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AI Leadership

Earn a certificate in AI-driven decision-making.


September 21, 2022



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Harness AI as a tool for creating agile organizations through this 6-week online course. Course content includes:

An overview of the course, the next-generation AI platform used to deliver it, and the community of fellow AI innovators and leaders.

Establish a foundational understanding of how to use AI as a tool for effective leadership. Learners will also explore the process of creating an organization as a system of innovation by examining: 

  • Individual leadership strengths, aspirations and growth opportunities
  • Team capabilities, talents and ways to drive performance
  • Organizational structures and culture to support bottom-up and top-down innovation

Key module concepts include: 

  • Historical context
  • Foundational concept
  • Role of AI + Leadership

Understand innovation at the system level by looking at the organization as a gameboard, where structures and cultures are vital in supporting individuals and teams. Through systems thinking and collective intelligence, learners will make sense of their constantly changing environment and begin to evaluate their organization's current structure.

Key module concepts include:

  • Systems thinking
  • Collective intelligence + knowledge
  • Architecting the gameboard at the organizational level
  • Extended intelligence (EI)
  • Autonomy + control

Explore the role of data as a valuable tool in the decision-making process. Learners are introduced to xTeams and AI tools as aggregators for building and nurturing the types of connections needed, both inside and outside an organization, to support complex knowledge transfer and creative solution-finding through higher levels of cooperation.

Key module concepts include:

  • Developing a leadership mindset for data
  • Architecting the gameboard at the team level
  • AI tools
  • xTeams building and simulation

Focus on individual leadership capabilities to prioritize innovation, autonomy and control. Participants will learn how to engage in sensemaking, relating, inventing and visioning to build effective teams, tap into organizational wisdom and create agile organizations. Using self-awareness of their strengths, weaknesses and values, participants will develop the capacity to authentically lead across a variety of situations.

Key module concepts include:

  • Individual leadership development
  • Key skills
  • AI tools
  • Future leadership state: envisioning and planning

Analyze organizational and social responsibility to make ethical decisions. Data is the impetus for many big decisions, most of which have legal and social implications. Learn how AI can be used as a sensemaking tool in the decision-making process for all decisions, with a focus on ethics and responsibility.

Key module concepts include:

  • Leadership responsibility
  • Strategic implications of AI
  • Data regulation
  • Ethical standards

Learn how to use AI technologies to make decisions that are consistent, socially responsible and impactful--with limited oversight. Learners will also examine trends and developments in AI, how to evaluate and choose which technologies to pursue and how to maintain adaptive teams to accelerate transformation.

Key module concepts include:

  • AI trends
  • Building a culture of innovation
  • Planning for a workforce of the future
Experiential Learning/Project Capstone


During the project capstone component of the course, you will define a business problem, explain how AI can help, and identify the leadership strategy needed to successfully implement the proposed solution.

Course starts September 21, 2022

Your instructors

Prof. Alex Pentland, Faculty Director

Professor, Institute for Data Systems and Society
Media Lab, Sloan School

Alex "Sandy" Pentland is founding faculty director of the MIT Connection Science Research Initiative, which uses network science to access and change real-world human behavior, and is the Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts, and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also holds a triple appointment at MIT in Media Arts and Sciences, Engineering Systems Division and with the Sloan School of Business.

Sandy has helped create and direct MIT’s Media Lab, the Media Lab Asia, and the Center for Future Health. He chairs the IEEE Council on Extended Intelligence, and has been an Advisory Board member for Google, Nissan, Telefonica, the United Nations Secretary General, Monument Capital, and the Minerva Schools.

In 2012Forbesnamed Sandy one of the "seven most powerful data scientists in the world", along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award fromHarvard Business Review. He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, wearable computing (Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured inNature, Science, andHarvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels. His most recent books areSocial Physics(Penguin) andBuilding a New Economy(MIT Press).

Prof. Deborah Ancona, Faculty Director

Seley Distinguished Professor of Management and MIT Professor, Organization Studies

Deborah Ancona is theSeley Distinguished Professor of Management, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Founder of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Her pioneering research into how successful teams operate has highlighted the critical importance of managing outside, as well as inside, the team’s boundary. This research directly led to the concept of x-teams as a vehicle for driving innovation within large organizations. Ancona’s work also focuses on the concept of distributed leadership and on the development of research-based tools, practices, and teaching/coaching models that enable organizations to foster creative leadership at every level.

