Summit seeks leaders towards a better future

23 March 2017
Headshot High Definition
Leith Sharp, Director, Harvard University’s Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership

Creating an organisation that is ready to play a sustainable role in a rapidly changing world calls for leadership right across the team. At the University that means building up a network of key staff and students who are willing and able to stand up and take a lead.

With this in mind, the University is hosting a Leadership in Sustainability Summit on 7 April. This one-day gathering, which will follow summits in Sydney and Melbourne, is being delivered by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) and representatives from Harvard University’s Centre for Health and the Global Environment.

The organisers are seeking “leaders with an appetite for driving sustainability into the core of their business and mission, by unlocking its potential to improve employee engagement, organisational performance and innovation. Those with a desire to push beyond positioning sustainability as an ‘add-on’.”

The Summit’s lead presenter, Founding Director of Harvard’s Executive Education programme for Sustainability Leadership, Leith Sharp, will introduce a framework designed to help leaders from the top, middle or grass roots to champion change and greatly increase the flow and ultimate adoption of new ideas promoting sustainability.

Leith is best known for her work as founding director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, where she built the world’s largest green campus organisation with a largely self-funding model, leading Harvard to become a global leader in campus sustainability.

“We are hosting this one day session for leaders and sustainability professionals that have an appetite for going beyond ‘less bad’ and towards the transformational work of unleashing and de-risking high levels of engagement, creativity, agility, idea flow and purpose across all types of organization,” she says.

“We want this session to connect participants as thought partners in transforming outdated organisational models that are too top down or too bottom up, rigid, fragmented and disempowering.”

Guest presenter Alicia Darvall, Executive Director of B Lab Australia & New Zealand, will discuss the emerging phenomenon of ‘B Corporations’, companies using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate a shared and durable prosperity for all. B Corporations redefine success in business by competing not to be the best in the world, but the best for the world.
University of Auckland Sustainability and Environment Manager Dr Lesley Stone will facilitate discussion and present on the challenges and opportunities facing tertiary institutions in aligning their aims and activities with the regeneration of the planet’s life support systems.

Places are limited, so staff or students seeking more information on the Summit, or to register to attend, should email Lesley Stone.