Bard College Launches New MBA in Sustainability

Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) hosted the Katerva Awards—which honor the world’s best sustainability ideas—here in New York City on December 7, as I reported a couple of weeks ago. I’m interested in sustainability in part because it’s inextricably bound up with imagination, creativity, and innovation: these skills enable us to figure out ways to make our planet healthier and improve our societies. So it seems fitting to mention on this blog that Bard College has taken an innovative step and launched a new MBA in Sustainability program.

The structure of the program is novel, too. Instead of regular classes, five weekend intensives (four in NYC, one on the Bard campus) will be held every term, starting in fall 2012, the press release states. This will allow working professionals to enroll as students, while active leaders in the field will be able to participate as teachers.

The MBA curriculum, developed by the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, covers sustainable practices in addition to business fundamentals. Students will learn, among other things, to find “creative responses to changing economic conditions” and to engage in “continuous innovation”—two priorities for green companies.

“It’s not something we would have imagined as recently as four years ago,” says Bard CEP Director Eban Goodstein. “Sustainability is…increasingly a factor in corporate strategy. It’s time for business education to catch up.”

Indeed, the creation of the MBA was itself an imaginative act. Bard became aware of the changing demands of the business world (and the world as a whole), and envisioned a program that would prepare students to meet them.

Now, how about an MBA in Imagination?

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