She is the author of the book,X-Teams: How to Build Teams That Lead, Innovate, and Succeed(Harvard Business School Press) and the related articles, "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader," and "Nimble Leadership: Walking the Line Between Creativity and Chaos" (Harvard Business Review). In addition to x-teams, her studies of team performance have also been published in theAdministrative Science Quarterly, theAcademy of Management Journal,Organization Science, and theMIT Sloan Management Review. Her previous book,Managing for the Future: Organizational Behavior and Processes(South-Western College Publishing), centers on the skills and processes needed in today’s diverse and changing organization. Ancona has served as a consultant on leadership and innovation to companies such as Accenture, BI Pharmaceuticals, Bose, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the International Development Bank, Li & Fung, Scarborough Health Network, Takeda, OCP, W.L. Gore and YPO, and has served on the Board of the Penn Graduate School of Education.

Ancona holds a BA and an MS in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in management from Columbia University.

Guest Speakers

Rama Akkiraju

IBM Fellow, AI for IT Operations and Director at IBM's Watson division, Master Inventor and IBM Academy Member

Abdullah Almaatouq

Assistant Professor of Information Technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management

Sunita Badola

Head of Oncology Data Strategy and Partnerships, Oncology Therapeutics Area, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Ajay Bhalla

President, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, Mastercard

Cynthia Breazeal

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Associate Director, MIT Media Lab

Henrik Bresman

Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD

Francesca Grippa

Professor of Business Strategy and Innovation at Northeastern University, Faculty Director for the Global and Social Enterprise domain, Research Affiliate at MIT Media Lab and Faculty Affiliate at Northeastern's Global Resilience Institute

Keith Horspool

Retired, former Vice President of External Alternative CMC Development at Boeringer-Ingelheim

Taemie Kim, Ph.D.

Co-founder and Chief Scientist at Humanyze

Rosalind Picard, Sc.D

Professor, MIT Media Laboratory; Director of Affective Computing Research; Chairman, Cofounder, and Chief Scientist of Empatica, Inc; Faculty Chair, MIT MindHandHeart

David G. Rand

Erwin H. Schell Professor and an Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT Sloan, and the Director of the Human Cooperation Laboratory and the Applied Cooperation Team

Hossein Rahnama

Founder/CEO of Flybits, Associate Professor at Ryerson University, and Visiting Professor at MIT Media Lab

Ray Reagans

Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Management, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the MIT Sloan School of Management

Ben Waber

President and Co-Founder at Humanyze

Anita Williams Woolley

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business

What you will gain


Maximize your earning and career potential by developing the strategic insight, technical acumen and actionable knowledge to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Proof of knowledge though the prestigious Certificate of Completion  issued by MIT School of Architecture + Planning and MIT Sloan

A powerful professional network  from building connections with a global cohort of leaders, influencers and course participants

Coveted industry knowledge  from market-driven curriculum designed and delivered to the standard of an elite academic institution

Acquisition and retention of new skills  supported by an AI-driven learning platform, individual and team-based programming, and individual success coaching

A career-accelerating toolkit to accelerate as a future-forward leader  comprised of frameworks, strategies and methodologies

Want to know more?

Using live interactive tools and AI, Esme Learning is transforming the experience of group collaboration through its proprietary, breakthrough technology platform.

The most effective learning experiences occur in small groups who are engaged in problem solving, creative tasks, or complex decision making. In an online work environment, when people lack conversational cues, it’s hard for teams to build rapport and be successful.

Esme Learning’s platform changes the way team members interact in real-time, while video calls are happening. It uses AI to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant to ensure that the exchange of ideas is not dominated by a single person, and that the conversation is as inclusive as possible. Simple on-screen cues guide participants to more effective team interactions.

You may pay your course fees in one upfront payment via credit or bank card, or you may opt to split payment in two or three installments. A 5% administrative fee will be added to any split payments. Financing options are also available for select courses and programs. Discounts are not included in financing options. For more information, schedule a call with a learning advisor.

Future Finance Student Loans

UK, EU and international learners who are UK residents may be eligible for private student loans. Learn more

Recognizing that working executives require fast and efficient methods of upgrading their skills, Esme Learning has blended art and science to produce an online learning platform that drives results.

We leverage cognitive and neuroscience research, personalized and individualized success coaching, and next-generation artificial intelligence technologies to enhance the learning experience--resulting in a course completion rate that is 30x higher than our competitors.

Helping employees upgrade their skills benefits employers and employees alike. Many organizations offer tuition reimbursement programs as it is easier to retain top talent, and investing in up-skilling can be more cost-effective than hiring new staff. For employees, taking advantage of your employer-sponsored tuition programs is the perfect way to build skills while also building value for your company. For a sample letter to send to your employer requesting tuition reimbursement, please reach out to one of our course advisors.

As part of our commitment to your professional development, Esme Learning offers you up to a two-week period to change your course start date or request your money back if you’re not fully satisfied.

To qualify for a deferral of your course start date, or to cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your course fee, your request would need to reach our Success Team before the end of Module 1. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.