Leo Burd



Leo Burd, PhD

MIT Media Laboratory
Room E14-445
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

leoburd <* at *> media.mit.edu





I direct the Lemann Creative Learning Program at the MIT Media Lab. The mission of the Program is to help Brazilian public schools, afterschool centers, and families engage in learning practices that are more hands-on and centered on students' interests and ideas.


In my research, I am very interested in the design of technologies for creative learning and social empowerment.


Projects that I have worked on in education include Scratch and App Inventor.


In the civic media realm, I have created the VoIP Drupal open source toolkit and applications of it for neighborhood communication, local tourism, open governance, and community engagement.


I am particularly excited about initiatives that empower children in underserved regions. To that end, I helped start the Young Activists Network, the Department of Play and, more recently, the Duct Tape Network.


Outside of MIT, I have worked for groups such as the World Bank, Microsoft, and the Brazilian government. I have also coordinated a non-profit organization that built "computer and citizenship" schools in Sao Paulo slums, and was a key contributor to several international initiatives that use digital tools to improve quality of life. I currently direct Terravoz and do strategic consulting.


Born and raised in Brazil, I have a BSc in Computer Science from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), a MSc from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) on the design of software for educational activities, and a PhD from the MIT Media Lab on the development of technological initiatives for social empowerment.