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Beth Kolko

Date: November 09, 2020

Professor, HCDE; Global Health Entrepreneur

Desk: (206) 685-3809


TECHIN 523 User Research and Evaluation Studio

Beth Kolko began her career as a professor in the humanities, studying how diverse communities used a then text-based internet to organize and enact change. Her current work focuses on the potential of non-experts to create disruptive solutions, and she builds programs that help people become functional engineers so they can solve problems in their communities. She is co-director of the Tactical and Tactile Technology Lab. She also created the Hackademia Project which builds innovation potential among broad audiences by imparting functional engineering skills combined with design thinking.

Kolko is the co-founder and CEO of Shift Labs, a for-profit company building low-cost medical devices for emerging markets leveraging global innovation networks. She has been the Director of Innovation at the Makerbot Foundation (2013), a Fulbright professor at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2000), a Visiting Faculty Researcher at Microsoft Research (2007), and a Fellow (2007-2009) and Faculty Associate (2009-present) at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.