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Innovating for Billions Empowering Smart Citizens MIT Media Lab Kumbh Mela Innovating for Billions Empowering Smart Citizens The MIT Media Lab Team Ramesh Raskar Head of Camera Culture Group Principal Investigator and Lead Faculty Member Emerging Worlds Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Maggie Church Emerging Worlds Coordinator Camera Culture John Werner Head of Innovation and New Ventures Camera Culture Group and Emerging Worlds Pratik Shah Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab Anshuman Das Post Doctorate at MIT Media Lab Beth Zonis Innovation Strategist Emerging Worlds Sunil Khandbahale Kumbhathon Innovator MIT Sloan Fellow Research Assistants Mrinal Mohit Research Assistants Tristan Swedish Research Assistants Achuta Kadambi Research Assistants Shantanu Sinha Research Assistants Otkrist Gupta Research Assistants Join Us or Emerging Worlds MIT Media Lab 75 Amherst Street Cambridge MA 02139 The world is our lab Ramesh Raskar MIT Media Lab Bottom-up Co-Innovation At the MIT Media Lab we look beyond the obvious to ask the questions not yet asked questions whose answers could radically improve the way people live learn work and play. The world is our lab to create test rene and deploy solutions to the worlds problems. In the summer of 2015 at the Kumbh Mela festival in Nashik India we were able to directly inuence the deployment of solutions to impact billions. This is the culture of innovation in action. Dr. Ramesh Raskar Associate Professor Head of Camera Culture Group Principal Investigator and Lead Faculty Member Emerging Worlds Kumbhathon Nashik A Year Round Innovation Platform Inspired through brainstorming about social challenges and how local human capital could solve them Professor Ramesh Raskar of the MIT Media Lab initiated week-long innovation camps or buildathons in India. In July 2013 the team ran their rst camp in Hyderabad India. In January 2014 they ran one in Mumbai. In July 2014 they ran their rst camp in Nashik Rameshs hometown. The program in Nashik came to be called Kumbhathon. So far the MIT team has run 5 Kumbhathon camps in Nashik to accelerate idea creation development and deployment. Nashik Maharashtra India is the 16th fastest growing city in the world. Every 12 years Nashik hosts the Kumbh. During the Kumbh Mela Nashik was the most populous city on the planet For almost two years the MIT team and Kumbhathon innovators worked closely with members of the broader ecosystem. Elected government ofcials and administrators in the City of Nashik were particularly critical to the success of the Kumbhathon and the Kumbh Mela. They helped to identify and rene Kumbhathon challenges that were of high priority to its citizens. They provided access to data guided the development of prototypes and facilitated the implementation on the ground in context. At Kumbhathon5 the fth Kumbhathon in July 2015 teams worked with increasing sense of purpose to nalize their prototypes and prepare to launch them. In August several were ready and able to be deployed live. The solutions addressed many of the governments key concerns safety hygiene health food distribution navigation and transportation and accommodation. The Kumbhathon is an opportunity for teams of engineers business people and designers in order to create together with local stakeholders. Teams collaborate with government ofcials to understand local needs and get access to necessary data with local academics to learn and rene their skills with business leaders to consider market rollout and with MIT researchers to make the solutions technically robust. Collaboration continues throughout the year. MIT Kumbh Mela Deploying Innovations for Impact The Kumbh Mela is a colorful beautiful event. Its a massive religious festival a pilgrimage. In August and September 2015 30 million visitors people from all walks of life came to Nashik India in 30 days. Sadhus who have very unusual lifestyles descended on pilgrimage sites. There was a lot of work to do to prepare for millions of people to show up in this relatively small and sleepy city of two million people. The Kumbh Mela was a natural catalyst to bring people together to innovate for impact. It presented a unique opportunity to design build and roll out solutions with the goal of making the Kumbh Mela safer cleaner and more efcient than ever before. The innovation teams worked hard with this goal in sight. By all accounts this Kumbh Mela was a resounding success. There were zero casualties zero missing cases and zero disputes. Now Nashik is increasingly seen as an innovation hub with year-round innovation activities. Dedication and Inspiration Mentor in Residence Meet some of the people and feel the spirit of the Kumbhathon. Ramakrishna R. Google Mentor in Residence The dedication of talented mentors with unique skillsets is one of the key things that makes the model