MIT Grand Challenges Summit launches website, announces keynote speakers

Carla Hayden, Joi Ito, and Anasuya Sengupta to speak at March event


MIT will host a summit on the Grand Challenges in Information Sciences and Scholarly Communication March 19-23, 2018. A new website,, launched today with more information about the summit, which brings together national and international experts from a broad range of disciplines, sectors, and domains.

The Grand Challenges Summit aims to identify critical problems in information science that are solvable within 10 years and which have broad implications across the scholarly community. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Whose Knowledge Co-Director Anasuya Sengupta, and MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito will each deliver keynote addresses to kick off workshops in the areas of scholarly discovery, digital curation and preservation, and open scholarship.

While attendance at the workshops is by invitation only, Carla Hayden’s keynote address is open to the MIT community, and all keynotes will be live-streamed at and archived for later viewing.


Photo: Shawn Miller

Keynote: Scholarly Discovery, March 19, 9am EST
Carla Hayden
Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13. Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Read full bio




Keynote: Digital Curation and Preservation, March 21, 1pm EST
Anasuya Sengupta
Sengupta is co-director of Whose Knowledge?. She has led initiatives in India and the US, across the global South, and internationally for over 20 years to amplify marginalized voices in virtual and physical worlds. She is the former chief grantmaking officer at the Wikimedia Foundation and a 2017 Shuttleworth Fellow. Sengupta holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and a BA in Economics (Honors) from Delhi University.



Keynote: Open Scholarship, March 22, 9am EST
Joi Ito
Ito is the director of the MIT Media Lab, Professor of the Practice at MIT and the author, with Jeff Howe, of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future. Ito is a Visiting Professor of Law from Practice at the Harvard Law School. Read full bio





The Grand Challenges Summit is funded with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.