Anjali Sastry

Ph.D.

Anjali Sastry is a Senior Lecturer in System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. As Principal Investigator, Sastry investigates organizational and managerial effectiveness in practical domains where the challenges are complex and the needs pressing. Her expertise lies in three areas: system dynamics—particularly applied to organizational change and evolution, global health, and action learning. Sastry’s training in system dynamics informs her current research on business models and management systems for improving the delivery of healthcare in resource-limited settings. With collaborators from the Global Health Delivery Project, she designs and carries out field research and develops cases for teaching and research. A particular interest lies in applying system dynamics lenses to the study of programs and enterprises in order to generate new explanations for sustainability and scale in healthcare delivery.

These research interests translate into teaching innovations at MIT Sloan, where Sastry teaches both system dynamics and global health. She leads some 50 graduate students via a Global Lab that partners with a carefully selected set of enterprises on the front lines of delivering healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Built around the needs that partners identify, the Lab class addresses management, operations, and strategy. Students work at MIT, drawing on the Institute’s academic resources, to design a specific improvement to implement on-site where they work alongside the enterprise staff. Press coverage includes features in the Financial Timesand Forbes, mentions by National Public Radio, and numerous MIT publications. Sastry’s study of tools and practices that support learning and adaptation enables her to connect teaching, research, and application. Her teaching experience includes undergraduates, MBAs, and PhD students; executive Sloan Fellows; and both custom and open-enrollment executive education courses, as well as faculty development and industry consulting. She links this teaching to a stream of ongoing research to explore how professional students learn from experience, practice, and action; materials are in development.

Her professional experience includes management consulting at Bain and Company and research positions at Rocky Mountain Institute, where she worked in India, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. As an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and subsequently at MIT Sloan, she used system dynamics computer simulation to research imprinting in organizations, institutional theory, organizational learning, and patterns of change in organizations. Sastry’s research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Energy Policy, Corporate Reputation Review, and Technology Review. Her most recent book, Parenting Your Child with Autism, was published by New Harbinger Press in 2011.

Sastry’s teaching experience includes undergraduates, MBAs, and PhD students; executive Sloan Fellows; both custom and open-enrollment executive education courses at Harvard, University of Michigan, and MIT; faculty development; and mentoring student entrepreneurs and researchers at MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Stanford, and Boston University. Her investment in teaching has led to a stream of ongoing research to explore how professional students learn from experience, practice, and action. She is currently at work on her third book with Yasheng Huang on the disruptive educational and social impact of action learning.

Sastry's professional experience includes management consulting at Bain and Company and research positions at Rocky Mountain Institute, where she worked in India, and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. As an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and MIT Sloan, she used system dynamics computer simulation to research imprinting in organizations, institutional theory, organizational learning, and patterns of change in organizations. Sastry’s research has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Energy Policy, Corporate Reputation Review, and Technology Review. She also writes for broader audiences, with pieces in Fast Company, the Huffington Post, the Atlantic’s Quartz, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and has appeared on Bloomberg Business Radio, SiriusXM Business Radio, CBC’s The Current, and PRI’sInnovation Hub radio shows. She serves on the board of directors and is a member of the executive committee of global nonprofit Management Sciences for Health. She advises Mumbai-based Tata Trusts (where she spent May-August 2015 in residence), WonderWork, the Ashoka Foundation, Merck for Mothers, and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, among others, She is also a frequent collaborator with colleagues from the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University, MIT’s D-Lab, the MIT IDEAS competition, the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and the Global Business School Network.

Sastry’s first book, Parenting Your Child with Autism: Practical Solutions, Strategies, and Advice for Helping Your Family, (New Harbinger Publications, 2012, coauthored with Blaise Aguirre) combines her personal experience, study of the research evidence, and management expertise in a practical guide for parents. In November 2014, Harvard Business Review Press published her book on designing projects for learning and innovation, Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner (coauthored with Kara Penn).

Anjali Sastry holds an SB in physics, an SB in Russian Language, and a PhD in system dynamics, all from MIT.

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