Category: MIT Sloan

Lester Thurow, former Dean of MIT Sloan School of Management, passes away

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 25 days ago

Lester Thurlow

Lester Thurow, who served as Dean of MIT Sloan School of Management from 1987 to 1993 passed away in late March. Thurow is the author of the best-selling book, The Zero-Sum Society, which covers the human implications of economic problem solving and interprets macroeconomics as a zero-sum game. Or, as it is commonly known as today, income inequality. Thurow's book offers a set of recommendations about how to balance government stewardship of the economy with free-market aspirations. In discussing inflation, poverty, and unemployment, Thurow told the Boston Globe in 1979 that, "All our problems have solutions, but not necessarily politically feasible ones." (Image courtesy of WGBH)

"A big part of our competitive problems stem from top management that doesn't understand the technology they are supposed to manage," said Thurow to the Boston Globe upon his appointment as dean. "Somehow we need to give managers without formal training in science and engineering and understanding, a competence, in technology."

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MIT REAP helps London scale its innovation ecosystem

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 2 months and 17 days ago

Contributed by MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer, Dr. Phil Budden.

REAP London small

MIT's Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) is fostering a worldwide innovation and entrepreneurship movement helping regional ecosystems. The latest region to take its REAP learnings to the next level is Team London, which is one of the regions in REAP's Cohort Two (essentially, the second round) which comes to a close this June 2016.

REAP is MIT's unique, two-year global Executive Education initiative designed to help regions around the world, with an average of eight teams per Cohort, to accelerate economic growth and job creation through "innovation-driven entrepreneurship" (IDE).  Each team has to include representatives of the five key stakeholders in an "innovation ecosystem," and must work together--with the help of MIT faculty and their research--to analyze their region’s strengths, determine a strategy based on their regional comparative advantage, and then implement a first step to achieving that strategy. Teams attend four workshops over the two-year program and must collectively achieve a great deal in the action phases before and after the workshops.

Team London's stakeholders, after participating in three REAP workshops (2014-2015), determined that their region produces a lot of start-ups but not enough of these scale to their full potential. This insight confirmed that efforts by a variety of stakeholders--including the UK Government of Prime Minister David Cameron--had successfully accelerated the innovation-driven enterprises in their ecosystem, which early insights had highlighted. With "London calling," MIT responded with its insights from Kendall Square, and then a place for London--following the visit of the British Prime Minister to MIT--in its second REAP cohort. (See "London's tech hub looks to capture 'MIT magic'")

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Marvin Minsky, father of AI, passes away

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 months and 4 days ago

Minsky

Marvin Minsky, a pioneering mathematician, cognitive scientist, and computer engineer, and a father of artificial intelligence (AI), passed away in late January, at the age of 88. Minsky, who received his BA and PhD in mathematics from Harvard and Princeton, respectively, was Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Emeritus, at MIT. 

He was widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities in artificial intelligence. His seminal book, Society of Mind, explores intellectual structure and function, and is often used for understanding the diversity of the mechanisms interacting in intelligence and thought. Minsky received numerous awards for his work, including being inducted into the AI Hall of Fame, established by the IEEE Computer Society.

Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Information Technology at MIT Sloan and Director of The MIT Center for Digital Business, told SearchCIO that Minsky "changed the way we think about thinking." Inspired by mathematical work on logic and computation, Minsky believed that the human mind was fundamentally no different than a computer. He focused on engineering intelligent machines, first at Lincoln Lab, and then later as a professor at MIT, where he cofounded the Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1959 with another pioneer of the field, John McCarthy, who passed away in 2011.

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The MIT Sloan Advanced Management Program--your questions answered

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 months and 11 days ago

You’re a senior executive looking to solve tough business problems and advance your career. You know you want an immersive program with top faculty and a cohort of exceptional peers, but you're also looking for a program that can fit your time constraints. You may be considering an advanced management program. If so, here are some questions you may be considering.

Why an Advanced Management Program?

Wondering if an advanced management program might be right for you? Executives enroll in postgraduate programs for many reasons, but most have an immediate need to focus on strategic skills and particular business challenges. You may be an entrepreneur looking to scale your business. Or perhaps you are preparing to step up into a job that is bigger and more complex than your current role.

Some advanced management programs tend to be "MBA refreshers." The Advanced Management Program (AMP) at MIT Sloan, however, is a five-week program focused less on core curriculum--the entire course is built around custom modules--and more on strategic cross-functional skill sets that you can immediately put into practice.

For example, one former AMP participant entered the program with a patent for a new product, and by the time he left, he had built a commercial business plan, received legal advice, and made essential contacts for the development of his product. Another attendee who was in charge of supply chain for beverages and beers for his US-based company wrote a plan for growing the business in Africa.

Why the Advanced Management Program at MIT Sloan?

