"Without even asking, people have introduced me to their contacts who work in my industry. That’s the kind of community I want to be a part of."
The $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize recognizes individuals who translate their ideas into inventions and innovations that improve the world in which we live.
Dubbed the "Oscar for Inventors," the Lemelson-MIT Prize is awarded to outstanding mid-career inventors who have developed a patented product or process of significant value to society, which has been adopted for practical use or has a high probability of being adopted. By recognizing and funding younger mid-career inventors, the prize is designed to spur inventive careers and provide role models for future generations of inventors.
The Lemelson-MIT Prize seeks to highlight the pivotal role inventive activity plays in the achievement of positive social, cultural, and economic goals. The prize aims to:
- Recognize and reward America’s outstanding mid-career inventors.
- Encourage broad dissemination of invention(s) to achieve maximum impact.
- Celebrate individuals who enhance economic opportunity and community well-being through their inventive work.
- Foster continued inventive work that creates opportunities and overcomes challenges.
- Increase awareness of the work of inventors and the potential for commercialization and wider adoption of their inventions.
- Promote role models who can inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers.
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“I learn from what I do on the outside, I bring it back into my classrooms, and I bring it back into interpreting my research. It informs my research, and my research informs my practice.”