Stanford University
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Change Leadership for Sustainability Program


We prepare a new kind of leader

We have an opportunity to redesign our ways of working and living so that all people – across generations and around the world – may thrive. As the global population climbs toward 10 billion, our current heavy use of natural resources to fuel development no longer works. With our current take-make-waste economic model, we would need more than three planet Earths to elevate the 2.8 billion people living with less than two dollars per day to middle class living standards, and even more to support a thriving global population.1 But through high leverage strategies, including circular economy, transformative partnerships, and metrics of progress beyond GDP, we can transition to new sustainable systems that ensure intergenerational well-being now and into the future.

To do so, we need a new kind of leader.

We need leaders who are systems thinkers, collaborators and change agents – leaders who understand the complexities of social-environmental challenges and know how to navigate volatile and uncertain contexts, nurture relationships across divides and create enabling conditions for emergent solutions.

The Change Leadership for Sustainability Program prepares students and professionals to be this new kind of leader, capable of radically accelerating the transition to a sustainable society. Participants in our programs learn how to design and implement transformative solutions and strategies that emerge from a fundamentally new understanding of themselves, others and the natural world.

Our coterminal master’s program and executive education programs integrate theoretical and conceptual knowledge with practical skills and tools to develop mindsets, knowledge, and competencies in three critical areas:

1. Understanding Complex Social-Environmental Systems
2. Understanding Decision Making and Strategies for Leading Change
3. Designing Innovations with Impact at Scale

The coterminal master’s degree in Sustainability Science and Practice is available to eligible Stanford undergraduates as a Master of Science or Master of Arts. Executive education is offered through online courses, open-enrollment programs hosted on campus, and customized programs for individual clients.

Meet Our Directors

Profile image for Pamela Matson
Pamela Matson
Faculty Co-Director
Julia Novy Profile Image
Julia Novy-Hildesley
Faculty Co-Director & Executive Director
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