Somoto uses small-scale, low-cost interventions to transform existing community assets into creative learning spaces.
As the “Silicon Savannah,” Nairobi is a leading force in Africa’s creative and digital economy. But few young people can access the tools, spaces, or guidance to develop creative and technical skills needed to participate in a changing economy.
Somoto believes that communities already have the infrastructure to nurture the creativity of their young people. Somoto enhances these assets to promote creative education in communities that need it most.
Young people need dedicated spaces to tinker, design, and unlock their creative potential.
From paintbrushes to Arduino kits, tools help young people convert their ideas into reality.
Space and tools alone aren’t enough. People—teachers, trainers, and facilitators—activate creative learning experiences.
Once identify underutilized spaces in underserved communities that are networked to internet:
We redesign these spaces to be more conducive to learning
We equip these spaces with new tools, software & hardware
We bring in local educators to activate creative learning experiences
Download our brochure to learn more!
Somoto was founded at MIT in 2020. We originally developed Somoto through student accelerator programs, including the School of Planning and Architecture's DesignX and the PKG IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge. We met as three City Planning graduate students at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Our collective experiences with urban inequality fuel our passion to ensure that young people everywhere can participate in our changing economies.
Sarah has a background in Architecture, Graphic Design and Communication, earning a a Master in City Planning from MIT and a B.Arch degree from Virginia Tech.
Sofia’s brings urban design, fabrication and refugee service experiences. She has a Master in City Planning from MIT and a B.A. in Environmental Studies at Yale University.
Somala has a background in Housing Policy and Community-Based and Applied Research. She earned a Master in City Planning from MIT and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University.