"Everyone is talking about financial innovation. But when you’ve worked in finance, you realize that there are so many unanswered questions. I came here with a lot of questions. Now, they’re getting answered."
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 (DILS)
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.
Sustainability Speaker Series
The Sustainability Initiative support students interested in pursuing sustainability careers by presenting career paths and opportunities. We bring practitioners, researchers and the MIT Sloan community together to answer all questions students may have as they explore their options for pursuing a career in sustainability. Recent sessions include Katie Kross on the "Insider's Guide to the Sustainability Job Search", Amory Lovins, one of the world’s leading authorities on and practitioners in energy’s efficient use and clean supply and Karin Bogaers from Ahold USA (parent company of Stop & Shop, Peapod and Giant Foods) on social sustainability goals in the food and grocery industry. For more information on upcoming sessions, please see the Sustainability Initiative Events Page.
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.
“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.”
“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 can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
“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.”
“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 classroom itself is filled with so much collective brain power . . . it's obvious that I'm caught up in a room full of 124 of the brightest, most curious people from around the world."
"We have some demanding technical courses, but also a series of special seminars with very experienced practitioners who come in to run it with them — for instance, an experienced venture capital manager or a former CEO of a money management firm."