A Gateway Initiative of the GRLI

Globally Responsible Leadership for Sustainable Transformation

A world-first post-graduate level course, now in its 3rd year, that brings multiple perspectives from eight leading higher education institutions around the world in a sustainably transformative way. Gain diverse perspectives by engaging in a global project with other students, and develop a vital network for driving positive change.

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Experience a transformative journey in our advanced post-graduate online course, focusing on globally responsible leadership for sustainable transformation. This unique program merges global perspectives, practical projects, and collaborative learning, equipping you with skills, knowledge, and a network to drive positive change worldwide. Engage in a groundbreaking international project, refining principles, fostering cross-disciplinary proficiencies, and effecting sustainable business change. Tailored for seasoned professionals seeking responsible leadership and sustainability, this course offers a distinctive avenue for impactful engagement. Join like-minded individuals dedicated to sustainable transformation across sectors and societies. Master essential concepts, interdisciplinary skills, and make a resounding impact on sustainable practices. Apply now to shape a sustainable future while enriching your expertise.

  • Access Global Expertise: Gain insights from diverse international business schools, fostering a comprehensive understanding of sustainable leadership across different regions.
  • Valuable Networking: Connect with future sustainability leaders worldwide, sharing perspectives and building a global network for driving impactful change.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum:  Explore eight modules that form an integrated suite of topics focused on leadership, business strategy and collaboration, referencing business cases of operationalizing sustainability.
  • Practical Application: Collaborate in global teams to develop a sustainability strategy for a chosen sector and company, applying theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges. Offer board-level advice to a prominent company, addressing key sustainability challenges while showcasing mastery of course content.
  • Opportunity to examine sustainability as central to business strategy and organisational leadership.
  • Promote the adoption of sustainable transformation leadership methods, strategies and behaviours.
  • Provide a global perspective on sustainable transformation in organisations through module content and the global project teams to learn from and learn together about how sustainability is engaged with in different international contexts.
  • Evoke a reflective learning experience across 3 domains, how we live and make a living, how we learn and how we lead.
  • To enable practical application of module contents on sustainability analysis through group sessions and shared project.
  • Examining the characteristics of future leaders who can tackle the systemic challenges of sustainability
  • Provide exposure to different learning modalities, (including asynchronous)to enable cross timezone collaboration and engagement
  • Enable project sector alignment with student preferences across geographic boundaries
  • Participants will think strategically and collaboratively with greater understanding of how to implement sustainable practice
  • Participants will feel empowered to lead their organisations, applying sustainability practices and imperatives,
  • Participants will see how to apply these principles in their organisations
  • The course runs from 19 February 2024 to early May 2024 and requires participants to complete 8 modules and a strategic business project as part of a virtual global team.
  • Each module is provided by a different educational institution.
  • Delivery is entirely online comprising asynchronous online sessions, self study and the group assignment component.


2022 Student Comments

The human value as well as the hope for a brighter, cleaner and more sustainable environment and planet was definitely rewarding! I liked the format in how the lessons were delivered and I liked the international dimension and perspectives- very interesting.- Student
It was an amazing experience to get to know teachers and students from many different countries, with different cultures and backgrounds. The speakers were outstanding.- Student
What stood out most were the professors in each module. They had real world experience and were able to articulate their journey.- Student
This course has helped me uncover a new potential career path that I am very excited about.- Student
The global experience was excellent especially the team project.- Student

Collaborating Partners

Course Modules

Participants need to complete the 8 modules outlined below.

Welcome and orientation | 19 February 2024


During the welcome and orientation session you will gain an overview of the course flow and learn more about the work of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative which convenes the course. We will cover housekeeping topics such as data privacy, working across timezones, technology orientation, group project logistics, the assessment approach and more.

Faculty (click names for profiles)

John North

Thriving: Business Strategies to Regenerate Nature, Society and the Economy | 26 February 2024


This module shows how business innovation can regenerate nature, society, economy through:

1.The science of thriving – understanding the science of living systems, including the principles of complexity, circularity, creativity, coherence, convergence and continuity.

2.The great transitions – moving:

  • from degradation to restoration of ecosystems in an ecoservices economy;
  • from depletion to renewal of resources in a circular economy;
  • from social disparity to responsibility in an access economy;
  • from disease to revitalisation in a wellbeing economy;
  • from disconnection to rewiring of technology in a digital economy; and
  • from disruption to resilience of infrastructure and institutions in a risk economy.

3. The integration of thriving – working with the steps of:

  • rethinking patterns through systems mapping;
  • realigning partners through stakeholder assessment;
  • renewing principles through values dialogue;
  • redefining purpose through strategic goals;
  • reassessing performance through reporting, and
  • redesigning portfolios through innovation.

4. Leadership for thriving – examining the characteristics needed, including being caring, courageous, inclusive, innovative, strategic and systemic.

Faculty (click names for profiles)

Wayne Visser

Sustainability accounting and reporting | 4 March 2024


This module will cover sustainability accounting and disclosure in a pragmatic way, with a focus on the rapidly changing landscape of regulation and standards for reporting, and on
integration into organizational strategy and governance. Extensive use is made of short cases and examples of good and emerging practice. Core topics to be covered are:

  • The key underlying principles of accountability and engagement in the context of internal and external disclosure, including the role of qualitative and quantitative approaches.;
  • Core standards, rating systems and regulation in the area
  • Exploring the tension between reporting standards and goals, with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Understanding the landscape of shifting standards and evolving regulation in responsibility and sustainability;
  • Examples of good practice in reporting internally as well as externally
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Sheila Killian and Philip O’Regan

Social Justice in Contemporary Society | 11 March 2024


This module focusses exclusively on the multifaceted aspects of social justice and helps anchor the GRL4ST course. With a distinct emphasis on economic, environmental, and social perspectives, this course provides students with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities surrounding social justice issues.

