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Martha Bonilla

Martha Bonilla
Research Affiliate

Martha is an Urban Planner and a knowledge-based Development Economist. Her specialty is in consensus building. Ms. Bonilla studies the knowledge innovation process from invention in research through action in entrepreneurial start-ups and in innovation ecosystems generally. She holds graduate degrees in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; in Economics from Colombia; in Promotion of Investment from Japan; and in Consensus Building from Switzerland. She has more than fourteen years of experience leading projects associated with urban and regional planning, innovation, and institutional capacity building.

Martha recently worked in CoLab creating experiences for students and communities in Latin America that take advantage of rapid urbanization and environmental challenges. In this work, she sought to create opportunities for low-income communities to improve their standard of living through economic development. In 2010 Martha returned to Colombia where she is currently serving as the Director of the Centro de Estudios Urbanos at the Universidad del Rosario.

Ernest McKinley English

Ernest McKinley English
Research Affiliate

Ernest McKinley English is the driving force behind the Emagination Collaboration, a participatory arts organization and agent for social change. Rooted in unifying communities and corporations to achieve a more sustainable and shared-wealth generating union, Ernest exemplifies a symbiotic relationship between an artist and the community. English produces art works in collaboration with community groups, companies, and other groups or gatherings. He is an Artist-in-Residence at Artists for Humanity in South Boston.

His objective is to combine innovative art and technology to create equal economic and social opportunities, especially in regions recovering from catastrophe, such as Haiti, and McKinley’s hometown of New Orleans where he is currently helping to fund a vision for an arts and commerce space in the Treme neighborhood through his "Continuous Line of Life" series of art works.

His current research focus is on advancing the applications of fractal geometry in technology, as English has discovered a new fractal design that will be displayed in a forthcoming web-based interactive art series. While immersed in the MIT community as a research affiliate at MIT Community Innovators Lab in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, he will be collaborating with and gaining insight from individuals who are likeminded in their aim to reduce the harmful effects industrialized society has on the earth and its people.

Lucia Fernandez

Lucia Fernandez
Research Affiliate

Lucia Fernandez is the Global Waste picker's Coordinator at WIEGO, where she has worked since 2008 under the Inclusive Cities project. She has been working for the past ten years together with several waste picker organizations, ranging from assisting small cooperatives and trade unions in her native country, Uruguay, to large scale networking, creation and support of the Latin-American Network of Waste Pickers, to more recently with the international coordination of the Global Alliance of Waste pickers. In collaboration with CoLab and particularly the D-Lab Waste course, Lucia contributed to research decentralized and scalable solid waste management systems that include waste pickers.

Lucia was an adjunct professor at the Uruguayan Architectural School where she conducted interdisciplinary research for the inclusion of waste pickers into municipal waste management policies. She has a MA degree in Architecture from Grenoble, France focused on spontaneous recycling dynamics through a historical and territorial approach. She also graduated from the Philosophy Faculty of Lyon with her second MA degree on Ethical and Sustainable Development.

Deborah Kobes

Deborah Kobes
Research Affiliate

Deborah Kobes is a Senior Project Manager at Jobs for the Future. She helps manage JFF’s work in the green sector, including support for workforce partnerships that recruit, train, place, retain, and advance new and incumbent workers in key industry sectors. She is currently working with workforce partnerships in eight cities on the GreenWays Initiative, funded by two $8 million grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Prior to JFF, Deborah was the Projects Director and first staff member of the Emerald Cities Collaborative, a consortium of diverse organizations – businesses, unions, community organizations, development intermediaries, social justice advocates, research and technical assistance providers — united around the goal of “greening” our metropolitan areas in high-road ways that advance equal opportunity, shared wealth, and democracy within them. She has also consulted for CoLab in several capacities and served as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; Brookings Research Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; and a Research Associate at the Urban Institute as part of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Deborah received her PhD in Urban Political Economy and Governance from MIT and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering and Architecture from Princeton University.

