Creative Capactiy Building

Grant Details

Organization:  MIT D-Lab
Country: Colombia
Project Name: Creative Capactiy Building with Mining Communities in Colombia
Grantee Name: Libby McDonald


Funding Areas
Private Sector Solutions ✓
Empowerment of Individuals ✓

Creative Capactiy Building with Mining Communities in Colombia

To promote safer, healthier, and more equitable participation in regional mining economies in Antioquia, Colombia, MIT D-Lab, with support from the Rising Tide Foundation, has launched a 2-year program that trains Colombian artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM) to develop sustainable solutions to ASGM-related health and environmental challenges. In addition, to promote economic diversification, the program enhanced the capacity for self-determination by sparking entrepreneurial efforts and yielding networks of businesses outside of the mining sector.

With over 15 years of inclusive innovation experience, MIT D-Lab has leveraged its in-house expertise and Colombian partnerships to implement a comprehensive program that generates opportunities for co-creating technology and business solutions with multiple stakeholders, including miners themselves.

The initiative utilizes a unique D-Lab methodology called “Creative Capacity Building” (CCB). Creative Capacity Building is an inclusive approach to human development that teaches a flexible method for problem-solving, exposing individuals to a framework that can be used to solve everyday challenges as well as provide concrete, hands-on skills to build and iterate technological and business solutions to those challenges.

Throughout the two-year program, miners will take part in a series of CCB trainings, both on technology and business design, and will have access to tailored coaching through local innovation spaces.
This approach allows participants to become active solution-finders rather than passive recipients. The expected results include, but are not limited to, the creation of technologies and businesses that produce economic and health benefits for artisanal and small-scale miner participants. At the close of the project, MIT D-Lab and its local partners Universidad Nacional, Uniminuto, and C-Innova will have trained 250 small-scale gold miners in CCB for designing technology and businesses. These participants are drawn from two mining regions in Antioquia Colombia: Andes and Bajo Cauca (locations with very different approaches to mercury use in mining). Ultimately, MIT D-Lab anticipates that 10-20 new ventures will emerge from these trainings, developing and offering new technologies and approaches that improve the safety, health, and livelihoods of people living in these communities.

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