Leadership for Sustainability

By Tamara Luisce

We live in a world where the need for leaders that can understand sustainability and lead accordingly in business, government and civil society is urgent. Now, more than ever, we need to be prepared to make informed choices and develop strategies that will realize sustainability goals in the sectors of the globalized world. At the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), fourteen students and professionals from eleven countries around the world met from March 13 to March 21, 2017, to participate in the course Leadership for Sustainability. The countries represented were Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Mexico, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste. The course was articulated around multiple discussions regarding the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the different types of leadership skills and roles, the use of organizational psychology in business and the platforms offered by the United Nations to find guidance and support when leading sustainability practices in business and livelihood enhancement. The participants were able to learn from different leaders in science and international development that have accomplished sustainability initiatives or advanced propelling projects in technology and agriculture. Learning from these leaders was particularly rewarding as it motivated participants to continue their work and their personal development as leaders. Participants were also privileged with coaching sessions to enable them to acquire relevant coaching and leadership skills.  In addition to completing their course and gaining technical and theoretical knowledge, the participants were able to expand their personal network by exchanging ideas and building connections that will support them as they further develop as Leaders for Sustainability.