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Developing Sustainable Leadership

Green change management depends on the development of sustianability leadership knowledge and skills.

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Sustainability is developing from an "attitude" into a profession with specific skills and a knowledge base. The Forum for the Future has developed a masters level sustainability leadership program that lays out what's involved in today's more advanced approach to sustainable business and sustainable community development.

The knowledge base covers:

  • the theory, history and practice of sustainable development
  • ethics and values
  • people and community
  • scientific principles and technology
  • economics

All those aspects of sustainable communities need to be woven together because sustainability is a multi-disciplinary approach to productivity, survival, natural resources management, and policies.

Skills are the next set of tools in the sustainability tool chest. Skills development is a key aspect of being able to apply theories to specific development or business projects. Some of the key skills of sustainability management include:

  • research methodologies
  • facilitation
  • project management
  • networking
  • business planning
  • presentation skills/public speaking

As you probably noticed, these are rather traditional leadership skills. But skills such as facilitation are new trends that have reached critical mass. Many of the top echelon of companies in past decades employed collaboration and facilitation as a management style...but not the broad swath of companies you see today.

Research methodologies are also changing, especially in the area of online research. And citizen science. And global research for new technologies and innovative approaches that are being developed out of the usual flow of academic and investment community innovation.

The vision of the Forum for the Future is of "business and communities thriving in a future that is environmentally sustainable and socially just."

Social justice is the newest frontier of "green" and sustainable community making. Once we figured out how all natural resources are connected, we were able to see the inequities that have also gotten out of balance, and social justice is not part of the equation for sustainable life. Shared survival.

The same skills that were applied to green and environmental leadership can be applied to social sustainability. Everything... and everyone is connected. Communications must both instigate and follow projects that are designed around a more sustainable mission.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| change management | sustainability |


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