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Innovation in Whose Interest?

MIT's Caesar McDowell argues for the wider societal benefits of taking care of those living at the margins.

Fiscal scarcity and competing policy demands bring with them a tendency toward favoring utilitarian solutions that do the most good for the greatest number of people. Discussions of urban innovation are sometimes limited by concerns that in an enviroment of scarce resources, communities cannot afford to focus narrowly on sub groups with unique needs.

In a guest commentary for the City Accelerator, Ceasar McDowell, President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change and Professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, argues just the opposite. Not only does the old adage that the measure of civilization is how it treats its weakest members still stand, McDowell contends that designing for people living on the margins can create powerful positive change that flows outward and up.

Before you leave, you can help six cities that are taking that challenge seriously. 


Be sure to watch and rate the videos of the six cities attempting to design for the margins as part of the City Accelerator project. 


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