The 2020 WBCSD Leadership Program kicked off with 42 leaders from across the world. Coming from different industries and backgrounds, it was clear that the group was united by a shared belief in sustainablele development as a catalyst for innovation, disruption and value creation.
Starting off in academic mode, at the Yale School of Management, the week opened up with awareness building across a range of topics, from sustainability strategies, innovation, all the way to non-market strategies and the psychology of decision-making. The week continued on in New York City at EY’s headquarters where the participants did a deep-dive into how sustainable development, innovation (incl. social innovation) is practiced in business today.
Offering a unique platform to reflect on transformative leadership, this first meeting of the Leadership Program helped the group work on personal self-awareness and learning styles, with an eye to playing a bigger role in leading change.
Here is the perspective from one of the participants, Colin Griffith, Sustainability Specialist at Griffith Foods.
“During the WBCSD Leadership Program 2020, Module 1 in the USA, our cohort explored the contextual groundwork of knowledge and approaches of sustainable development focused around innovation and strategy. We had insightful seminars with academics and practitioners at Yale University and in New York, which were enhanced by lively discussions with each other's diverse, multicultural perspectives. We learned the value of effective collaboration and communication in solving complex problems from case studies, participating in simulations, and self-reflection.
We investigated the opportunity to unleash new value creation for those we serve with innovation shaped by sustainability goals. Adapting and creating new business models, products, and services will provide meaningful solutions to catalyze scalable systemic change. Innovation must be paired with a strategy that integrates social and environmental capitals, alongside financial capital, into the core of a business. It is this integration that is so essential for informed decision making to produce truly sustainable outcomes.
We leave the Leadership Program with new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. The fierce urgency of now compels us to make a difference and take action as leaders within our organizations and outward for global impact. Sustainable development is possible, and we are uniquely positioned to lead the charge. I look forward to Module 2.“
The Program participants are to meet again for two more modules, in Germany and Japan, later this year.