MIT Sloan invites more than 400 of the world’s finest leaders and distinguished speakers to campus every year. The most anticipated of these visits are the talks given as part of the Dean’s Innovative Leader Series, which features the most dynamic movers and shakers from around the world.
Dean’s Innovative Leader Series
At a school that places enormous value on having both feet planted in the real world, the Dean’s Innovative Leader Series is a powerful learning tool. Students have the rare privilege of engaging in candid and meaningful discussions with leaders who are actively shaping the global marketplace. Recent speakers have included Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, who successfully ditched the troubled plane in the Hudson River off Manhattan; Jack Welch, founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and bestselling author of “Winning” and “Jack: Straight from the Gut”; Orit Gadiesh, chairman of Bain & Company; José María Alfredo Aznar López, former prime minister of Spain; and John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. Dean's Innovative Leader Series website
Sustainability Speakers Series
The Sloan Sustainability Speakers Series brings a variety of experts to campus to address topics associated with sustainability, including poverty alleviation, public health, global climate change, environmental toxicity, new product development for sustainability, and sustainability-related investment strategies. Recent speakers have included Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America; Mark Buckley, vice president of Environmental Affairs, Staples, Inc.; and Martin D. Madaus, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Millipore. MIT Sloan Sustainability Speaker Series website
Club-Run Speaker Series
MIT Sloan clubs also host a myriad of speakers of particular interest to their members. The Asian Business Club; the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Club; the Sales Club; and the Tech and Healthcare clubs – among many others – all host speaker series, some in partnership with MIT Sloan academic centers and forums. With so many choices, the greatest difficulty is often choosing just which speaking event to attend during any given lunch hour.
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“I think MIT Sloan does a great job of breaking monolithic disciplinary approaches to issues and throws together a group of scholars who are really learning from each other to have multiple approaches to similar problems.”