There are many advanced management programs out there. So why choose MIT Sloan? In addition to its challenging learning experience, the program has many features that differentiates it from similar programs, making it--in a word--transformational. Executives from around the globe enroll in AMP to take advantage of:

  • The engineering and scientific culture of MIT
  • The integration of science, technology, and management that is part of the Sloan curriculum
  • The small cohort of global leaders (limited to 35), providing outstanding opportunities for networking, bonding, and the sharing of ideas.
  • The faculty--the same thought leaders who teach in our exceptional degree programs for experienced managers, such as the MIT Sloan Fellows Program and the MIT Executive MBA.
  • One-on-one leadership coaching and individualized, 360-degree feedback assessments from these world renowned scholars
  • Our alumni network and the innovation eco-system around MIT

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MIT entrepreneurs: The world's 10th-largest economy

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 4 months and 24 days ago

Living MIT graduates who have started and built for-profit companies do not qualify as a nation. However, if they did, they'd be the world's 10th largest economy, with gross revenue falling between the GDP of Russia ($2.097 trillion) and India ($1.877 trillion), according to a report released earlier this week.

"The report confirms what has long been clear: Our community's passion for doing, making, designing and building is alive and growing," President L. Rafael Reif wrote in an email to the MIT community. "As we do our part by continuing to foster our students' natural creativity and energy, it is inspiring to see the potential our alumni hold to extend MIT's power to do good for the world."

As of 2014, the report estimates, MIT alumni have launched 30,200 active companies, employing roughly 4.6 million people, and generating roughly $1.9 trillion in annual revenues.  An update to a previous reported authored in 2009, the new report outlines key entrepreneurial trends, such as the declining age of entrepreneurs, and alumni contributions to company growth and innovation, such as patents filed. Other key results for entrepreneurial impact and trends:

  • 25% of alumni have founded companies, with more than 40% of these labeled as serial entrepreneurs
  • 11% of alumni who have graduated in the 2010s have already founded companies, compared with 8% who founded companies within five years of graduating in the 1990s, and 4% in the 1960s
  • 80% of alumni-founded companies have survived five or more years, while 70% have survived 10 years. (Across the U.S., roughly 50% of all new companies last five years, while only 35% last 10 years.)
  • MIT entrepreneurs favor the East and West coasts: More than 30% of all the surveyed companies are located in Massachusetts, with 8% in Cambridge; 20% are located in California. Approximately 23% operate in other countries.

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Automation today: Insights from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 11 months and 6 days ago

MIT CIO

In mid-May, MIT Sloan held the twelfth annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, which attracted more than 700 senior-level IT executives from around the world. The panel discussions spanned a wide range of topics, from the Internet of Things (IoT) to data privacy and cyber security, to the evolution of platform-as-a-service companies.

One of the day's early sessions gave attendees insights into the current state of automation, and where it will be going. When it comes to automation, the big question is "will robots take our jobs?" The answer is both yes and no.

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MIT and Cambridge: Working hand-in-hand to foster innovation

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 11 months and 18 days ago

Walk down Broadway Street in Kendall Square today and no matter where you turn there is something exciting brewing: a new biotech company, a trendy restaurant, or a venture capital-funded think tank.

Galaxy Sculpture Kendall Square

However, four decades ago that wasn't the case. If you drove down Main Street in the 1970s, you were more likely to find abandoned buildings and empty factories. In contrast, today the area is a hotbed of innovation, entrepreneurship, and cutting-edge technology--as well as home to more than 150 high-tech companies, including global corporate giants like Genzyme, Google, Microsoft, and Biogen Idec. Another "giant" in the city—and one of the main reasons the area is known as an innovation hub--is MIT, the institution that has collaborated with the city to revitalize the area and has played an integral part in the area's resurgence.

"Kendall Square is the epicenter, but the reach is all around the edge of campus, "says MIT Provost Martin Schmidt, who is also Co-Chair of the MIT Building Committee.  According to Schmidt, there’s a plan afoot to create "a gateway and a sense of destination" in Kendall Square. In 2013, the City of Cambridge approved MIT's petition to transform 26 acres of Institute-owned property in the Kendall Square/East Campus area. The new zoning will preserve existing academic development potential and enable the creation of new housing, retail, lab and commercial space, as well as more engaging open space. Schmidt says future plans also include a new home for the MIT Museum, as well as more academic space, graduate dormitories, and a childcare center.

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Wales selected to participate in MIT's entrepreneurial economic development program

Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 11 months and 26 days ago

MIT Sloan has added another cohort to its unique multi-year program that helps regions around the world implement an entrepreneurial ecosystem based on innovation. This year, the country of Wales has joined the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), which is a joint effort between MIT Sloan Executive Education and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said she was delighted that Wales has been selected to join REAP, adding that "the program builds on the extensive work already carried out in Wales to promote and support entrepreneurship."

Wales is one of eight regions selected from Europe, Asia, and South America to join the third cohort, which launches with the first of four interactive workshops at MIT in October 2015. As part of the program, each region selects a multi-disciplinary team of influential members who represent five key stakeholders--government, finance, academia, industry, and entrepreneurs--that inform and influence regional strategy.

Course participants attend two-and-a-half day workshops twice a year for at least two years. On site, they are exposed to the theory and practice of developing regional clusters of innovation-based entrepreneurship, collaborate by breaking down traditional boundaries, and focus on the common purpose of regional economic development.

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