Questions & Answers

There's no such thing as a bad question. See if we can answer yours by sorting through our most frequently asked questions below.

Design Summits

How can I apply to take part in a design summit? 

IDIN hosts International Development Design Summits in different countries throughout the year. Sign up for our mailing list and check our applications page for the latest on summit applications. 

When and where is the next design summit taking place?

Check our events calendar for details on the next International Development Design Summit. 

Can I attend more than one design summit?

Due to high demand, individuals can only participate in a full-length summit one time. Depending on an individual’s skill set, they may also be eligible to attend a two-week, themed summit as determined by the summits committee.

After participating in any summit, individuals become part of the IDIN Network and can get involved as a summit organizer or a part of their local chapter.   

My organization wants to host a design summit. How do we apply?

IDIN accepts proposals to host a design summit once each year. Learn more about hosting a design summit here.

Do I need to be from the country I wish to host a summit in?

Not necessarily, but we require that the summit’s lead organizer has lived there and/or is familiar with the culture, context, and language for the country. 


The IDIN Network

How can I become a part of the IDIN Network?

Individuals become a part of the IDIN Network by attending an International Development Design Summit. Once part of the Network, members gain access to the funding, mentorship, training, and educational opportunities that IDIN offers.

I’m an IDIN Network member and want to get together a group of network members near me. How can I do that? 

Fantastic! What you’re describing is an IDIN local chapter. First, check to see if there is a local chapter already established in your country. IDIN currently has local chapters in Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. If not, check our library for resources on how to start your own local chapter.


I’m a student interested in hands-on international development work. How can I get involved?

Students at MIT, Olin College of Engineering, Colorado State University, University of California Davis, and KNUST can get involved in IDIN projects by taking the appropriate classes at their university. Check your program’s website for more information about which classes intersect with IDIN’s work.

All US and international students are welcome to apply and attend an International Development Design Summit. Summit applications can be found on our opportunities page


Innovation Centers

Where are your innovation centers located? 

The IDIN program supported innovation centers around the globe, many of which are still up and running . Each innovation center is an independent entity that creates its own programming, selects its own projects, and sets its own guidelines for participation and support.

What do the innovation centers have to offer?

Innovation centers provide local innovators with access to workshop space, tools, and materials. They also offer design training and resources for innovators looking to turn their projects into social enterprises, as well as a community space where technologies and ideas can be discussed, demonstrated, bought or sold.

Who can use innovation center resources and tools?

Each innovation center is an independent entity that determines its own criteria for participation. In general, any motivated community member with an interest in using technology to solve local challenges is welcome to use tools and access resources after they have received safety training. This includes, but is not limited to, artisans, skilled tradespeople, student groups, out-of-school youth, and entrepreneurs.

Centers welcome community members wishing to offer classes in skills that they have, and are eager to partner with other local organizations. Both women and men are welcome at centers, as are all community members, regardless of religion, ethnicity, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or military status. 

Centers are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all community members; participation, however, is dependent upon compliance with the safety rules and regulations established by each innovation center. 

Please contact the innovation center nearest you for more information. 



What is IDIN’s current research focus? 

You can learn more about IDIN’s research focus by exploring our projects, many of which examine the role local innovation plays in sustainable and community development. After 2017, this research will continue at MIT D-Lab and can be followed here

Question not answered here? Let us know how we can help.