Esme Learning

Esme Learning

The School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) is collaborating with Esme Learning Solutions (Esme Learning), a next-generation online education provider that uses AI-enabled knowledge acceleration combined with premium content from the world’s greatest thought leaders to build collective intelligence at scale.

About MIT online courses

Our cutting edge courses equip visionary business leaders with function-specific skills to support data-informed decision making and futuristic knowledge to accelerate careers. Taught entirely online, MIT’s 6 week courses require 8-10 hours work per week. Participants who successfully complete the course earn a certificate of attendance from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

Current opportunities

Current courses taught by SA+P faculty are:

MIT SA+P Health Ventures

Discover the path to a successful healthcare venture.

As people rethink the way health care is delivered, digital health startups will see continued opportunity, investment and initial public offerings. In 2020, investors in the health venture space poured record investment dollars into digital health startups at an estimated $14.2 billion globally. Investments in 2021 could rival 2020 as investors expect innovation to come from areas such as data interoperability, mental health and personalized care.

This six week, online intensive course was developed to provide a comprehensive guide for leaders to structure a successful health venture. MIT faculty director Rosalind Picard and world-renowned guest speakers will provide field researchers, health entrepreneurs, and venture architects with a roadmap of how to navigate the business processes, complexities, and potential solutions in designing new products and creating a successful health venture.


Rosalind Picard
Faculty Director
Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Co-Director, Advancing Wellbeing Initiative
Faculty Chair, MIT Mind+Hand+Heart

Prof. Rosalind Picard, Sc.D., is an MIT professor, inventor, author, and entrepreneur. Her team’s inventions have been twice named to "top ten" lists, including the New York Times Magazine's Best Ideas of 2006 for their Social Cue Reader, used in autism, and 2011's Popular Science Top Ten Inventions for a Mirror that Monitors Vital Signs. Her book Affective Computing helped launch the field by that name, giving computers (including software agents, robots, and interactive games) the skills of emotional intelligence.

She is one of the top two most-cited researchers in Digital Health and directs research at the MIT Media Lab on Affective Computing, especially focused on creating solutions to help people who are not flourishing or at risk of not flourishing. She teaches classes such as Affective Computing and Ethics, and AI for Good Mental Health. Picard’s inventions have led to AI-based advances in psychiatry and neurology, including the first smart watch (commercialized by Empatica, sold as “Embrace”) cleared by FDA for monitoring and alerting to seizures, and wearable devices used by thousands of researchers globally for collecting medical data used in clinical trials and patient-focused research.

Picard has co-founded two successful businesses Affectiva and Empatica. Empatica recently created a new AI wearable, in use in studies by the US Health and Human Services, for warning of a likely viral respiratory infection She has a TEDx talk viewed by nearly two million people, and has received a variety of recognitions including one of the highest honors for an engineer, election to the National Academy.

Course dates

Health Ventures from MIT School of Architecture and Planning is a six week course. Enrollment dates for the 2021 presentations are as follows:

  • June 2, 2021 - July 20, 2021 Registration closes: June 9, 2021
  • August 4, 2021 - August 24, 2021 Registration closes: August 11, 2021
  • September 29 - November 16, 2021, Registration closes: September 29, 2021

Visit the course page on Esme Learning to learn more.

MIT AI Leadership

Harness AI as a leadership tool for creating innovative systems and organizations

Throughout this course, participants reflect on the leaders they are, the leaders they could be, the tools they can use to create an organization of learning and innovation and the resources available to plan for the future.

Connecting Leadership and Artificial Intelligence (AI), managers, directors and CEOs will learn how AI technology can amplify current leadership practices to improve individual, team and organizational leadership capabilities.

In this six-week online course offered in collaboration between the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and Sloan School of Management, leaders will gain new leadership capabilities to improve the ability of their teams to innovate and succeed, and to help their organizations act with agility and purpose. Learn more.


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 2012 Forbes named 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 from Harvard 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 in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels. His most recent books are Social Physics (Penguin) and Building a New Economy (MIT Press).

Prof. Deborah Ancona, Faculty Director
Seley Distinguished Professor of Management and MIT Professor, Organization Studies

Deborah Ancona is the Seley 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 the Administrative Science Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and the MIT 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.

Course dates

AI Leadership from MIT School of Architecture and Planning and Sloan School of Management is a six week course. Enrollment dates for the 2021 presentations are as follows:

  • July 7, 2021 - August 24, 2021 Registration closes: July 14, 2021
  • October 6, 2021 - November 23, 2021, Registration closes: October 13, 2021

Visit the course page on Esme Learning to learn more.