01 September 2010

Jason Jay ~ Greening MIT, Sustainability Lab, plus

Wonderful to catch up with newly minted Doctor Jason Jay on MaximizingProgress.tv! I've known Jason since he and student colleagues started and ran a growing set of sustainability-oriented events, activities, and even seminars at the Institute, many organized towards helping MIT "Walk The Talk" and be a place like what we hope our planet might become. There's a lot of work to be done. We discussed especially his collaboration with Elsa Olivetti in launching the Generator, a bit about what's today become Sustainability@MIT, and the relatively recent greeningMIT initiative! Being visibly and practically active as a grassroots student organizer, Jason was somewhat surprised to be tapped as student rep on the Campus Energy Task Force, a position directly engaging with faculty, staff, Institutional leadership who ranged from supportive to frankly skeptical about just how much MIT should really invest in and prioritize its own campus energy improvement. We talked about how, for many faculty, the goal of MIT research should be both transformative and outward-focused on the big problems of major corporations and even countries and not to bother with something so seemingly ankle-biter as MIT's own footprint and per capita performance. But increasingly the consensus is emerging that we must practice what we preach across the board and indeed be a Living Lab showing the way forward. After finishing his PhD in leadership, organizational change, and local energy initiatives, Jason's next role is teaching the MIT Sloan School of Management Lab for Sustainable Business (S-Lab) classes, a key part of our Action Learning line-up!

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