Socio-technical Design and Innovation for Complex Global Problems
Mitchell has 15 years of on-the-ground experience researching and designing new approaches to the world’s most challenging environments. He is a specialist in organizational innovation, social science research, and the fusion of interdisciplinary design methods with geospatial technologies.
Mitchell’s work has improved living conditions in refugee camps, reduced poverty in urban slums, and transformed conflict cities. From 2006-2013, he built the technical consultancy Sutika Sipus to provide international agencies throughout Africa, Middle East, and Afghanistan with new capabilities for urban research and computational analysis to guide strategic interventions. From 2011-13 he advised the government of Somalia on conflict stabilization and urban reconstruction and pioneered the design of local informatics for the improved security and economic development of Mogadishu. While pursuing doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University in 2015, he cofounded the company Symkala, which applies breakthrough robotics technologies to unstructured dark data, driving a new direction in geospatial information systems (GIS).
Mitchell has additionally been consulted by the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, and NASA on the integration of UAVs and autonomous cars in cities. He has spoken widely on his work at venues including MIT MediaLab, Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis, Columbia Earth Institute, and Oxford University. His work has been featured in a variety of outlets including WIRED, Popular Science, and Gizmodo.