Uyen Le

Uyen Le
Research Affiliate

Uyen Le is the Research Director for the California Construction Academy (CCA), which is a project of the UCLA Labor Center. At the CCA, Uyen conducts research, advises stakeholders, and develops programs on topics related to green jobs, community-based economic development, energy efficiency retrofits, apprenticeships, and project labor agreements. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Before this, Uyen worked in the Gulf Coast for a year after Hurricane Katrina as a Dan Than community development fellow, where she worked closely with Vietnamese American communities on issues related to emergency relief and long-term community development. She continues to maintain ties with Gulf Coast communities, where she believes a piece of her heart will always reside. Uyen graduated from MIT with a Master degree in City Planning, and from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor degree in Political Science.

Hinrich Mercker

Hinrich Mercker
Research Affiliate

Hinrich Mercker is director of the Development Policy Forum (Dialogue, Event Design and Event Management) in Berlin, which is part of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). He also works as a certified management coach in cooperation with coachhouse®. Hinrich participated in 2006/2007 in the international leadership programme Emerging Leaders Innovate Across Sectors (ELIAS), which has been initiated by the MIT/Cambridge.

Since 2006 he is designing and implementing training programmes and workshops on Change Management and Leadership Development. 2005 and 2006 he advised the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank on the evaluation of World Bank support for client training.

Between 1997 and 2002, Hinrich lectured at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science, part of Berlin's Free University as well as at the University of Potsdam's Department of Economics and Social Sciences. Prior to that Hinrich worked for the German Foundation for International Development (DSE), where he headed the Public Administration Promotion Centre. His focus at DSE included environmental administration, local government, diplomatic services and schools of administration. He developed and conducted advanced training and dialog programs for executives from Asia, Africa and Central Asia, including a multi-year program with the Vietnamese Environmental Ministry in Hanoi.

In 1988 Hinrich earned a university degree in Protestant Theology from Georg-August-University in Göttingen (Germany), and he also studied at Serampore College in West Bengal (India). In 1990 Hinrich completed a postgraduate training program at the German Development Institute (DIE).

Patricia Molina

Patricia Molina Costa
CoLab Fellow

Patricia Molina Costa is an architect and urban planner from Spain. She came to MIT with a Fulbright scholarship and earned a Master’s degree from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to coming to the U.S., Patricia worked as a Senior Planner in a private office in Madrid, where she developed from comprehensive municipal planning to urban design projects. She was also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, where she is a PhD candidate. She was a founder member of Laboratorio Urbano, a non-profit advocacy planning association involved in processes of public participation with neighborhood associations and social movements. She was also part of Observatorio Metropolitano –an independent, multi-disciplinary research platform that in 2007 published the book “Madrid ¿la suma de todos? Globalización, territorio, desigualdad“— and she has presented her work at multiple conferences in Spain and the U.S.

At CoLab, Patricia worked on mapping, participatory planning and community engagement strategies for different projects. She is also helped to build the URBAN Activist Research Network, a SAGE Publications-supported platform that seeks to promote community-based research and engaged scholarship across the U.S.

Ilma Paixao

Ilma Paixao
CoLab Fellow

Ilma trained in Brazil as a nursing assistant and owned and ran a cleaning business. For the past 20 years she has been involved in community-building volunteer work in her home town of Framingham, Massachusetts. A long-standing member of the public school outreach and school development committees, Ilma also works on Framingham Town Hall anti- violence initiatives. Ilma recently directed the "Brazilian Women Helping Each Other Live Healthier," a cancer screening and community empowerment project for Brazilian immigrant women.

Most recently, Ilma earned the "Rising Star" award at the Center for Women's Enterprise in Boston for her work in founding "Handeira Linens and Lace," an international business that supports community development in northern Brazil among the indigenous Xukuru people. Ilma works in partnership with the Xukuru indigenous people marketing their fine handmade lace women's clothing and houseware to create a sustainable livelihood that also preserves their health, their land, and their cultural identity.

In addition to business development, Ilma has helped the Xukuru start several social initiatives in their community, including eye and vision exams for lacemakers, computer classes for teenagers, a farmer's seed bank, and a community-operated general store.

