Geneva, 22 February 2016 - The 2016 WBCSD Leadership Program kicked off in the US last week with 34 high potential leaders meeting for in-depth discussions focused on business and social innovation, strategy, and finance.

This first meeting of the Leadership Program was hosted at Yale University, WBCSD’s newest Strategic Knowledge Partner. The first days at the Yale School of Management included teaching and input from world renowned academics such as Dean Snyder, Dan Esty, Marian Chertow followed by discussions in New York City with business leaders and sustainability experts.

Over the next 10 months, the 34 program participants will learn how to navigate the inter-disciplinary topics and concepts of sustainable development. Participants will come away with an in-depth understanding of complex sustainability challenges and opportunities relevant for business decision-making.

These skills are increasingly vital within today’s business context. As sustainability is progressively integrated into core business practice, it’s essential for leaders to understand the impacts and dependencies their organization has on society and the environment. This way, they will be able to innovate and adapt to challenging circumstances. Leaders will need to be able to re-evaluate their business models, product offerings and the external operating environment in order to develop the kind of strategy appropriate for their company. Eventually, this knowledge will enable them to take extra-financial indicators into account. This new operating space also means using new decision-making criteria and non-traditional financing instruments and processes.  

The WBCSD Leadership Program helps leaders develop these skills through periods of intense on-location schooling  training combined with individual & group project work. Alumni join a global network of dynamic business leaders who are ambassadors for sustainable development both within their companies and outside in broader society.