MIT Fellowship Seeks Indigenous-Led Solutions to Drive Social, Economic Impact

Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) is rising up to meet the fight against climate change by teaching and establishing sustainable energy systems. Henry Red Cloud was a 2019 MIT Solve Fellow. (Courtesy MIT Solve)

MIT Solve has launched the third year of its Indigenous Communities Fellowship, seeking Indigenous-led solutions that drive social, environmental, and economic impact in Native communities across the U.S. The Fellowship, made possible in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, invites applicants with innovative solutions that leverage traditional knowledge and technology to support and scale positive impact.

To that end, Solve welcomes Native-led solutions that:

  • Increase access to jobs, financial capital, and skills development opportunities;
  • Support language and cultural revitalization, quality K-12 education, and support for first-generation college students;
  • Provide healthy and sovereign food, sustainable energy, and safe water; and
  • Improve healthcare access and outcomes, including for mental health and substance use disorders.
The Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship is now accepting solutions through July 7, 2020. Each selected Fellow will receive a $10,000 grant, as well as access to a nine-month program of support for additional resources and partnerships. During that program, Fellows will be invited to showcase their work at both a regional summit in or adjacent to Indian Country during fall 2020 and Solve’s flagship event, Solve at MIT, in May 2021.
“Indigenous communities are on the frontlines of tackling many social, economic, and environmental issues, bringing culturally relevant, inter-generational solutions,” said Alex Amouyel, Executive Director, MIT Solve. “We are thrilled to offer this Fellowship for a third year–and to expand the application to innovators across the entire US, while continuing our commitment to Oceti Sakowin, Hopi Tribe, and Navajo Nation communities. We look forward to learning about the many Native-led solutions that are making a difference in the lives of Indigenous communities.”
The Fellowship is open to applicants from all sectors, whether individual students, community leaders, business owners, social entrepreneurs, makers, innovators, teams, or established start-ups. Submitted solutions must include use of technology for practical and functional purposes. Strong preference will be given to tribal members and native-led projects that directly benefit and are located within native communities in the United States. Solve specifically looks for a diverse set of Fellows and projects. As part of the partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Fellowship will select 3-4 Fellows who are current students or alumni of the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) Program, and 4-5 from any affiliation. All applications will be scored using the same criteria and selected through the same process.
Those with a relevant solution are invited to apply through the Solve website by July 7, 2020.
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