Module Objectives:

  • Comprehensive Understanding: Develop a comprehensive understanding of social justice from economic, environmental, and social standpoints, shedding light on the interconnected challenges faced by contemporary society.
  • Equity and Inclusion: Explore strategies for promoting equity and inclusion across various sectors, examining how these principles can positively impact organizations and communities.
  • Sustainability and Social Responsibility: Investigate the role of sustainability and social responsibility in achieving social justice goals, emphasizing ethical practices and responsible citizenship.
  • Global Perspective: Foster a global perspective on social justice, examining how different regions and cultures address these issues, while avoiding leadership and decision-making themes.
  • Community Engagement: Encourage community engagement and activism as vital tools for advancing social justice, empowering students to become advocates for change.
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Armand Bam

Transpersonal Leadership for Sustainable Transformation | 18 March 2024


This module deals with how leaders need to develop themselves to transform organisations sustainably.

  • Overview of the leadership required to implement Globally Responsible Sustainable Transformation, and how to develop it.
  • Understand and develop self-awareness of personal behaviours that enable improved emotional intelligence and ability to flex leadership styles. This increases engagement and inspires organisations to embrace new ways of working and being, to integrate sustainable principles.
  • Appreciate the importance of purpose in leading teams with a focus on sustainable transformation, and identifying your own and your team’s purpose
  • Understand how to lead in complexity given the speed of change in the world today. Learn to take a systems approach to adapting rapidly to enable sustainable change and transformation.
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Danielle Grant and Greg Young

Advancing Green Businesses | 1 April 2024


The module is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship with a specific focus on rural entrepreneurship and sustainable practices in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to foster environmentally and socially responsible business practices in rural areas, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

  • Understanding the principles and concepts of sustainable entrepreneurship, particularly in the context of rural areas and MSMEs.
  • Identify the challenges and opportunities associated with rural entrepreneurship and demonstrate an understanding of the socioeconomic context in which these businesses operate.
  • Develop and evaluate sustainable business models for MSMEs, integrating environmental and social considerations into their designs.
  • Analyse and apply green technologies and innovative solutions to promote sustainability in rural businesses.
  • Analyse the role of social entrepreneurship in creating positive social impact and evaluate its integration into rural business ventures.
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Sapptarishi Ghosh

Sustainable Supply Chain Management | 8 April 2024


This module will:

  • Conduct in-depth reviews of sustainability challenges and solutions in global supply chains.
  • Discuss how companies work with their supply chain partners to manage social and environmental sustainability.
    • Why companies prioritize certain sustainability risks in the various tiers of their supply chain.
    • Common practices of major brands in multiple industries and for different types of products.
  • Interact with students on a team project and in panel discussions.

Topics include:

  • A high-level overview of Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Common Sustainable Supply Chain definitions
  • Topics such as:
    1. Corporate Motivations
    2. Responsible Sourcing
    3. Environmental & Climate Sustainability
    4. Best Practices & Reporting
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Brandy Maranian

Sustainability and the Entertainment Industry | 15 April 2024


This module will examine current practices and leading initiatives regarding sustainability and the entertainment industry. A complex industry of global reach, the work of sustainability involves a diverse group of stakeholders that range from media leaders, production companies and a broad network of industry collaborations including private, public and non-governmental organizations. This module will feature industry leaders who will describe the industry itself, and current topics and initiatives in the work of sustainability. Students will examine the application of sustainability to both the physical elements of movie production and the role of storytelling in creating a broad culture of environmental responsibility.

Faculty (click names for profiles)

Jeff Thies

Cross-sector partnerships for impact | 22 April 2024


This module examines the potential of partnerships and impact networks in the development and implementation of solutions for challenging social and environmental problems. Non-profit organisations, among them foundations, and the public sector, may bring to partnerships with companies knowledge and resources that complement each other. The particular case of social entrepreneurship will be presented. Learning will be grounded in real cases discussions.

Core topics to be covered:

  •  Types of partnerships and impact networks and steps to build them.
  • Non-profit organizations, including foundations, as relevant partners.
  • Social entrepreneurs as brokers of resources and competencies across sectors.
  • Real case examples of cross-sector partnerships and impact networks.
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Raquel Campos

(Optional) Live Panel Discussion | Tentatively earmarked for 24 April

Faculty (click names for profiles)

All faculty

Global Group Project | Due 1 May 2024, grading completed 10 May


Students will work with other individuals across a sampling of the entities involved in this collaboration on an integrative project.

Teams will include 4-5 students and will be formed based on students’ interest in SASB’s sectors. Once teams are formed, they will work on a well-known branded company that the teams will select. The team will serve as an advisor to the board and at the end of the project will provide a 15-minute video presentation. The video presentation will provide:

  • A discussion of the main sustainability challenges and risks that the company (and their industry) are currently facing. In identifying these challenges/risks, the teams should demonstrate mastery of the content of the modules taken
  • An overview of the company’s current sustainability performance (i.e., how is the company currently doing in addressing the risks identified). Again, the team should leverage the content from a subset of the various modules involved in this collaborative class.
  • What are the gaps in terms of what the company is currently doing in regards to sustainability?
  • What does the team advise the board to do going forward to address the most important gaps? Deliverables provided by the team:
  • 15-minute video presentation uploaded to a video-sharing platform
  • Provide the presentation materials utilized by the team in their 15-minute presentation (i.e., provide the slides including slide notes, etc.)
  • 2-page executive summary
Faculty (click names for profiles)

Student syndicates


A gateway initiative of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative