Jason Jay

Lecturer, Sustainability
Executive Director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative


Jason Jay Jason Jay is a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan.

He teaches courses on leadership, strategy, and innovation for sustainable business. Jason engages students and alumni in hands-on projects with leading companies and organizations. These efforts help build a community of innovators for sustainability that includes MIT students and alumni, faculty and researchers, with partners in business, government, NGOs, and hybrid organizations.

Jason's own research focuses on how people navigate the tensions inherent in the quest for sustainability, as they simultaneously pursue their own self-interest and the flourishing of human and other life. This investigation includes deep case studies of cross-sectoral collaboration and hybrid organizations that combine social and business goals. It also includes action research efforts that help people cultivate authentic, effective conversations about sustainability and escape common pitfalls of excessive moral and intellectual certainty. Energy efficiency has proven a useful context to explore these questions; Jay has conducted an ethnographic study of the Cambridge Energy Alliance, and serves as a research partner and facilitator for the EDF Climate Corps program and its network of companies.

Alongside these efforts, Jason is an active leader of sustainability efforts across MIT. Through the MIT Sustainable Societies Research Group, he brings together scholars from across the Institute to examine the invention, implementation, and transformation required for a sustainable society. He has helped improve the energy and environmental footprint of the MIT campus by founding the MIT Generator and the 'Greening MIT' community engagement campaign, and serves as founding member of the Campus Energy “Walk the Talk” Task Force.

Prior to MIT, Jay ran an Internet startup, traveled around the world, taught kindergarten in a progressive preschool, and worked as a consultant with Dialogos International, where he consulted on leadership development and organizational change for major international corporations and NGO's including BP, the World Bank, and the Instituto Libertad y Democracia.

Jay holds an AB in psychology and a Master's in education from Harvard University, and a PhD in Organization Studies from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read his latest research paper "Accelerating the Theory and Practice of Sustainability-Oriented Innovation".

Faculty Media

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Getting Unstuck: Easy Steps for Achieving Conversational Breakthroughs

    When was the last time you tried to have a productive conversation with someone, despite diametrically opposing viewpoints? Were you successful? Or did your conversation get … stuck?

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Sustainability Tools Demystified: MIT Sloan Launches SHIFT

    While having a lot of tools is typically a good thing, wading through this glut of resources can slow companies down in the journey toward sustainability--and even prevent them from implementing...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] What Does the Trump Administration Mean for Climate Change Efforts?

    "For every conservative who dreams about ripping up the Paris Agreement, there's a company executive who wants to stay in."

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Taking #OurAccord Personally for Earth Day

    People often think of climate change as a policy issue, one that is best dealt with through legislation and mandates, and not as an individual.

  • MIT Sloan’s Jason Jay on Breaking Through Gridlock

    Think about the last time you tried to talk with someone about political, social, or environmental issues who didn’t already agree with you. How well did it go?

  • Tips for Sustainability-oriented Entrepreneurs Seeking Capital

    Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs willingly are adding another task to an already impossibly long to-do list: having a positive environmental or social impact.

  • How MIT’s B-School Teaches Sustainability

    Every educational institution these days talks about innovation. But MIT’s Sloan School of Management is among the very few that can actually back that claim up, particularly in the world of...

  • Accelerating the Theory and Practice of Sustainability-Oriented Innovation

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad understanding of the concept and process of sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI). It provides a useful starting point for people aiming to invest...

  • How Tech Can Stop the Looming Food Crisis

    Start by developing technologies that reduce all the wasted food out there.

  • A Toolset for Getting Stuck Conversations Back on Track

    MIT Sloan’s Jason Jay explains how to rethink and reboot the conversations holding you back.


Contact Information

Office: E62-362
Phone: (617) 253-0594
Email: jjay@mit.edu
Support Staff
Name: Gloria Diane Clark
Phone: (617) 324-6246

Teaches In

Strategies for Sustainable Business Oct 18-20, 2017 | Apr 2-4, 2018 | Oct 3-5, 2018

John Sterman and Jason Jay: #OurAccord

John Sterman and Jason Jay discuss how you can contribute your ideas on how to fight climate change. Share your ideas on social media using #OurAccord.