Jason Jay

Faculty

Jason Jay

About

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 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 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 work includes deep case studies of cross-sectoral collaboration and hybrid organizations that combine social and business goals. These case studies have been published in the Academy of Management Journal and California Management Review. He also contributes to the MIT Sloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Greenbiz on the topic of sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI). A key finding of his research is that social innovation occurs through authentic conversations that hold the tension between divergent values and perspectives. With Gabriel Grant, he is the author of Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World.

As a facilitator and consultant, Jason has helped advance sustainability strategy with companies like Biogen, Novartis, and Bose. He is a research partner and facilitator for the EDF Climate Corps and its network of companies. He has contributed to the strategy and curriculum of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Innovation and Change Initiative as a faculty affiliate.

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 and the World Bank. 

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.

Publications

"Navigating the Paradoxes of Sustainability."

Jay, Jason, Sara Soderstrom, and Gabriel Grant. In Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox, 353-372. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017.

"How Agribusiness Can Avoid the Mistakes of Clean Tech."

Nolet, Sarah, and Jason Jesurum Jay. Stanford Social Innovation Review, August 10, 2016.

"Which SOI Innovation is Right for You?"

Jay, Jason Jesurum, Sergio Gonzalez, and Marine Gerard. Blog. MIT Sloan Management Review, March 2016.

"Sustainability-Oriented Innovation: The More the Merrier."

Jay, Jason Jesurum, Sergio Gonzalez, and Marine Gerard. Blog. MIT Sloan Management Review, January 2016.

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Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

Use ’transformative contrasting’ to guide ideas through gridlock

When you let go of hidden, competing commitments, progress and partnerships will follow.

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Ideas Made to Matter

Wield polarization to build positive change

In TEDx talk, Jason Jay explains how to use differences, big and small, to find creative solutions.

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