New Executive Thinking on Global Challenges gives final-semester Executive MBAs an opportunity to shape the future. We have a fascinating set of projects and a class designed for our advanced MIT students to cultivate the essential leadership capability of managing in the present with an eye to tomorrow.
In NEXT Lab, each faculty-mentored student team crafts answers to their partner organization’s focal question about a specific global challenge. Students learn about complex challenges by taking on a real-world project that calls for field research, team ideation, and interaction with a great bench of experts and seasoned faculty, all designed to inform a five-month dialog with corporate leaders. 100 person-years of experience may be represented in each team, offering students the opportunity to connect what they have learned about global leadership, analytics, operations management, system dynamics, innovation, and behavioral perspectives—and to put it to the test by building an effective collaboration. Students work from December to May, with guidance from NEXT Lab, to understand their partner organization, map out scenarios for 2025, and scout for new ideas using library and field research (including a week on the ground in March) to develop data-driven, creative, and practical ideas for immediate actions to enable a better future.
Building on our experience with hundreds of action learning projects across the world, NEXT Lab is planned to maximize learning and impact. It is designed for students with every interest and background who seek to change the world—and for partner organizations who aim to create a better future.