Organizational Change Management for Sustainability

The purpose of this course is to explore the theory and application of the principles of sustainable development as they relate to organizational change management, decision-making processes, goal setting methodology and solution development.   The unique attribute of this course will be how we leverage the MIT campus as a living laboratory to gain unique insight into the change management process.


The course will be taught in two distinct sections: 


Part I: The first half of the course will explore the theoretical framework of sustainable development, campus sustainability and organizational change management.  We will discuss how organizations seek to function, operate, manage short and long term impacts as they strive to become ‘sustainable’.


Part II:  In the second half of the course, we will discuss how to apply theory to practice drawing upon case examples from the literature and the sustainability accomplishments within organizations from higher education to industry.  The students will have the opportunity to explore and leverage the MIT campus as a living laboratory for sustainability to further inform the learning process.  They will have access to data and decision-makers at MIT to inform projects and discussions throughout.  We will also visit one or two peer institutions [e.g Harvard, BU].  Throughout the second half of the course, we will meet with decision-makers and experts alike to grapple with the challenges of institutional sustainability ranging from the methodology for goal setting to solution development.  In this half of the course, lectures and discussions will draw from MIT’s sustainability commitments to: reducing greenhouse gas emission to reach 32% below 2014 baseline by 2030; implement a transportation demand management system [ACCES MIT]; design, build, renovate and manage ‘sustainable’ buildings; integrate sustainability principles into the planning framework; manage materials via an urban metabolism framework; the development of an ecological and land use management plan. Students will meet directly with the decision makers responsible for these areas in an effort to be exposed to the challenge of theory to practice. The case examples will give students a chance to experience and dig deep into the challenges and opportunities of organizational change management and solution development for sustainability.