Holly Jo Sparks

Holly Jo Sparks
Research Affiliate

Holly Jo Sparks is a community development consultant with Collective Seeds Consulting Cooperative, which advises independent groups nationally on new cooperative development, strategic research, management, and planning. Previously, she held the position of Executive Director for the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), where she liaised with housing cooperatives nationally for ten years. She studied city and regional planning at UNC Chapel Hill, and graduated with a Master in City Planning degree from MIT; and a BA in History of Art from University of Michigan. Currently, she is conducting research with NCB Capital Impact that explores the existing environment, opportunities, and challenges for cooperative business development in the United States.

Manish Srivastava

Manish Srivastava
Research Affiliate

Manish Srivastava is a Systemic Change Consultant with expertise and passion for “coaching leaders and organizations towards seeking inner wholeness and co-creating a sustainable future”.

He brings more than 10 years of experience in organizational change and leadership development with Corporations (like Unilever, Marriott Hotels, Hasbro Inc, Coca-Cola etc), NGOs, Community and Government. His earlier assignments included: coaching top leaders from UNICEF, Unilever and Synergos Institute to evolve India’s pioneering multi-sectoral partnership to address complex societal problem of child malnutrition, and; leading large-scale learning and change project for 3500+ leaders across Unilever India and South Asia (that bagged the enterprise award).

Manish is a certified Organization Development (OD) and Change Catalyst (Level 5) from Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Sciences (ISABS). He holds Masters in Human Resource Management, Graduation in Sociology and Education and, international certificates in dialogue and facilitation.

Over the last 2 years he is based out of Boston area on a learning sabbatical that included a self-directed action-research with leading institutions (including PI, SoL, Harvard, MIT) focusing on Presencing, emerging leadership consciousness and sustainability. He has presented papers at Global OD Forums and delivered guest lectures at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA), ISABS and Udai Pareek HR Labs in India.

Manish is currently engaged as a researcher, working with a team of dynamic social innovators at Presencing Institute and MIT CoLab on Transforming Capitalism project . He supports the team in: co-evolving online community platforms for transforming the collective consciousness towards a regenerative economy.

Wenda Tai

Wenda Tai
Research Affiliate

Wenda Tai served as the inaugural Managing Director of Emerald Cities Collaborative, a consortium of unions, labor groups, community organizations, social justice advocates, businesses, local government officials, development intermediaries research and technical assistance providers united around the goal of “greening” our cities in high-road ways that advance equal opportunity, shared wealth, and democracy for all involved. She built the infrastructure of the national organization, managed the business processes, and oversaw the administrative and financial protocols and policies. She transitioned to a consulting role over the last year and helped to pilot ECC’s capacity building program – developing technical assistance and training resources to enable local Emerald Cities members’ implementation of ECC’s mission. Prior to Emerald Cities, she worked in higher education helping interdisciplinary programs and initiatives move from start-up to institution-building stage. Her work focuses on developing best practices for capacity building, resource management and sustainable growth. Wenda also worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority as senior policy analyst on strategic land use planning at the airport and revenue-enhancing business arrangements for the airport and the seaport. Wenda began her career in grassroots advocacy, community organizing and union drives in New York City. Wenda has a BA in linguistics from Barnard College, Columbia University; and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Catherine Tumber

Catherine Tumber
Research Affiliate

Tumber is the author of American Feminism and the Birth of New Age Spirituality (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002) and co-editor with Walter Earl Fluker of A Strange Freedom: The Best of Howard Thurman on Religion and Public Life (Boston: Beacon Press, 1998). She has a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Rochester, and has worked as an editor for the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared in both publications as well as in Book Forum, the Washington Post, In These Times, and Commonwealth.

Jennifer Vanica

Jennifer Vanica
Research Affiliate

Jennifer's commitment to social change was shaped during the late 1960's when as a student she worked side-by-side with farmers in Kentucky's Appalachian farmlands, native Americans building schools on Wyoming's reservations, and the Cesar Chavez and the Mexican American Farmworker Union organizing boycotts for better working conditions in California.

