Title: Strategic leadership towards sustainability: a master's programme on sustainability

Authors: Dave Waldron, Pong Leung

Addresses: Synapse Strategies, 145-4438 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6R 4R8, Canada. ' The Natural Step Canada, 355 Waverley St., Ottawa, Ontario, K2P OW4, Canada

Abstract: Society within the biosphere is inherently a highly complex system. Achieving |success| – i.e. a sustainable society – within such a complex system (i.e. society within the biosphere), success must be understood at a basic level. Achieving success requires a systematic and structured approach to planning and decision making. In particular, there must be a focus on an imagined principle outcome of success as a |sustainable society in the biosphere|. From this understanding, one can |backcast| to the present and begin to take action as part of a clearly focused strategy. Within such an endeavour, many diverse viewpoints and perspectives will emerge. Therefore, an adventurous and dialogue-based learning environment becomes important for incubating leadership. The entire new Master|s Programme, Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, at the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden, revolves around just such an approach to sustainability and leadership. This paper provides a description of the programme and some of the lessons learned by the programme managers after the first four years with over 200 students having graduated from the programme.

Keywords: SSD; strategic sustainable development; backcasting; sustainability principles; TNS; The Natural Step; ESD; education for sustainable development; strategic planning; sustainability strategy; strategic leadership; higher education; Sweden.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2009.031067

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2009 Vol.6 No.3, pp.307 - 313

Available online: 19 Jan 2010 *

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