Anjali Sastry

Senior Lecturer, System Dynamics

Biography | Selected Publications

Anjali Sastry

Anjali Sastry is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

She is also a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Sastry explores practical aspects of organizational and managerial effectiveness in settings facing complex challenges and pressing needs, where her grounding in system dynamics offers insights for innovation and improvement. Her study of practical management approaches for improving healthcare delivery in resource-limited markets connects management, strategy, systems approaches, and design thinking with global health and action learning. Building on her extensive experience with on-the-ground improvement projects in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, she designs and carries out field studies and impact assessments, develops cases and other materials for teaching, and conducts qualitative and operational research in collaboration with domain experts and frontline practitioners. Her work on innovative business models in frontier markets investigates the factors shaping scale, quality, and sustainability relevant to both entrepreneurs and established organizations.

As a Principal Investigator with MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, Sastry investigates health innovation in India.

These research interests translate into teaching innovations at MIT Sloan. She founded and led GlobalHealth Lab, which collaborates with selected enterprises on the front lines of health care delivery. Built around the needs that partners identify, she has overseen 75 projects that address management, operations, and strategy. Students work at MIT to design specific improvements they then help implement on-site, working alongside enterprise staff. Now, Sastry is studying impact and refining a set of practical field-tested tools drawn from these projects. Press coverage on these projects includes the Financial Times, Forbes, AP, National Public Radio, and the Times of India.

Sastry’s teaching experience includes undergraduates, MBAs, and PhD students; executive Sloan Fellows; both custom and open-enrollment executive education courses at Harvard, University of Michigan, and MIT; faculty development; and mentoring student entrepreneurs and researchers at MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Stanford, and Boston University. Her investment in teaching has led to a stream of ongoing research to explore how professional students learn from experience, practice, and action. She is currently at work on her third book with Yasheng Huang on the disruptive educational and social impact of action learning.

Sastry's professional experience includes management consulting at Bain and Company and research positions at Rocky Mountain Institute, where she worked in India, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. As an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and MIT Sloan, she used system dynamics computer simulation to research imprinting in organizations, institutional theory, organizational learning, and patterns of change in organizations. Sastry’s research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Energy Policy, Corporate Reputation Review, and Technology Review. She also writes for broader audiences, with pieces in Fast Company, the Huffington Post, the Atlantic’s Quartz, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and has appeared on Bloomberg Business Radio, SiriusXM Business Radio, CBC’s The Current, and PRI’s Innovation Hub radio shows.

In 2011, Sastry was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she continues to collaborate in both teaching and research in executive education and degree programs.

She serves on the board of directors and is a member of the executive committee of global nonprofit Management Sciences for Health. She advises Mumbai-based Tata Trusts (where she spent May-August 2015 in residence), WonderWork, the Ashoka Foundation, Merck for Mothers, and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, among others, She is also a frequent collaborator with colleagues from the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University, MIT’s D-Lab, the MIT IDEAS competition, the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and the Global Business School Network.

Sastry’s first book, Parenting Your Child with Autism: Practical Solutions, Strategies, and Advice for Helping Your Family, (New Harbinger Publications, 2012, coauthored with Blaise Aguirre) combines her personal experience, study of the research evidence, and management expertise in a practical guide for parents. In November 2014, Harvard Business Review Press published her book on designing projects for learning and innovation, Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner (coauthored with Kara Penn).

Anjali Sastry holds an SB in physics, an SB in Russian Language, and a PhD in system dynamics, all from MIT. for more on her global health work    for more on her latest book



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