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Creating the Right Climate for Green Learning at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Center for Collective Intelligence created Climate CoLab “to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change.” The climate change crowdsourcing platform invites anyone to join and participate in contests or comment on proposals.

Recently, Climate CoLab announced the winners of three contests. The contests asked the Climate CoLab community of 130,000 people to submit proposals for addressing climate change in various categories. This year’s winner in the category, “Harnessing the Power of MIT Alumni“, focused on promoting green careers.

The Winning Proposal

The Winning ProposalTop honor was awarded to Team MITACAL for their project, ClimateX. Team MITACAL took the concept of the typical Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to reach learners on a massive scale, and personalized it for those interested in climate-related careers. Although the ClimateX solution addresses a number of typical MOOC problems, its insightful use of the MIT alumni was an essential component of the solution.

How ClimateX Works

How ClimateX WorksWorking within MIT’s already successful edX learning platform, ClimateX adds a layer of personalization similar to that of computer industry sites like Pluralsight and Udacity, only in this case, specific to green careers. Recognizing that mentoring and career advice are essential to a student’s success, ClimateX taps into MIT’s vast alumni network to feature Climate Corps, mentors and trainers who provide expertise specific to a student’s area of interest.

How Climate CoLab Contests Address Climate Change

How Climate CoLab Contests Address Climate ChangeThe idea is to break down the highly complex problems of climate change into more manageable sub-problems, using a formula titled, “What-Where-Who-How“. Once a smaller problem finds a suitable solution, that solution can be incorporated into a larger scale solution that addresses the broader problems associated with climate change.

If you’d like to learn more about Climate CoLab contests, or how to become a member of the community, visit the Climate CoLab website.

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