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Sloan School of Management

Strategies for Sustainable Business

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Systems Dynamics and Strategies for Sustainable Business

Next dates

Oct 28—30
3 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4900
USD 1633 per day

Description

This innovative three-day program uniquely applies MIT frameworks of process improvement and system dynamics to the topic of sustainability in an effort to help participants return to their organizations with practical strategies for manifesting consensus and change—at both the micro and macro levels.

For decades, MIT and MIT Sloan have been sustainability thought leaders, from Jay Forrester’s work on World Dynamics to our groundbreaking research on high performance work systems, to the formation of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan—an effort that is shaping modern discourse on sustainability.

Strategies for Sustainable Business connects executives with MIT professors and researchers who are currently breaking new ground in sustainability thinking and practice. Faculty combine interactive lectures, case studies, games, diagnostic exercises, and deep reflective work for a highly engaging experience. Participants place current business practices in a socioeconomic context and walk away with well-grounded strategies for making sustainability a reality in their organizations, industries, and communities.

Course curriculum

Day 1—WHY: This first day focuses on why sustainability is THE challenge of our generation, and its materiality to participants’ particular business. Case studies reveal how industries are changing to adapt to the business risks—and opportunities—presented by megatrends like climate change and globalization.

Day 2—WHAT: Through lectures, discussions, and a hands-on system dynamics simulation (“Fishbanks”), participants will learn about available strategies at the operational level, in their extended supply chain, and across their industry. They deepen their understanding of the environmental and social dimension of sustainability and the limits of voluntary action.

Day 3—HOW: Participants chart a course toward the “hardwiring” of sustainability in their enterprise by building coalitions for change and undertaking process improvement. Lectures and discussions draw on the latest research by program faculty and include lessons on how to influence organizational culture, run experiments, conduct difficult conversations, and engage people to undertake important projects. Participants will leave the classroom knowing their next steps to move the ball forward.

Participants will learn effective strategies for leading and effecting change on multiple levels—from the individual to the organization to the industry—and how to apply them effectively in both the short and long term.

In Strategies for Sustainable Business, participants will:

  • Gain an appreciation for the key dimensions of unsustainability and leverage points for change
  • Learn what strategies for sustainability are available at all levels of the organization, and which are most relevant to their organization
  • Understand opportunities for business value creation through more effective, sustainable use of natural and human resources and cross-sectoral collaboration
  • Learn to assess business strategies and some public policies with a distinctive, holistic, and systems-based perspective on sustainability
  • Build an action plan for innovation and continuous improvement on sustainability
  • Receive feedback from faculty so that they are better equipped to implement, influence, and lead when they return to work

Sample Schedule—Subject to Change

DAY 1 SAMPLE

  • 07:45AM - 08:30AM Breakfast and Registration
  • 08:30AM - 09:30AM Program Introduction and Groups Choose Cases
  • 09:30AM - 11:00AM Fishbanks Simulation
  • 11:00AM - 11:15AM Break
  • 11:15AM - 12:00PM Fishbanks Debrief
  • 12:00PM - 12:45PM Systems Thinking - State of the World
  • 12:45PM - 01:45PM Networking Lunch
  • 01:45PM - 03:15PM State of the World
  • 03:15PM - 03:30PM Break
  • 03:30PM - 05:00PM Acting Locally: Sustainability as Process Improvement and Disruptive Innovation
  • 05:00PM - 06:00PM Reception

DAY 2 SAMPLE

  • 07:45AM - 08:30AM Breakfast
  • 08:30AM - 09:00AM Learning Circles
  • 09:00AM - 10:30AM Institutions and Market Failures
  • 10:30AM - 10:45AM Break
  • 10:45AM - 12:15PM Social Sustainability Through Partnerships: Kaiser and Human Capital Institutions
  • 12:15PM - 01:15PM Networking Lunch
  • 01:15PM - 02:45PM Macro/Political Framework for Sustainability: Different Approaches to Development
  • 02:45PM - 03:00PM Break
  • 03:00PM - 04:30PM Social Sustainability Within Firms: Mercadona Case

DAY 3 SAMPLE

  • 07:45AM - 08:30AM Breakfast
  • 08:30AM - 09:00AM Learning Circles
  • 09:00AM - 10:00AM From Theory to Action: Assessing Your Sustainability Strategy
  • 10:00AM - 10:15AM Break
  • 10:15AM - 12:15PM From Theory to Action: Assessing Your Sustainability Strategy
  • 12:15PM - 01:15PM Networking Lunch
  • 01:15PM - 04:30PM Making it Personal - Leadership for Sustainability
  • 04:30PM - 05:00PM Adjournment

Who should attend

This program is designed for people who have to make a sustainability strategy happen, including:

  • Functional and business unit leaders from companies committed to sustainability goals, who have been charged with advancing sustainability and creating value in their area.
  • Investment professionals who are charged with aligning socially responsible investments with value and/or who seek to deepen their understanding of sustainability in a socioeconomic context. New sustainability professionals who need to get up to speed on strategies that promote sustainable business practices.
  • Environmental consultants and professionals who need to better understand how to link their practice to the world of business and to prove the value of sustainability in the marketplace.
  • NGO and government leaders who want to understand a business-centered but cross-sectoral perspective on sustainability.

Experts

Jason Jay is a Senior 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 an...
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 focuse...
John D. Sterman is the _Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management _at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Professor in the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. He is also the Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Sterman’s research ce...

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