Strategy and Innovation

Strategies for Sustainable Business

Dates: Jul 07-09, 2014

Certificate Track: Strategy and Innovation

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tuition: $3,900 (excluding accommodations)

Program Days (for certificate credit): 3

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The issue of sustainability is one that affects all businesses and all people and is no longer a niche for ‘green’ businesses. MIT’s core approach views sustainability as a function of the interdependency and complex dynamics of economy, society, and environment as systems, where success overall is influenced by success across all areas and not upon a single factor.

This innovative new program focuses not simply on solving existing problems, but rather takes a unique approach based on seizing new opportunities to develop strategies for greater long-term economic, social, and environmental benefit.

The program will present principles and tools that will enable participants to evaluate organizations on the multiple dimensions of sustainability and see the tensions that can arise when trying to increase sustainability without negatively affecting others. Participants will use these tools during the course to evaluate the sustainability efforts of other companies and their own and receive feedback from faculty so that they are better equipped to implement, influence, and lead when they return.

Join the MySloanExecEd Community Group for this program to network with past, present, and future participants.


Using a blend of hands-on simulations, case study and article analysis, and small group discussions, participants will learn how sustainability affects all businesses. Participants will learn effective strategies for leading and effecting change on multiple levels, from individual to the organization to the community to the world and how to apply them in both the short and long term to achieve real results.

In Strategies for Sustainable Business, participants will:

  • Gain an appreciation for the “state of the world,” key dimensions of “unsustainability,” and leverage points for change
  • Understand opportunities for business value creation through more effective, sustainable use of natural and human resources
  • Understand the limits of action by individual businesses, and opportunities for industry and cross-sectoral collaboration
  • Learn to assess business strategies and some public policies with a distinctive, holistic, and systems-based perspective on sustainability
  • Identify opportunities for leadership for sustainability in personal, professional, and community life
  • General managers in global businesses who want a basic understanding of sustainability and opportunities for leadership and business value creation.
  • NGO and government leaders who want to understand a business-centered but cross-sectoral perspective on sustainability.
  • Innovators for sustainability in private, public, NGO, and hybrid sectors who want to identify opportunities for innovation and learn how to assess the impact of their innovations on global sustainability.

Please note that faculty are subject to change and not all faculty teach in each session of the program.

  • Jason Jay

    Lecturer, Sustainability

    Jason Jay is a Lecturer in Sustainability at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    His current research focuses on the “Paradoxes of Hybrid Organizing” that arise when organizations combine institutional logics from business, government, and civil society organizations. This work builds on his in-depth ethnographic research on cross-sectoral partnerships...

    ... (more)
  • Roberto Rigobon

    Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management
    Professor of Applied Economics

    Roberto Rigobon is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a visiting professor at IESA. Since joining MIT Sloan in 1997, he has won the "Teacher of the Year" award three times and received the "Excellence in Teaching" award three times.

    His areas of research are international economics, monetary economics, and development economics...

    ... (more)
  • John Sterman

    Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management
    Professor of System Dynamics and Engineering Systems
    Director, MIT System Dynamics Group

    John D. Sterman’s research centers on improving managerial decision making in complex systems. He has pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems. These flight simulators are now used by corporations and universities around the world. His recent research ranges from the dynamics of organizational change and the implementation of sustainable improvement programs to experimental studies assessing the public’s understanding of global climate change... ... (more)
  • Zeynep Ton

    Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management

    Zeynep Ton is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Ton is currently examining how organizations can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors simultaneously. Her earlier research focused on the critical role of store operations in retail supply chains...

    ... (more)
07:45 AM - 08:30 AMBreakfast and Registration
08:30 AM - 09:30 AMProgram Introduction and Groups Choose Cases
09:30 AM - 11:00 AMFishbanks Simulation
11:00 AM - 11:15 AMBreak
11:15 AM - 12:00 PMFishbanks Debrief
12:00 PM - 12:45 PMSystems Thinking - State of the World
12:45 PM - 01:45 PMLunch
01:45 PM - 03:15 PMState of the World
03:15 PM - 03:30 PMBreak
03:30 PM - 05:00 PMActing Locally: Sustainability as Process Improvement and Disruptive Innovation
05:00 PM - 06:00 PMReception
07:45 AM - 08:30 AMBreakfast
08:30 AM - 09:00 AMLearning Circles
09:00 AM - 10:30 AMInstitutions and Market Failures
10:30 AM - 10:45 AMBreak
10:45 AM - 12:15 PMSocial Sustainability Through Partnerships: Kaiser and Human Capital Institutions
12:15 PM - 01:15 PMLunch
01:15 PM - 02:45 PMMacro/Political Framework for Sustainability: Different Approaches to Development
02:45 PM - 03:00 PMBreak
03:00 PM - 04:30 PMSocial Sustainability Within Firms: Mercadona Case
07:45 AM - 08:30 AMBreakfast
08:30 AM - 09:00 AMLearning Circles
09:00 AM - 10:00 AMFrom Theory to Action: Assessing Your Sustainability Strategy
10:00 AM - 10:15 AMBreak
10:15 AM - 12:15 PMFrom Theory to Action: Assessing Your Sustainability Strategy
12:15 PM - 01:15 PMLunch
01:15 PM - 04:30 PMMaking it Personal - Leadership for Sustainability
04:30 PM - 05:00 PMAdjournment

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Featured Faculty

John Sterman

John D. Sterman’s research centers on improving managerial decision making in complex systems... more
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Program Brochure

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