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, an initiative that helps 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.