The „empowering people. Network” joined the Practical Impact Alliance of the D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The „empowering people. Network” joined the Practical Impact Alliance of the D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Practical Impact Alliance (PIA), an initiative launched by D-Lab in 2014, brings together leaders from diverse organizations with aligned missions so that they may share learning, collaborate, and develop best practices together.

„Everyone is a maker“, that is the credo of Amy Smith, the passionate founder and co-director of D-Lab. With Amy’s membership in the jury of the “empowering people. Award 2015” Siemens Stiftung had already established a fruitful connection with the renowned MIT D-Lab and recently joined their Practical Impact Alliance program.

epN Members join PIA Learning Working Groups

PIA members come from different fields of development work and determine areas of common interest or demand. They join PIA Learning Working Groups of individual relevance, allowing them to tailor their participation in the Alliance to the needs of their organization. In 2016 the Learning Working Groups will treat the topics of “Measuring Impact Learning”, “From Pilots to Scale”, “Participatory Design & Innovation” and “Inclusive Recycling”.

Six entrepreneurs of the “empowering people. Network” and two Siemens Stiftung’s staff members will actively participate in PIA’s Learning Groups during the coming months. The entire Network will as well benefit with shared knowledge and insights.

The teams consist of up to 10 participants each and interact very intensely. They meet regularly online from April to October 2016 and focus primarily on addressing specific knowledge gaps of the group, with the goal of generating working tools relevant to the PIA members and making them widely available.

The groups kicked-off online and met also personally in the PIA Annual Meeting on March 30-31, which was followed by the MIT Scaling Development Ventures Conference, April 1-2, taking place at the MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Co Design-Summit in Zambia

From October 30 to November 6 2016 all PIA working group members will be invited to take part in the international PIA Co-Design Summit, taking place in Zambia. A Co-Design Summit in Zambia coming November will be the interactive highlight of the program. This one-week, immersive, hands-on design experience will focus on learning the co-creative design process, addressing local challenges, and promoting an innovation ecosystem in Zambia. It offers further valuable opportunities to connect and interact with like-minded professionals and to bring about practical solutions to poverty at the same time.

Siemens Stiftung’s PIA membership is also a starting point for further collaboration with the MIT D-Lab, which focusses like the foundation on the use of technology for development. As a first proof point three members of the D-Lab’s International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) attend the epOnsite training on market & customers that the epNetwork has hosted in Montevideo/Uruguay from May 30 until June 2.


Learning group participants from empowering people. Network and Siemens Stiftung:

Participatory Design & Innovation:  
Kelly Church, Social Impact Lab SIMlab (Frontline SMS), USA

Ricardo Braun, Centre for Environmental Practise & University INBEC / UNIP, Brazil

Caroline Weimann, Siemens Stiftung, Basic Services Unit

From Pilots to Scale

Marius Weckel, Smart Hydro Power

David Hoffmann, Siemens Stiftung, Basic Services Unit

Measuring Impact Learning

Sameh Seif Ghali, Together Association, Egypt

Inclusive Recycling

Susan Letuya, TakaTaka Solution, Kenya

Ruben Martínez, TRIEX, Uruguay (partwize)

Coordination at epN: David Hoffmann


For more information on PIA visit: