Challenging the definition of success with future leaders

Published: 13 May 2020
Type: News

Geneva, 13 May 2020, How will success be defined in the future? What role does business play in shifting mindsets and consumer behavior? What does it take to make leaders uncomfortable to drive the necessary transformations for the decade ahead and contribute to the realization of a sustainable future?

These were some of the questions addressed in a virtual session organized in partnership between the WBCSD’s Leadership Program and Vision 2050 team. The Leadership Program is designed to help leaders navigate complex, interdisciplinary topics that will determine the future of the individual and their organization. This year’s program in brings together some 42 leaders from across the world and different business functions, reaching beyond the sustainability sphere into legal, marketing and finance departments of WBCSD member companies.

The session provided an opportunity to zoom into roles and opportunities for business to help unlock the transformations that are needed to allow over 9 billion people to live well, within the boundaries of the planet by mid-century.

WBCSD’s Linden Edgell and Uta Jungermann set the scene by introducing the Vision 2050 Refresh work, including ambitions, milestones and outputs so far, particularly diving into macrotrends and potential disruptors that are set to shape the next decade as well as the how business can enable and accelerate innovation. This was followed by an active discussion among participants challenging the responsibility of business to drive change and how the needed transformation can be realized. Discussions highlighted that a shift in consumer behavior and mindsets will be crucial and that business needs to step out of its comfort zone by forming alliances with unusual partners in an effort to deliver fundamental change.

The aim of the engagement was to ensure that the work to refresh Vision 2050 incorporates perspectives of future leaders, test some of the insights with professionals outside the sustainability bubble, create ownership of the Vision 2050 process and continue to build a network of collaborators to drive change.

The Leadership Program is highly interactive and uses a mixture of education styles, ranging from traditional classroom-based work to action and experiential learning through workshop participation, involvement with our members, and management of individual and group projects. To enrich the educational content, participants are given access to academics and business leaders, sustainable development experts and key stakeholders.

More information:

For more information on WBCSD’s Leadership Program, please contact Suzanne Feinmann (

For more information on WBCSD’s work on Vision 2050, please reach out to

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