Through Faculty and Students, MIT Sloan Focused on Positive Change in the World

Coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of MIT’s move across the river from Boston to Cambridge, MIT launches its most comprehensive campaign to date. In part, the Campaign will raise funds to restore and renovate some of the Institute’s century-old buildings. But the effort will go far beyond brick and mortar goals, emphasizing instead MIT’s global impact and drive to solve some of the world’s greatest problems. Inspired by the Institute’s motto of mens et manus, or mind and hand, the Campaign will focus on five key areas: Discovery Science; Health of the Planet; Human Health; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teaching, Learning, and Living; and the MIT Core.
Addressing Global Challenges the Primary Focus

MIT Sloan’s faculty and students are focused on the ways in which their work addresses these themes. As such, the school has identified a set of strategic priorities, which are fundamental to both its future and to making the world a better place, both now and in the future. These priorities include major faculty research initiatives, an expansion of student action learning opportunities across the globe, and a commitment to significantly expand fellowship support for master’s students, the future global leaders of the next generation.

David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean of MIT Sloan, says, “The world is at a pivotal place in history—one which requires the very best minds and the very smartest solutions. Those can be found here at MIT—and I am confident that our faculty and students will be the ones who solve the great challenges and bring important change to the world through markets and organizations.”

Kris Schaefer, senior associate dean for external relations and international programs comments, “I’ve worked at many universities over the years and I am struck by the things that make MIT and this campaign different. Usually institutions are focused on philanthropy that supports the work of the school. But in this campaign, we are talking about every gift being a gift to the world, as well as supporting MIT Sloan—creating innovative new jobs and businesses, inventing tools and strategies that will lead to global economic stability and sustainable development, reimagining an efficient, patient-centered health care system, and developing leaders who will change the world today and for the future.”

MIT Sloan faculty aren’t taking these challenges lightly. Professor Andrew Lo’s project, CanceRX, is using structured finance and portfolio theory to design a new family of “megafunds” to support biomedical innovation through shared risk and reward. The ultimate goal? To offer a realistic solution to the challenge of funding major biomedical research while demonstrating that structured finance can play a role in answering some of the problems facing humankind. In another major effort, the Initiative on the Digital Economy recently launched the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition, which celebrates companies that focus on economic opportunity in the digital age and seek to create a sustainable future for all. “Our faculty are unique,” says Schaefer. “They are so deeply tied to MIT’s mission and vision. This campaign is, in large part, about their work and the impact that work can have on the whole world.”

Published in April 2016.

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