Courses and Events

The Initiative brings together scholars, business leaders, students, and policy makers in the spirit of inquiry and in pursuit of knowledge.

A classroom discussion during USA Lab, an innovative course that the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative helped launch.


The Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT Sloan contributes to the development of a variety of courses for current and aspiring leaders. A combination of classroom, fieldwork, and online MITx offerings explore strategies and tools for building good companies and good jobs.

In the spring semester of 2018, the Initiative helping launch a new MIT Sloan course for graduate students called "Bridging the American Divides: USA Lab." The USA Lab class is designed to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of America’s economic, cultural, and social challenges. The course’s project component allows students to gain hands-on experience exploring solutions that have the potential to improve conditions.

Throughout the semester-long course, students grapple with the historical and modern-day complexities of the U.S.’s challenges through readings, interviews, and discussion. During Sloan Innovation Period (SIP) and spring break, student teams work with local community groups in various parts of the country—including economic development organizations, community finance institutions, and community foundations—on projects that address problems relevant to particular regions.

Another innovative course offering that was created by the Initiative's leadership is a popular online course offered through the edX platform, "Shaping Work of The Future." This class attracts thousands of participants from all over the world each year. 

The Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative also publishes a course guide for MIT Sloan MBA students interested in learning about managing both profits and people well. 



Authors James and Deborah Fallows (center and right) and Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative Executive Director Barbara Dyer (left) during a presentation the Fallowses gave at MIT Sloan in April 2019.

The Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiatives takes part in and organizes numerous events, both in person and via the Internet, on topics related to good jobs and the future of work. In the 2020-2021 academic year, the Initiative is cosponsoring a speaker series on "Redefining Management: Leadership for Social Progress in Troubling Times" with the MIT Sloan People & Organizations Club and the MIT Sloan Student Life Office. The first event of the series, a panel discussion on "Managing for Economic and Social Justice," took place online on August 31, 2020.

Other recent events have included a talk by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka in November 2019, a workshop on involving workers in technological change in June 2019, a talk by authors James and Deborah Fallows about their book "Our Towns" in April 2019, a conference on worker voice in November 2018, and a symposium in September 2018 on the German system of codetermination

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