work. Ramakrishna R a Stanford-educated Software Engineer currently employed at Google found himself caught up in the excitement of the Kumbhathon in Nashik. After visiting the Kumbhathon in July 2015 he and his wife whos a software engineer at Yahoo took leaves of absence from their respective jobs. They volunteered their time and signicant software expertise in areas such as analysis and visualization search indexing Google Mapmaker and developer infrastructure to the Kumbhathon effort. They advised and mentored several innovators and prepared them for a successful launch at the Kumbh Mela in August and September 2015. Crowd Steering Management Lavanya Addepalli and Nilay Kulkarni Crowd Management In anticipation of 30 million visitors to Nashik for the Kumbh Mela there was a huge need for crowd management. Utilizing modern technology such as mobile phones and Big Data two innovation teams worked on separate crowd management solutions both of which were invaluable to the government administrators at the Kumbh. And both solutions could be applied to other massive gatherings around the world from religious pilgrimages concerts and sporting events to rush hour in highly populated cities. Lavanya Addepalli Crowd Steering The leader of the Crowd Steering team Lavanya Addepalli is a PhD candidate who developed a sophisticated solution for tracking crowds throughout the city of Nashik. Working with Google mentor Ramakrishna she and her team created and presented a heat map with detailed visualizations showing crowd locations density and movement. They used data from mobile phone towers. The information was shared with administrative and government ofcials to anticipate and abate any problems related to large crowds. This solution continues to mature as Lavanya and her team consider other places and ways to deploy it. Lavanya is a PhD candidate at the Polytechnic University of Valencia Spain. Her research is about Architecture design and deployment of an online social network that uses data classication to provide relations built on trust. She holds an M.S. in Medical Software from Manipal University a B.A. in IT from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University and a Diploma in IT from Mumbai Technical Board India. She performed her masters thesis and project in Charles University Prague Czech Republic. She has over 20 publications in various elds of research and serves as a reviewer of multiple journals. Learn more about Lavanya and about Crowd Steering. Nilay Kulkarni Parikshit Raje ASHIOTO Foot Tracker The lead innovator of ASHIOTO is only 15 years old. Nilay Kulkarni is a computer programming prodigy. He has a passion for creating and making products for the good of the world at large. Even at his young age he understands the larger impact that technology can have on people and society. He coded ASHIOTO a solution to prevent stampedes in large crowd-dense events such as the Kumbh Mela. At the Kumbh Mela the ASHIOTO crowd management by footcount prototype was installed near the Godavari River to track the number of people exiting after taking a dip. The mat was able to register large numbers of people and accurately track those numbers. A centralized dashboard on mobile phones displayed data from multiple mats located around the city. On three auspicious days of the Kumbh Mela ASHIOTO counted more than 500000 people at ve exit routes out of 20. The police were able to use the data to reroute crowds to other exits and avoid issues. ASHIOTO mats are reusable and portable. Nilay and his team are looking at opportunities to use them in other venues such as malls concerts temples and other crowded venues in order to avoid bottlenecks and stampedes. Watch Nilays TEDx talk and an interview with Nilay. Pop Up Housing for a Pop-up City Sampath Reddy Pop-up Housing Sampath Reddy is an Architect and Designer with experience as a business manager and as an Aerospace Engineer. At the Kumbhathon in Nashik he developed the Pop-up Housing solution as a low cost modular eco-friendly structure that could be used for affordable or temporary housing and ofce space. It utilizes readily available pallet racks. The structure can be erected in less than three days. Prior to the Kumbh Mela Sampath secured a space in the government housing area for one of his structures. Sampath is looking into opportunities to deploy Pop-up Housing in other settings such as emergency and transitional shelters low- cost durable housing and hostels. At the Kumbhathon in July 2015 Sampaths Pop-up Housing was recognized as one of the top 10 projects to make an impact at the Kumbh Mela. For more information see Sampaths introductory presentation and the Pop- up Housing website. The Platform The platform is designed for early stage innovation in context. The spot phase is to generate ideas for solutions that will satisfy a signicant need. The probe phase is to create a proof of concept. The grow