Course Description:

The primary objective of this course is to impart a basic understanding of the social and environmental sustainability challenges facing managers in today’s world. The course seeks to develop students’ critical capacities for self- reflection and action in relation to these concepts. Course graduates will possess the understanding and experience to integrate environmental and social sustainability with commercial and economic success. Lectures and readings provide an overview of the critical literacies in environmental and social issues, the history of the sustainability movement, including the various social and economic movements from which the current practices of sustainability in business and society grew, and the key actors and the basic literature in the field. The course also addresses the global issues surrounding sustainable management and reviews the major frameworks of sustainability that provide the scientific foundations and economic principles of how sustainability can help managers to achieve natural competitive advantage.
An understanding of the basics of social and environmental sustainability is critical to successfully managing an organization in today’s world. Businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations face a world in which life-supporting systems are threatened by climate change, the loss of major ecosystem services, and significant social, and economic disparity. The majority of Fortune 500 companies have a sustainability officer at the VP level or higher and leading businesses are coming to see sustainability as driver the next wave of innovation. Local governments are leading the charge to make our cities and infrastructure more resilient and livable. Yet few graduates of business schools are given the tools to manage companies, governments, or organizations sustainably. This course will provide you with a foundational understanding and change to practice sustainable management, upon which other courses at Presidio will build. (4 units)




Marsha Willard, PhD