13 February 2009

Enabling the Disabled, Disadvantaged, Dismissed

I'm delighted to see MIT Media Lab Director Frank Moss cast a high call for investment in Enabling Innovations -- those technologies and solutions which serve those who he calls the historically disabled, disadvantaged or dismissed. This is a topic I've cared about for a long time, including having catalyzed our MIT Enterprise Forum Global event two years ago on A.B.L.E. Technologies -- or Achieving Better Life Experiences for people with injury, disability, and aging challenges. And the Neurotechnology Ventures seminar I co-teach with Ed Boyden and Rutledge Ellis-Behnke -- spotlighted recently by MIT TechTalk as Brainy Businesses -- is centrally interested in regenerative and recuperative solutions. Plus, the Development Ventures seminar I co-teach with Sandy Pentland centrally addresses the challenges of the most dismissed -- those in Emerging Markets! Not only are more investments a top priority here, but the accelerated translation of inventions into widely deployed innovations could not be more pressing and urgent. Most exciting of all, some of the currently so-called "disabled" might become the dramatically empowered lead users of tomorrow -- i.e. more enabled than everyone else!

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