phase is to develop a working prototype. And the scale phase is to deploy the solution. This integrated approach is designed to cultivate ideas that will become high-impact ventures that address the largest and most widespread challenges facing humanity. The results often leapfrog existing solutions. Impact ventures around newly digital citizens require an integrated effort and a large petri dish for experimentation. A single isolated venture is unlikely to succeed without deep engagement from multiple stakeholders including local businesses government ofcials and well identied newly digital citizens. We have found an ideal venue for such a sandbox for venture experimentation. The vibrant and beautiful Kumbh Mela in the city of Nashik provides the grounds to test many of these ideas for technology and adoption. At the same time innovators are bringing innovative solutions to the Kumbh Mela many of which have been already put in place by the citizens. Kumbhathon teams built the ofcial app of the Kumbh Mela it provides unprecedented dynamic graphical data to empower visitors and ofcials of the Kumbh Mela. Kumbhathons are year-round initiatives with quarterly camps used for identifying and addressing technology and market risks. Since innovators need more than just one specic event like the Kumbh Mela the Kumbhathon is NOT a traditional hackathon or a competition. It is a buildathon. After months of preparation each buildathon is a week-long ideating and prototyping marathon that is part of a year long process. It includes tech talks by renowned industrialists and technological evangelists and a deep engagement with stakeholders of the city. It is a great platform to make ideas take shape. The innovation center now supports innovators and entrepreneurs in taking these ventures to other venues or morph them for daily use by the newly digital citizens. Spot Inventors and members of the innovation ecosystem generate an idea that addresses a need. Probe Teams around the world are taking part in focused workshops and camps to develop rough functioning proofs of concept. Grow Innovation centers and partners combine their talents and skills to evolve the prototypes into more polished fully functioning devices. Scale MIT Media Lab Consortium members multinationals and a network of global partners facilitate the successful deployment of the solutions. Connecting Innovation Ecosystems Boston and Nashik On October 26th and 27th 2015 a Nashik delegation of about 40 people visited MIT. The group included elected ofcials government leaders business executives innovators and entrepreneurs. They shared their experience with the Kumbh Mela and they learned about the innovation ecosystem at MIT and in Greater Boston. The success of the Kumbh Mela was a result of planning and hard work. The Nashik leadership also gave credit to the creative and effective solutions that emerged from the Kumbhathon. They recognized that close collaboration between the local stakeholders and the team from the MIT Media Lab as well as with the Kumbhathon innovators made a huge difference. Everyone involved was motivated to make the event a success. The festival of 30 million people went smoothly there were no epidemic outbreaks no lost children and no fatalities. The city of Nashik set a high bar for future pop- up cities. Pop-up Housing Temporary housing made of low cost reusable industrial materials such as pallet racks that can be assembled in less than 3 days. ASHIOTO A real-time centralized dashboard collects footstep counts from multiple mats and displays crowd data on mobile phones. Data enables authorities to redirect crowds and avoid stampedes. EpiMetrics A system to monitor the health status of people in real time in order to control disease outbreaks. 3D Maps A dynamic real-time smart phone- friendly digital map that can be customized for ongoing events dates languages and promotions. The Ofcial Kumbh App A repository of Kumbh details such as real-time crowd ow transportation and parking news availability of hospital beds hotels restaurants schools universities and temples. Crowd Steering A real-time system that uses heat maps to show density distribution of large crowds and their ow allowing city administrators to redirect people away from saturated areas. MediTracker A dynamic real-time information system about hospitals medical centers bed availability that also provides navigation for quick access to ambulances and healthcare providers. Annadan An optimized supply chain for donated and homemade food that empowers home cooks and distributes food to those who need it where and when they need it. Innovations Kumbh Mela Some of the solutions that were launched at the Kumbh Mela in Nashik in August and September 2015 include These are all inventions that can scale quickly and that are applicable to other environments Millions of visitors in pop-up city where MIT is fostering innovation In the News