The MIT Campaign for a Better World

Summary for the GSC by Christine Bullen

The MIT Campaign for a Better World has been launched because worldwide we find ourselves at a critical inflection point. Technological, environmental, economic. And demographic trends are converging to present new – and complex – challenges.”

This is both a strategic direction and a fundraising effort for MIT. We discuss it here with a focus on the strategic direction. “Sustainability is the primary moral and economic imperative of the 21st century” according to Lord Mervyn King. The Sloan School of Management at MIT is coordinating a wide range of work that focuses on the primary goal of a sustainable business future. They discuss a future where:

  • Organizations are healthy and stable
  • Economies are profitable and responsible
  • Natural resources are harnessed effectively, efficiently and cleanly

There are numerous research projects underway and the following is a brief sampling.

Economic Stability

“Economic stability requires the balancing of means and ends to create and enable business approaches that can succeed for the long term. (We) are pursuing methods for achieving profitability through responsible management of our limited resources, both human and natural.”

Research projects include examining clean technology subsidy policies, lifesaving sanitation practices, opportunities related to new climate policies, implications of self-driving vehicles, solving America’s food waste problem.

Social Sustainability

“…creating practices that sustain and encourage the health and well being of employees, communities, and customers locally and globally.” In other words, making business work for stakeholders up and down the food chain.

Research projects include “Awareness-Based Systems Change” where researchers are looking at the fact that “our economy uses one and half times the regeneration capacity of the Earth,” the sourcing of sustainable materials, creating learning organizations, supply-chain transparency, improving global labor conditions.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability require sustainable use and preservation of the biospheres in which we live.

Research projects include equitable carbon taxation, eliminating energy waste, coordinated action on climate change, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, modeling U.S> water resources, defining a  greener future for urban mobility.

The extent and variety of the research going on at MIT is daunting and exciting. We recommend keeping in touch with The MIT Campaign for a Better World to stay on top of developing ideas and strategies.


[All material in this article has been adapted from reports found on the MIT website.]