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As the global human population climbs toward 11 billion this century and consumption demands increase, we must find ways to meet the needs of people in ways that do not forgo possibilities for future generations. The sustainability challenges we face today are marked by extreme complexity, urgency, conflicting demands, and often a paucity of resources or political will to address them. Transforming these challenges into powerful opportunities requires a new kind of leader – one who understands complex systems, creates conditions for innovation, and cultivates practices and partnerships essential to building that future.

The Change Leadership for Sustainability Program prepares students and professionals to advance sustainability by transforming current systems, aligning them with the goal of intergenerational well-being. Our coterminal master’s program and executive education programs integrate theoretical and conceptual knowledge with practical skills and tools, enabling students and professionals 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, depending on the chosen set of courses. Executive education is offered through online courses, open-enrollment programs hosted on campus, and custom programs designed for individual clients.

Degree Programs

Grad hat and books

Sustainability Science and Practice MS/MA

Executive Education

Leadership for Sustainability


Pam Matson
April 6, 2017

Sustainability efforts today are critical to meet the needs of people now and over the long term, and Stanford has a leadership role.

Pam Matson presenting
August 17, 2016

Stanford Earth and Graduate School of Business collaborate on new executive program to help young leaders build a sustainable future.

view of earth from space
July 24, 2016

The Stanford YGL Module prepares leaders, leaders who can envision a prosperous future for all, and design the practices, partnerships and organizations essential to building that future.

Featured Events for Executive Education

Strategies for Sustainability Course - Leadership and Design Thinking for Corporate Sustainability Challenges

"Leadership and Design Thinking for Corporate Sustainability Challenges" is a 2.5 day course on Stanford's campus for organizational leaders focused on promoting sustainability and resilience in today’s complex environment. You will learn how to apply design thinking and transformative leadership skills from Stanford's experienced faculty while networking with other global managers from corporate, government, and non-profit fields. Dates: September 11-13, 2019.