Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to content Skip to navigation

We have an opportunity to redesign our ways of working and living so that all people – across generations and around the world – may thrive. As the global population climbs toward 10 billion, our current heavy use of natural resources to fuel development no longer works. With our current take-make-waste economic model, we would need more than three planet Earths to elevate the 2.8 billion people living with less than two dollars per day to middle class living standards, and even more to support a thriving global population.1 But through high leverage strategies, including circular economy, transformative partnerships, and metrics of progress beyond GDP, we can transition to new sustainable systems that ensure intergenerational well-being now and into the future.

To do so, we need a new kind of leader.

We need leaders who are systems thinkers, collaborators and change agents – leaders who understand the complexities of social-environmental challenges and know how to navigate volatile and uncertain contexts, nurture relationships across divides and create enabling conditions for emergent solutions.

The Change Leadership for Sustainability Program prepares students and professionals to be this new kind of leader, capable of radically accelerating the transition to a sustainable society. Participants in our programs learn how to design and implement transformative solutions and strategies that emerge from a fundamentally new understanding of themselves, others and the natural world.

Our coterminal master’s program and executive education programs integrate theoretical and conceptual knowledge with practical skills and tools 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. Executive education is offered through online courses, open-enrollment programs hosted on campus, and customized programs for individual clients.


1Waste to Wealth: The Circular Economy Advantage, Lacy and Rutqvist, 2015.

Degree Programs

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.