Beth Kolko is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. She is also a Founder and CEO of Shift Labs, an engineering and manufacturing company designing low cost health technologies for low resource communities.
As an academic, Beth began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and today runs the Design for Digital Inclusion (DDI) lab at UW which works on technology development for resource-constrained environments. The DDI group thinks about the other five billion potential users, computing beyond the workplace or the desktop, and how technologies can help address the challenges of everyday life globally. Somewhere in the past several years she started spending time in hackerspaces, attending hacker cons, and diving into DIY and Maker culture. After a few years of that, and after several years marveling at the creativity of students, she started Hackademia in an attempt to bring the habits of mind of hackers and makers into the university setting. Beth is fascinated by creativity, innovation, and how a new perspective on an old problem can be a game changer.