Chapter 10: Teaching leadership skills to sustainability professionals
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This chapter argues for including leadership competencies in the education of sustainability professionals because advancing any of the Sustainable Development Goals requires mobilizing and influencing people. Ultimately, people are the cause and cure of sustainability challenges. Thus, to be impactful, sustainability professionals need leadership competencies at least as much they need competencies in science and technology. This chapter focuses on leadership for wicked situations, practices that help professionals: 1) coordinate the actions of widely dispersed actors who do not have authority over one another; 2) collaborate across widening differences of opinion, expertise, and culture; and 3) manage confounding uncertainties that otherwise cause analysis-paralysis and fear of failure. This chapter concludes by describing a program that teaches these leadership skills to aspiring and practicing sustainability professionals using a hybrid of in-person and online pedagogies that include self-guided reflection, problem-based learning, transdisciplinarity, and peer-to-peer learning.

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