by Sam Mabaso

Sustainability in leadership in Africa

WWF-SA and UCT Graduate School of Business in novel partnership to boost sustainability leadership in Africa

The new One Planet Leaders in Africa Programme aims at supporting sustainable leadership competence
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The groundbreaking executive education short course, the One Planet Leaders in Africa Programme, is aimed at supporting the development of sustainability-leadership competence and will offer delegates the technical, relational and transformational skills to enable processes of social change through sustainability innovations. The work on the programme will also feed into new research at the GSB, thus amplifying its potential positive outcomes.

“By combining the WWF’s network of expertise and the GSB’s own vision of business for better, we hope to provide a catalyst to promote sustainable change not just within Africa, but on a global scale,” says Dr Glenda Raven, Senior Manager of the WWF-SA. 

Comprising two modules and a workplace-based assignment, the course will gather leaders from across all sectors, who have diverse perspectives on sustainability, into a collaborative learning space, and support an exploration of contextualised sustainability issues and responses in a systems framework.

It will explore their leadership capacity within change processes and allow them to develop collective responses for application in a variety of institutional and social contexts.  

According to Ralph Hamann, Research Director at the GSB, the vision is that, over time, the course will unlock the opportunity for ongoing cross-sector engagement around key sustainability issues and responses. He said that the complexity of the issues at stake demand an extraordinary response from institutions like the GSB and WWF-SA and that this programme is one such reaction.

“It’s impossible to separate the issue of environmental sustainability from those of social and economic development. Without proper environmental management, our world’s fragile climate patterns and eco-systems will continue to collapse.

The many critical environmental issues, often inter-related to economic concerns, are central to developing appropriate and effective sustainability objectives. This programme will offer delegates the skills to achieve such outcomes,” says Hamann.

The WWF-SA – GSB programme is adapted from the international One Planet Leaders programme offered by WWF International in collaboration with the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, and has been contextualised  to the African context with its associated development and sustainability challenges. 

Dr Raven says that the programme is underpinned by an understanding that sustainability should concern everyone, regardless of context, and that responses developed through the programme should be innovatively crafted through collaboration and engagement across multiple and diverse contexts.  

 

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