Following seven years working in University Advancement at Wittenberg and Ohio State Universities, Jennifer served on the start-up team for the Sharp Hospitals Foundation in San Diego raising needed funds for a cancer center, intensive care unit, and the women’s hospital. As Executive Director of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation Jennifer was recognized by the San Diego Child Abuse Coordination Council with the Outstanding Service Award for her work to build a new 130-bed state-of-the-art emergency shelter and received the Development Officer of the Year award from the San Diego National Society of Fundraising Executives for the public-private campaign that resulted in the Polinsky Children’s Center.

In 1994, she developed the concept and strategic plan that led to the launching of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, an operating foundation headquartered in San Diego's southeastern neighborhoods dedicated to community building and the resident ownership of change. In her 16 years as President & CEO of the Jacobs Center, Jennifer worked alongside more than 3,000 community residents to transform blighted, abandoned industrial sites and launch one of the nation’s leading neighborhood revitalization projects--The Village at Market Creek. She played the lead role in the creation and implementation of a pioneering Community Development IPO which resulted in 425 residents owning shares in the Market Creek Plaza commercial center and the formation of a resident-led community foundation. Jennifer also forged financial partnerships that leveraged $100 million in public and private investment into southeastern San Diego neighborhoods, including $30 million in New Markets Tax Credits financing.

Under her leadership, the local Association of Fund Raising Professionals named the Jacobs Foundations Philanthropic Organization of the Year in 1999, and in 2007, the national Council on Foundations bestowed their Critical Impact Award for innovative and bold solutions to enhance the public good. In 2009, Jennifer was recognized with the prestigious James Irvine Leadership Award for California leaders who are implementing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues, and in 2012, was given an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters by Wittenberg University.

