Skip to the main content
This is a Berkman Klein alum page. The information below may be out of date.

Beth is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington where she co-directs the Tactile and Tactical Design Lab. She is also a Faculty Affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

She began her academic career in 1994 as an English professor studying the early days of the text-based internet. In 2000, she joined UW and led the Design for Digital Inclusion Lab which researched early messaging platforms and social networks, digital games, digital health, and technology for international development.

She helped kickstart the academic makerspace movement with her Hackademia project at UW and research on non-expert innovation.

Since 2015 she has been leading the Y Combinator backed Shift Labs, Inc. which builds medical devices that improve healthcare delivery in emerging markets.


Jan 24, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

Hackademia: Leveraging the Conflict Between Expertise and Innovation to Create Disruptive Technologies

Beth Kolko, University of Washington

Hackademia: how to foster a hacker ethos within the university. Ways to foster invention when expertise and innovation conflict.

Jun 16, 2009 @ 12:30 PM

Form, Function and Fiction: ICTs and their uses in resource constrained environments

Beth Kolko, Berkman Fellow

Beth Kolko will present an examination of what are essentially fictional definitions (what is "the Internet," "an Internet user," a "mobile phone") and discusses how the sameā€¦

Jan 29, 2008 @ 2:52 PM

User, Hacker, Builder, Thief: Creativity and Consumerism in a Digital Age

Beth Kolko, Berkman Fellow

Beth Koko, Berkman Fellow, discussed Creativity and Consumerism in a Digital Age.