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Module themes

Workshop 1

System pressures and trends

This topic introduces the broad debate around sustainability, looking at global sustainability challenges and developing a system-wide understanding that recognises the interdependency of natural, social, political, cultural, economic and technological dimensions. The purpose and objectives of business in addressing these challenges is considered, exploring possible leadership aims and responses.

Sustainability concepts

This topic explores some of the seminal concepts and frameworks for sustainability and sustainable development, and examines their relative merits and strengths. A systems approach is emphasised, which explores the complexity and interconnectivity inherent within dynamic adaptive systems, and the importance of taking a holistic and integrated approach.

The business case for responding

In the face of global challenges and opportunities, this topic unpacks the rationale for business taking a pro-active role in responding to a rapidly changing external context. The evolving relationship between business and sustainability over the last few decades is explored, culminating in what it looks like to take a strategic leadership position in relation to sustainability.

Workshop 2

This second workshop explores the role of business as a catalyst for change in the wider system.

Business and the economy

The workshop starts with an exploration of the current economic paradigm and some of the key levers for change in shifting to an economy which 'works' – supporting universal human development and flourishing within environmental limits. This includes sub-topics around:

• Finance and investment
• Government policy and regulation
• Design and technology
• Industrial systems

Business and society

This topic unpacks the role of business in wider society, from issues around business and human rights, to the governance of global value chains, to the relationship between business and (international) development. This includes sub-topics around:

• Business, human rights and international governance
• Drivers and levers for change across global value chains
• Enterprise solutions to social challenges
• Collaborations and partnerships for change

Responding strategically

This topic explores how business can respond strategically to pressures and opportunities in the wider system, looking at:

• organisational and system theories of change
• embedding sustainability into core business strategy
• industry case studies of strategic leadership.

Workshop 3

This final workshop looks at what it means to be an effective agent for change within an organisational context, in seeking to embed sustainability in all parts of the business.

Communication and influence

With insights drawn from a range of disciplines from behavioural economics to psychology, this topic looks at what it means to effectively engage and influence a range of actors, from getting the attention of the Board, to effective engagement with external stakeholders, to motivating employees, to changing customer behaviour.

Transformational change

This topic continues the theme of change, looking at how to drive organisational transformation – from the importance of culture and values, to incentivising middle management, to the way the physical work environment is structured, to encouraging corporate innovation.

Leadership for sustainability

This topic completes the final workshop with a look at personal leadership and change agency, examining the role of values and ethics, how to be an effective change agent, and how to remain motivated and ambitious in the quest for sustainable business.


Workshop dates

COHORT 18, 2015

Workshop 1: 16–18 Mar 2015
Workshop 2: 27–29 Jul 2015
Workshop 3: 28–30 Oct 2015

COHORT 19, 2016

Applications close: 1 March 2016

Workshop 1: 4–6 July 2016
Workshop 2: 7–9 November 2016
Workshop 3: 20–22 February 2017


Senior Programme Manager