BMO-56306 Sustainability Leadership: New Concepts and Practices


Credits 6.00

Course coordinator(s)W Nieuwstad

Language of instruction:



You are part of Wageningen University, which is dubbed the 3rd greenest university in the world and the best university in The Netherlands for 13 consecutive years. But how can you as a student be a sustainable leader, as part of your group of friends and family members? As part of WUR? As part of society at large?
The challenge of sustainability issues requires leadership that exceeds existing structures and routines. As Einstein wrote: 'In order to solve the problems of this world, we need to lift our thinking to a different level than when we created those problems'. Emerging knowledge about new forms of leadership includes concepts as collaborative, visionary, complexity, adaptive, entrepreneurial an eco-leadership. Yet leadership is elusive and this course tries to map it down by addressing a number of questions. How does sustainability leadership differ from other types of leadership? Who are the people that we should be paying attention to, and what makes their success as sustainability leaders? How can leaders enhance cooperation across networks and the adaptive capacity of society to deal with environmental changes and related societal consequences? And most of all: how can you play your part in being/becoming a sustainable leader?

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand key aspects of sustainability leadership and different theories relevant for such leadership;
- describe the added value of sustainability leadership compared to other leadership concepts;
- identify, analyse and evaluate sustainability leadership among different types of actors (individual and collective) at different scales and governance levels;
- critically assess the ethical dimensions of sustainability leadership;
- explore their own sustainable leadership skills.


- lectures;
- tutorials;
- individual paper.


The final exam consist of:
- individual paper;
- a paper presentation;
- tutorials.
Each part needs a 5.5 to pass.


Made available in Learning Environment@WUR.