MIT Sloan Action Learning
EMBA Global Labs

EMBA Global Labs

About the MIT Executive MBA Program & Working Executives
Action Learning Global Labs
Action Learning Impact
Time, Travel & Expenses
More Information

About the MIT Executive MBA Program

The MIT EMBA Program is an extraordinary opportunity for rising executives to challenge themselves, to challenge convention, and to challenge their fields. The EMBA Program is built on MIT’s deep culture of rigor, questioning, and teamwork, and taps into deep roots in innovation, research, and management. The MIT Sloan School of Management has defined the science of management and led innovations that have changed the face of business. MIT Sloan continues to be at the forefront of management education, empowering executives with a rigorous and data-driven approach to solving complex challenges and seizing strategic opportunities.

More on the MIT EMBA here:

MIT Executive MBA Students/Working Executives

The MIT Executive MBA Program boasts the most senior executive MBA cohort in North America. Each year, approximately 120 working executives undertake this rigorous 20-month executive-schedule program. EMBA students travel to campus 30 times over 20 months, and remain actively engaged in their jobs and careers at the same time. The EMBA students learn while they work, and work while they learn. The curriculum designed to build General Management skills and a scientific approach to management focuses on:

  • Global Leadership
  • Data-Driven Analytics
  • Operations Management
  • System Dynamics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship

MIT Executive MBA Class of 2018 Student Profile

MIT Executive MBA Class of 2018 Student Profile

Two EMBA Global Lab Courses

MIT strives to equip students to address the world’s greatest challenges. Each Global Lab course focuses on a different aspect of that goal. The MIT Executive MBA Class of 2018 Action Learning lab classes will run from January – April 2018 with March 17-24, 2018 set aside for concentrated Field Study. Some teams will travel outside of the U.S.


Classic GO-Lab, Global Organizations Lab focuses on the strategic, management and organizational challenges of international scaling, localization, and cross-border initiatives and integration in organizations of all sizes.

Click here to learn more about GO-Lab.


IDEA Lab – Innovation Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage – will explore themes of global innovation ecosystems, stakeholders and experimentation/evaluation. Consider Boston’s innovation ecosystem as a place to launch/scale-up a start-up, and/or for global corporations to use as a base to tap into the Boston innovation economy.

Click here to learn more about IDEA Lab .

Goals of MIT Action Learning

During each Global Lab course, EMBA students will seek to:

  • Develop integrative perspectives through in-depth examination of a real-world challenge in a global context in unfamiliar:
    • Organizations
    • Functional problems
    • Industries
    • Cultures
  • Apply frameworks and tools to a complex, multi-dimensional, multi-stakeholder management problem or opportunity
  • Integrate 16 months of learning in a team-based context, working with external stakeholders in an unfamiliar organizational setting

The MIT Executive MBA students will leverage their executive experience, MIT’s analytical tool kit, and best practices during an executive advisory-action learning engagement. The EMBAs will apply their learning and experience, working in partnership with project sponsors to address an array of organizational and global concerns. Each Global Lab EMBA project team will spend approximately 4 months on the project, with one week set aside for Field Study.  

Global Lab teams are composed of 5-6 carefully selected MIT Executive MBA (EMBA) students, averaging 17 years of work experience. And, each team is mentored by a senior MIT Sloan faculty member.

Past Sponsors on Impact

  • Serious professional, senior executives
  • Provided an external perspective, and multinational and multicultural inputs
  • The team came up with a diverse idea which we would never have considered
  • The project was a win for us and helped us understand things that people don't tell us directly but would tell the MIT team
  • Extremely good value—seasoned, executive input from multiple viewpoints (including MIT), with objective feedback, while expecting no follow-on business (ie consultant model)
  • A candid and professional perspective from a highly talented group of people
  • Highly skilled resources who can take on a challenging task independently with little or no guidance

Advice from Past Project Sponsors to Future Project Sponsors

  • Select a project with both strategic and operational dimensions
  • Spend time early to engage & prepare MIT EMBA team scope, problem statement, and create an environment for success
  • Be responsive to data requests from the team
  • Agree on protocol of engagement
  • Devote more time to reviewing and debating the project team findings and recommendations with more colleagues
  • Despite that it felt like we invested a lot of time, would ensure we were even more dedicated and responsive
  • Prepare material on company + organizational goals + supporting data for project
  • Check in often with students

Time Commitment

The Project Sponsor can expect to provide the strategic context for the project, provide access to data and key staff. The Sponsor should plan to engage with team on a bi-weekly basis to review progress and provide feedback. If other locations are involved, there should be a dedicated Site Facilitator for each location the team will visit to help coordinate activities and meetings, and serve as a key point of contact.  

  • Book YOUR time as the project’s executive sponsor.
  • Provide strategic context and access to data and resources.
  • Anticipate weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with EMBA team.
  • Allocate time from on-the-ground staff or collaborators to enable the team’s work on-site, before and during the March Field Study travel period.
  • Line up internal team: Busy executive sponsors often designate a project manager to handle routine requests, information sharing, and planning. Your EMBA team will need a site manager in each location.

Project Sponsors working with GO-Lab teams are able to deploy a dedicated resource of 5-6 experienced MIT EMBAs. It is important to keep in mind that Global Labs are each 15 unit courses at MIT, which typically requires 15 days of work per student (excluding class time; including the 5-day Field Study).  The students are not resident on campus, and all have busy full time careers. The EMBA students travel to MIT 30 times over 20 months, once every 3 weeks.


Global Lab teams are student teams fulfilling an academic requirement. They are not consultants, so there is no fee for service. However, project host/sponsors do have some responsibilities. They are asked to provide work space and are also responsible for travel and lodging expenses for their student team, to include necessary airfare, lodging, expenses and local travel. Cost estimates range widely due to location. Projects which require international travel and/or travel to multiple locations can range from US$15,000-US$30,000.

Project sponsor financial responsibilities:

  • Book and pay hotel accommodations and local travel expenses for the Global Lab team
  • Reimburse actual GO-Lab team air fare and expenses

MIT Non-Disclosure Agreement

Often, sponsoring organizations need assurance of confidentiality. MIT routinely enters into Nondisclosure agreements with sponsoring organizations. Click here to download MIT’s standard non-Disclosure Agreement.

Download Documents Here

MIT Non-Disclosure Agreement Summer 2017

Contact for More Information

To learn more about the MIT Executive MBA Program and/or sponsoring an Action Learning project, contact Beth Chartier at

To learn more about the MIT Executive MBA Program please visit our website,

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