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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship


The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Rebecca Hui

2016 - 2017
Legatum Fellow
Seed Grantee
Retail & Wholesale
SM, School of Architecture & Planning

Roots Studio boosts the livelihoods of rural artists in India by giving them the technology and training to digitize their art at minimal cost. Artists may sell the same piece of art multiple times, sell on different mediums like apparel and stationery, and receive their payment instantly through mobile money. Roots Studio simplifies the distribution chain by skipping the step of shipping physical goods, which saves costs and allows artisan communities to receive a greater share of the retail price than traditional craft ventures.

For the last five years Rebecca has been exploring India’s rural to urban transition, having first followed cows in her mapping project titled “Life Through the Perspective of a Cow,” which evolved into a three-year study on city-animal conflict that she undertook as a Fulbright Scholar and National Geographic Young Explorer.

As a Tata Fellow at MIT, Rebecca turned ideas into action by consulting the Government of Maharashtra alongside the World Bank on strategic planning and modeling of rural water supply systems. She envisions the “Rurban,” a future in which villagers strengthen skills and assets that they can use in their villages rather than having to migrate into cities. As art is one such skill, Roots Studio seeks to financially support multiple lifetimes of artistic passion through digitization.

Rebecca is a Master of Science candidate in Urban Studies and Planning in the School of Architecture and Planning.


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