Community Engagement

CoLab has a network of partner organizations with whom we are working for the medium and long term on a variety of projects and initiatives. These organizations are innovators in their fields that are creating new approaches to solving complex problems of equity, inclusion, wealth creation, democratic engagement and more. Our partnerships are built around shared values and interest in exploring how to drive greater sustainability in communities and at larger scales of regions, nations and among nations. CoLab’s efforts are guided significantly by partner-defined problems. We engage students and faculty to provide technical support to partners’ work and to give students immersive experiences in real-world problem solving, particularly around issues of equity, inclusion, wealth creation and democratic engagement.

CoLab has limited resources for developing new partnerships. However, beyond specific projects and initiatives with organizations, we support innovative practitioners in several ways. Some examples include the following:

  • Each year the Mel King Community Fellows program invites 10-14 practitioners to participate in a one-year fellowship organized around particular themes. The Fellows spend a year exploring the theme and its relevance both to theory and to their own practice, connecting to faculty and students at MIT and sharing their experiences. Please click here for more information on the Mel King Community Fellows Program.
  • CoLab Radio, the blog site of CoLab, welcomes contributions from innovative practitioners around the world seeking to share their efforts to improve cities with a global audience of their peers.
  • CoLab’s website has a growing Resources section that provides tools, papers and other materials to support practitioners seeking to innovate in their local contexts.

For more information, please email us at