Alumni Student Affiliates

First Name Last Name CoLab Project(s)
Elena  Alschuler Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
John Arroyo CoLab Radio Thesis Chronicles: Art, Civic Space, and Urban Design along the LA River
Bernadette Baird-Zars NOLA Fellow - Financing Green Affordable Homes
Polina Bakhteiarov MIT@Lawrence
Sara Barnowski Green Grease Project
Tatiana Berger RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
Ana Bonomi Green Grease Project
Anna Brand NOLA Fellow - Deepening Democracy, Mainstreet Redevelopment and Bayou/Wetland Redevelopment
Benjamin Brandin Stimulus - Green Jobs Coalition Building in Lynn, MA
Erin  Brandt  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Anya Brickman Raredon Cartagena Practicum
Daniel Broid Puerto Rico Practicum
Alyssa Bryson Mel King Community Fellows; CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions; Greening Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Cartagena Practicum
Cassandria  Campbell Community Media Program, Cartagena Practicum
Chiara   Camponeschi Community Media Program
Maria Cassidy RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
Justice Castaneda Just Urban Economies
Keren Charles Social Justice Landscape Analysis
Gayle Christiansen MIT@Lawrence - Youth Development
Christophe  Chung Community Media Program
Sewon Christina Chung Community Media Program
Linda  Ciesielski Community Media Program
Patrick  Coleman Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Robert  Crauderueff Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Christine Curella Just Urban Economies
Jackie Dadakis NOLA Fellow — Thermo-coupling and Financing Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Mai  Dang CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions
Micah Davison Green Economic Development Initiative
Iris de La O Social Justice Landscape Analysis, Puerto Rico Practicum
Kat Donnelly Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Zahir Dossa Community Media Program
Cedric  Douglas Community Media Program
Jocelyn Drummond Sustainability Partnerships; Just Urban Economies
Hossam El-Asrag Green Grease Project
Anne Emig MIT@Lawrence - Youth Development
Alexander Fallon Green Grease Project
Kevin Feeney Spring 2011: Shared Wealth Generation; CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions; & Cooperatives Study Group
Samantha Fox Green Grease Project
Lina  Garcia Cartagena Practicum
Jessica Garz Green Economic Development Initiative
Kate  Goldstein  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Elisha  Goodman Spring 2011: Shared Wealth Generation; Cooperatives Study Group; Community Media Program; & Aquaponics In Lynn, Massachusetts, Cartagena Practicum
Rob Goodspeed Mel King Community Fellows & Community Media Program
Huma  Gupta  MIT@Lawrence
Ryan  Hammond  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Megan   Hazen Community Media Program
Evelin   Henriquez  Community Media Program
Elijah  Hutchinson Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Ben Hyman CoLab Radio Summer Series: Colombia’s Political Economy, Cartagena Practicum
Zach Hyman Community Media Program
Nick Iuviene Emerald Cities - Organizing Community-Labor Coalitions in New York City
Jeffrey  Juárez-Araniva  MIT@Lawrence; Community Media Program
Stephen  Kennedy  Community Media Program
Nancy Kim RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
YeSeul  Kim  MIT@Lawrence
Marisa Lau Social Justice Landscape Analysis
Uyen Le Emerald Cities - Community/Labor Coalitions in Los Angeles
Marianna Leavy-Sperounis MIT@Lawrence - Stimulus Policy Development for Post Industrial Cities
Luyao Li RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
Sarah  Lince RAAS Waste and Recycling Project
Ivette Luna RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
Eric Mackres Neighborhood Retrofits and Community-Labor Partnerships in Boston's Chinatown
Laura Manville NOLA Fellows; Community Media Program; and CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions
Alex Marks RAAS Waste & Recycling Project, 2010-2011 D-Lab Waste Course
Alpita Masurkar Community Media Program
Natalia  Maya Cartagena Practicum
Brendan McEwen Energy Efficiency Strategy Project; Just Urban Economies
Cyd McKenna Stimulus - Sustainable Farm Enterprise Development in Mississippi
Aditi Mehta NOLA Fellow - Mainstreet Redevelopment and Participatory Media
Jeffrey  Mekler  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Patricia Molina Costa MIT@Lawrence
Ksenia Mokrushina Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Nikhil Nadkarni Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Giacomo Neri MIT@Lawrence
Wataru  Nomura Community Media Program
Sarah Nusser Leveraging The Stimulus
Liz  Panella  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Claudia Paraschiv Community Media Program
Kristal Peters Housing Reconstruction in Haiti
Drew Pierson Green Economic Development Initiative
Benji Power  
David Quinn Housing Reconstruction in Haiti
Elizabeth  Ramaccia CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions
Lindsay  Reul Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Stefanie  Ritoper Spring 2011: Shared Wealth Generation; Community Media Program; & CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions, Cartagena Practicum
Marcus Rozbitsky  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Nicole Salazar Puerto Rico Practicum
Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative
Hector Salazar Salame Cartagena Practicum
Ana Luisa Santos Green Grease Project
Annis  Sengupta Community Media Program
Farzana  Serang  IAP Courses on Action Research and Reflective Practice; Social Justice Landscape Analysis
Najah  Shakir  MIT@Lawrence
Rosie Sherman Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Peter   Sigrist Community Media Program
Miriam Solis Social Justice Landscape Analysis
Ann  Solomon Energy Efficiency Strategy Project & CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions
Lily Song Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Lakshmi Sridaran NOLA Fellow - Deepening Democracy and Youth Organizing
Stephanie  Stern Energy Efficiency Strategy Project
Shoko Takemoto Community Media Program, Cartagena Practicum
Rachael Tanner Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative; Just Urban Economies
Julia Tierney Puerto Rico Practicum
Athena Ullah Leveraging the Stimulus & CoLab Affiliate Peer Support Sessions
Ann-Ariel Vecchio Puerto Rico Practicum
Bill Wang Green Economic Development Initiative
Kristen  Watkins RAAS Waste and Recycling Project, Puerto Rico Practicum
Barika Williams Stimulus — Partnering for Economic Justice in Greensboro, NC
Paula  Winicki RAAS Waste and Recycling Project, Puerto Rico Practicum
Patricio Zambrano Barragán Puerto Rico Practicum
Brittany  Zwicker  Energy Efficiency Strategy Project

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