Online Learning Provides Global Access to MIT Knowledge

As part of its commitment to providing global access to MIT knowledge and research, MIT Professional Education recently launched its first online program in Spanish — Leadership & Innovation (or Liderazgo en la Innovación). In addition to eliminating a language barrier, this course offers local context for Spanish-speaking technology professionals — thereby promoting regional innovation and personal transformation.

Expanding access to online learning

The program is led by Dr. David Niño, a Senior Lecturer in the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program. For the first time, he enlisted the teaching assistance of MIT alumnus, Juan Antonio Latasa ’91, who led a webinar on entrepreneurship, which complemented Dr. Niño’s session on creative thinking. “I was delighted to teach such impressive professionals,” Latasa says.

Liderazgo en la Innovación also features an in-person, South American networking event in Lima, Peru. Following the program’s conclusion, participants can continue to collaborate on an exclusive professional, Spanish-speaking alumni LinkedIn Group, and stay connected by reading MIT Professional Education’s new Spanish blog. Those who successfully complete the program earn a certificate of completion, delivered for the first time via blockchain.

Electrical engineer Maria del Pilar Rodriguez, originally from Colombia, excelled and was awarded the MIT Professional Education Fire Hydrant Award (FHA). The honor is named for former MIT president Jerome Weisner, who likened an MIT education to drinking from a fire hose. The online program “was very demanding and rigorous,” Maria said. “I loved it.” She is the first FHA recipient to be invited back as an online learning facilitator for both the English and Spanish languages.

In her role with Booz Allen Hamilton’s innovation group, Maria applied the strategies she acquired in Liderazgo en la Innovación. She said that the program helped her realize that sometimes “we jump into solutions [too quickly].” Now, she works at NASA HQ and is intentional about helping her team fully understand the problem at hand before working on solutions.

Building on a strong start

Spurred by Liderazgo en la Innovación’s success, MIT Professional Education has introduced two additional blended programs — Machine Learning: from Data to Decisions and Digital Transformation: From AI and IoT to Cloud, Blockchain, and Cybersecurity.

Launching in summer 2019, three new two-day, blended workshops for Liderazgo en la Innovación online will be launched in Madrid, Lima and Gyayaquil utilizing top FHA recipients and MIT Professional Education Alumni as facilitators.

Bhaskar Pant, Executive Director of MIT Professional Education, is proud of the progress made in these global programs. “Big questions face industry today,” Pant says. “We will continue to help professionals around the world overcome those challenges through innovative programming, and thereby transform society for the better.”

Leadership & Innovation Infographic