed grocery store, Aditi was drawn to the people of Broad, who are passionate about the health and future of their community. She worked with business owners, non-profits, and other locals to vision and produce Who's On Broad?, a digital storytelling project about Broad Street with an interactive web-based map and live exhibition, all of which is featured on CoLab Radio. (Meanwhile, her grocery store market study helped result in a $15,000 grant for BCC to improve fresh food access on Broad Street through the J.P. Morgan Chase Community Development Competition.)

Lily Steponaitis
Just Banking Post-Graduate Fellow

Lily earned her Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 and completed her Masters in City Planning in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 2014.  As the Just Banking Post-Graduate Fellow, she is working in collaboration with Dr. Katrin Kaufer and the 2015-2016 Mel King Fellows to develop curricula on the topic of values-based banking.  Values-based banks are grounded in the “real economy,” avoiding speculation and derivatives and working to serve communities by financing social and/or environmental projects and entrepreneurs.  Prior to her fellowship appointment, Lily wrote her Masters thesis on the effects network growth has on democratic engagement at Banco Palmas, the first community-organized bank in Brazil. Her interest in values-based and community-organized banks stems from a passion for understanding and building more just, democratic, and environmentally conscious economies.  

Maggie Tishman
Community Energy Post-Graduate Fellow

As a Community Energy Fellow at CoLab, Maggie is working with members of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative to plan, implement, and document Community Energy projects that meet both environmental and economic justice goals. These projects include energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate financial savings for local residents, promote community ownership, create green jobs for local residents, and build a larger movement for community-centered energy systems.

Maggie currently works as the Local Director for New York City for the Emerald Cities Collaborative, a national network of organizations creating sustainable cities and economic opportunities for all. Previously, Maggie worked as a Robert A. Fox Leadership Fellow at Providence Community Housing in New Orleans and served on the board of the main street organization Broad Community Connections. Maggie completed her Master’s degree in City Planning at MIT and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.