The Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan is the gathering place for leaders from all sectors who work on innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. We bring practitioners, academics, MIT Sloan students, staff, and faculty together at dozens of events like these every year to inspire and empower people to take action to create a more sustainable world.
June 11-13, 2018
The Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) is a partnership among academic institutions created to provide data and networking opportunities to facilitate research on corporate sustainability.
As environmental issues have grown in complexity and scope, there is growing recognition that to gain ground on our most pressing environmental issues will require the proactive engagement and leadership of the business sector. ARCS helps develop greater understanding of the opportunities and limits of policies and strategies to create sustainable businesses by facilitating rigorous academic research.
March 9, 2018
The 2018 MIT Sustainability Summit focused on good jobs for a thriving economy- inspiring business from the inside, mobilizing from the outside.
Mainstream discussions about the future of work, widening inequality, and the rise of contract labor have proliferated in recent years. Despite the uncertainty of the times, there are many rich examples of businesses rethinking the role of workers – and the nature of work – as a source of differentiation and an opportunity to outperform. The evidence is clear: when it comes to good jobs, businesses have a significant role to play; whether focusing on internal culture and operations, or partnering with external groups to advance a broader good jobs agenda.
April 24-25, 2015
The 7th Annual Sustainability Summit focused on understanding—and offering solutions to—the complex problems facing local and globalagriculture systems. This year’s Summit will tackle food and farming challenges through the lens of the “Circular Economy,” a systems-thinking approach that demonstrates that a flourishing, sustainable world is built on intentionally cycling resources between production and consumption:from farm to table and back again.
September 24-26, 2014
Leading businesses are creating and valuing entirely new forms of positive environmental AND social impact as well as quantifying previously ignored costs and risks. This 3-day Sustainable Brands event in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management showcased new approaches to valuing risk and impact, explores new frontiers in setting company goals and shares new solutions in ICT and data management.
Attendees included leading brands and businesses who are continuing to learn from remarkable thought leaders working to create a path toward smarter, more accurate and more inclusive business metrics that create value for all stakeholders.
November 6-8, 2013
Top-down approaches to dealing with climate change haven't worked very well. This conference focused on a bottom-up approach: using new information technologies--like crowdsourcing, social media, and big data--to develop innovative ideas for what to do and to stimulate action in many parts of society.
The conference brought together:
- Leading experts on key issues related to climate change and to new information technologies
- Innovative thinkers from the general public presenting ideas they developed in the MIT Climate CoLab, an online community that harnesses the world's collective intelligence to address climate change (Winners of the CoLab's 18 contests will present their ideas, the top proposal will be awarded a Grand Prize of $10,000, and the winners of the CoLab Referral Prize will also be announced.)
- Key decision-makers from business, government, and other organizations to provide input on how to make these ideas actually work
May 20-21, 2013
The U.S. economy is at its best when there is a growing number of financially successful companies; society does best when there is a growing number of good quality jobs and capable workers; and the two are mutually reinforcing. In fact, we have firms of all sizes and structures that are financially successful and creating good jobs. But we also have successful firms that are not great places to work. This gathering of leaders from business, labor, government, civil society, and academia addressed this question: What would it take to expand the number of U.S. businesses that achieve financial success while supporting high-quality jobs? Conducted in a highly interactive “action lab” format, this summit generated insights and commitments to action at state, regional and national scales.
Empowering Action Apr. 27-28, 2013
Expanded to a two-day event, the 5th Annual MIT Sustainability Summit reflected upon the urgency of innovation to empower change. Day-one panel conversations included topics ranging from Sustainable Consumption & Production, to Innovations in Urban Planning, and Effective & Responsible Decision Making. Keynote speeches included Rick Ridgeway, VP of Environmental Initiatives for Patagonia; Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia, and Prof John Sterman, Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group. Acclaimed photographer and founder of Extreme Ice Survey, James Balog, rallied participants to take action. On day two, participants contributed to action-learning workshops that grappled with real-world problems of achieving sustainability. Attendees left with tangible change plans in their existing personal and professional contexts, reflecting the event’s theme of Empowering Action.
The Horizon Event Apr. 27, 2012
The Fourth Annual MIT Sustainability Summit, brought business and social leaders together with academic researchers and students to look at the current successes, emerging solutions and new paradigms that can lead us to an environmentally and socially sustainable future. Renowned investor Jeremy Grantham led off a day of discussions which included presentations by leaders from Starbucks and Ceres, along with distinguished MIT faculty.
Bridging Thought and Action Apr. 22, 2011
The Third Annual MIT Sustainability Summit was dedicated to bridging thought and action, addressing sustainability through a series of talks, panels and discussions. The goal of the day was for participants to get a new or renewed understanding of the theory behind creating sustainable organizations as well as the tools and tactics to address real life challenges.
Mind the Gap: Collaborate and Communicate for a Sustainable World Apr. 23, 2010
The Second Annual MIT Sustainability Summit focused on ways in which people can work across boundaries to make sustainability a reality. Because environmental and social challenges require a multi-disciplinary approach, no individual or single organization can make change a reality alone.
Throughout the day, attendees practiced innovative methods for engaging in effective dialogue and for working together during complex decision-making situations and multi-stakeholder engagements.
Manufacturing and Sustainability
The Manufacturing Summit focused on how to alter the perception of manufacturing in the US, and the importance of attracting young professionals to careers in manufacturing. Summit presentations examined how to keep the country’s economic engine strong and growing, how corporations can act as global citizens, and manufacturing’s role in sustaining a sustainable ecosystem of conferences.
MIT’s annual systems thinking conference, sponsored by the System Design and Management Program, is devoted to showcasing the new ways of thinking, working, and leading required to address today's complex challenges.
MIT Innovations in Management Conference (ILP Summit)
Sustainability is no longer relegated to offices that handle isolated issues like waste management or corporate charitable giving. Innovative leaders from a wide range of industries and functional areas are recognizing they can improve their business by embracing sustainable business practices.
How are they doing it? How can eco-friendly, socially responsible business practices translate to your bottom line? Where are the most promising areas of business opportunity today? Are there frameworks that can help you identify sustainable strategies that fit your corporate footprint?
For more information about the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan, contact us.