Exclusive: Launch of the Urban Labs at MIT

Today I had the honor of attending the launch of The Urban Labs at MIT. I got to see a unique and inspiring group of entrepreneurs come together to work towards a common goal – the goal to use technology to make social communication better. We experience technology, social media and the internet/digital world in so many ways and forms that our lives have become dependent on online communication.
In some ways we are forgetting that people are the key ingredient in social interaction.

Social media, be it online or in real life, is all about people. It is about forming relationships – relationships that foster into communities. These communities as a collective can work towards the greater good. Yes, it takes one person to make a difference. But it takes a nation to implement that difference. The Urban Labs project led by Malia Lazu is a platform that will deepen relationships between individuals and community organizing. It will help answer questions like: How do we use technology and online communication to foster interactions and social conversations in real life? It will address notions like: How can social media be used for organizing communities?

The Launch of the Urban Labs was a very interesting event. The Urban Labs speaker panel consisted of Malia Lazu – Founder of Urban Labs, T. Thomas – New Era, Chuck Baker- President Sahara Communications, Brooke Emerson- Brand Manager-Translation LLC, Rick Borovoy- MIT Media Lab and Walter Mosley- Author.

My first reaction to the launch was that it was going to be another event where people will talk about the future of online communication. But I was surprised by what the Urban Lab had to offer. In many ways it answered a lot of questions for all of us. Yes, it was about using technology as a tool to create social communication and it had the elements of MIT genius associated with it. But this communication spread further from the realm of just online communication.

It was an idea, a dream, a thought to use technology and new media to create change in mainstream communication, in everyday communication, in communication that we have with each other on a personal level. In many ways this conversation was about being human and realizing what makes us human. The Urban Labs can be classified as a movement, a movement that is very much needed in our society. It is a collaboration which is set on bringing a positive change. The people behind the labs intend to bring this change through the use of technology and social media.

Malia Lazu explains the project on her website and states, ‘The Urban Lab will experiment in communities to create models for relationship building and consistent communication. The Urban Labs mission is to increase the effectiveness of community organizing by introducing new media and mobile phone platforms to enhance connectivity and to deepen relationships between individuals and community organizing. The Urban Lab, being incubated at The Community Innovators Lab at MIT, is  a space for collaboration and experimentation with communication/technology/new media professionals, MIT and community organizations.’

The Urban Labs is taking a step towards using technological innovation to address various issues in urban communities. The Lab would focus it’s early stage projects in New York, Boston and Chicago. Amvona will be covering The Urban Labs activities and would bring to you latest news on all events and projects.  The Urban Labs offers an inspiring way of analyzing communities and individual behavior. It is a breath of fresh air in the over crowded social media market.

We will provide an in-depth report on the event soon – so keep a look out for our upcoming blog posts.

Published on the Amvona Blog


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