SICI Workshop 1: Problem Formulation

Date & Time

Wednesday, Sep 18th, 2019

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM


Wex-G02 + G02A, HKS


On September 18th, the Social Innovation + Change Initiative will host the first installment of our six-part workshop series. This workshop, Social Problem Formulation, will be led by Professor Jason Jay, Faculty Affiliate of the Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan.

This workshop will help social innovators learn the skills of problem formulation as a tool for tackling social problems and helping you clarify “What is the problem you are trying to solve?” Jason will lead students in exploring the gaps that exist between your “current state” and “goal state”, and introduce methods for structured problem-solving. During this hands-on session, students will have the opportunity to write a problem statement. We encourage all students to consider “What is a social problem that you would like to help solve?” and come prepared to discuss with your peers.

Jason Jay
Jason Jay helps people manage the tensions between personal, organizational, and societal objectives as they navigate the rocky terrain of sustainable business. He is a facilitator who supports high-quality conversation and shared commitment to ambitious sustainability goals. He is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he teaches executives and masters-level courses on strategy, innovation, and leadership for sustainable business. He is Director of the school’s Sustainability Initiative, where he has helped secure MIT Sloan’s leadership position in the field through its teaching, research, and industry engagement. With Gabriel Grant, he is the author of the international bestseller Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World. Dr. Jay has consulted to major international corporations and NGO’s including Novartis, Bose, Environmental Defense Fund, BP and the World Bank.  He holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and undergraduate and master’s degrees from Harvard University.  He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife and two children who keep him honest and remind him of the future we all share.

SICI creates intentional opportunities – often with limited spots – to support social innovators and the field. “No shows” are noted, as it breaks down the community environment of our events. If you have an emergency or serious conflict arise, please email the SICI Team at so that we can make this opportunity available to others.