An actionable roadmap to sustainability

Master in Benefit Administration (Mini MBeA)

In partnership with

Seismic

&

B Lab Logo

In partnership with

Seismic

&

B Lab Europe

Description

The topic of sustainability affects all aspects of business. The Mini-MBeA provides a broad, comprehensive overview on how sustainability is impacting the various business disciplines, and vice versa. The program delivers a unique combination of state-of-the-art disciplinary tools and groundbreaking insights into the implementation of sustainability in practice. After the completion of the Mini-MBeA, participants will think differently about sustainability and the assessment of impact. 

Green

Objectives

- Gain specific insights into the underlying tools of core disciplines including strategy, governance, finance or innovation

- Understand the interdependence of disciplines as a key to identifying effective, sustainable solutions 

- Be inspired by practitioners sharing their journeys and contributions to sustainability

- Receive guidance and feedback on your own ideas

- Take away a list of Action Items for immediate implementation in your company or community 

Who should apply?

The program is designed for all stakeholders intending to become ambassadors for the implementation of sustainability principles in communities, institutions and organizations:

Private individuals interested in acquiring skills to implement sustainable principles in their communities, work environments and lives
Participants looking to learn new tools to initiate, drive and implement change in their respective organizations
Companies participants to gain expertise in leading and enforcing organizational paradigm shifts
Sustainability in Action

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    Program structure

    The program will be delivered in 11 interactive online sessions of 2 hours, with topics as listed below. Each 2 hour session covers theory and practice delivered by industry executives as well as panel discussions with experts and practitioners from the B Lab community. They will also be available for questions from course participants:

    Session

    Topic

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET)

    Intro

    Session intro

    Fundamentals & Onboarding

    SESSION #0 – INTRODUCTION

    The kick-off session will introduce participants to each other, facilitators and faculty as well as the trajectory and objectives of the course.

    The introduction session will address the following questions:

    ●       Why was the ‘Sustainability in Action’ (SIA) leadership platform created?
    ●       How does the Mini MBeA fit into the SIA leadership platform?
    ●       What are the roles of SHULU, B Lab and Seismic in the program?
    ●       How will the program integrate cutting-edge disciplinary theory and models with best practice?
    ●       How will participants maximize benefits from the program?

    March 23rd, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): March 23rd, 2022 

    1

    Session 1

    Sustainability and Strategy

    SESSION #1 – SUSTAINABILITY AND STRATEGY

    Mission, vision and objectives provide the building blocks of corporate and business strategy. The development and implementation of a sustainability strategy engages internal and external stakeholders in the process of using business as a force for good. At an operational level, sustainability strategy clearly defines targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What is corporate/business strategy?
    Why does sustainability represent an essential part of company strategy?
    How can sustainability create value for a company?
    How can sustainability and business objectives be aligned?

    March 30th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): March 30th, 2022 

    2

    Session 2

    Communicating for Impact 

    SESSION #2 – COMMUNICATING FOR IMPACT

    Communication is a key component in achieving sustainability and creating positive social impact.

    A mindset of interdependence generates more inclusive dialogue, more responsible decision-making and ultimately a more sustainable world.

    Effective communication in an increasingly complex world requires an awareness of system needs and challenges as well as human potential to generate positive change whenever people come together.  

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What does “communicating for impact” mean – at home, at work, in the wider world?
    What are  essential interconnected elements to keep in mind for effective communication?
    How can we harness positive energy in the systems we are part of to make a bigger difference?
    What role does communication play in enabling transformational and cross-generational change?

    April 6th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): April 6th, 2022 

    3

    Session 3

    Governance, Ethics and Law

    SESSION #3 – GOVERNANCE, ETHICS & LAW

    Successful integration and effective management of sustainability at a company requires having committed leadership, clear direction, and strategic influence—and none of this will happen without a robust governance structure. Sustainability governance helps a company implement sustainability strategy across the business, manage goal-setting and reporting processes, strengthen relations with external stakeholders, and ensure overall accountability.

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What is corporate governance?
    Why is governance important for both compliance as well as corporate performance
    How and where does sustainability fit into the overall governance structure?
    How can governance help support and control the development and implementation of sustainability strategy?

    April 13th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): April 13th, 2022 

    4

    Session 4

    Workers and Employees

    SESSION #4 – WORKERS AND EMPLOYEES

    People drive business but what drives people? In order for a company to be socially sustainable and benefit from superior employee engagement, employees need physical, psychological and financial safety. This includes topics such as social security, health and wellness programs, operational health and safety job satisfaction, diversity, equity and inclusion. Company strategy needs to account for such dimensions to contribute to social sustainability.

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    Why are people a core source of sustainable competitive advantage?
    What are the key measures of workers’ and employees’ sustainability? What does it take to motivate and engage employees?
    How can physical, psychological and financial safety be ensured?

    April 20th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): April 20th, 2022 

    5

    Session 5

    Sustainable Operations

    SESSION #5 – SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS

    Sustainable operations concerns the procedures, processes and practices through which companies firms initiate, create and deliver outputs. In order for companies to be profitable and take the preservation or even improvement of the natural and/or social environment into account, they need to transition from individualistic mindsets to thinking in ecosystems. 

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What is ecosystem-thinking?
    Why is a mindset of “interdependence” important?
    How can the principle of circularity help companies re-designed their value chains for sustainability?
    What will next generation business models and supply chains look like?

    April 27th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): April 27th, 2022 

    6

    Session 6

    The Environment: Water, Air, Climate, Land and Life

    SESSION #6 – THE ENVIRONMENT: WATER, AIR, CLIMATE, LAND & LIFE

    Each business model’s output, that is products and/or services have a specific environmental footprint. The environmental management of a company needs to include much more than limiting the potential harm on water, air, climate, land and life. Firms need to recognize their interdependence with the environment, go beyond limiting harm and identify ways to improve, enhance and enrich nature, and consequently their own business.

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    How can environmental impact be measured?
    What role does transparency play for sustainability?
    Why is there a focus on climate change? What about resource depletion? The impact of nature on humans?
     What steps can companies take to not only preserve but even improve the environment around them, as well as their own internal environment?

    May 4th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): May 4th, 2022 

    7

    Session 7

    Marketing and Consumers

    SESSION #7 – MARKETING AND CONSUMERS

    Anyone selling products or services to customers or clients has a responsibility to protect consumers. Engaging customers and clients to contribute to people and the planet beyond profits is a key component of company strategy in the pursuit of sustainability. That means, products and services must go beyond their respective benefits and include aspects of sustainability in their value propositions.

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What are potential non-product/service specific benefits?
    How can such benefits help market and sell products/services?
    What role does transparency and measurement play?
    How can the new product/service development process be revised to account for new ways of sustainability thinking?

    May 11th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): May 11th, 2022 

    8

    Session 8

    Sustainable Innovation

    SESSION #8 – SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION

    New ways of doing require new ways of thinking. Any product and service as well as the business models behind them will need to be reviewed, revised, many of them re-invented, to account for sustainability. Innovation needs unlearning of “we have always done it that way” and creativity to go down new paths to new solutions by often thinking the unthinkable. 

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What makes an innovation sustainable?
    How can companies engage in sustainable innovation?
    What are the pitfalls of sustainable innovation processes?
    What role does company management play?

    May 18th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): May 18th, 2022 

    9

    Session 9

    Sustainable Finance and Financial Transparency

    SESSION #9 – SUSTAINABLE FINANCE & FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

    Sustainable finance refers to the process of taking people, planet and profit considerations into account when making investment decisions. The aim of this approach is to achieve long-term investments in sustainable economic activities and projects. Regulatory developments pertaining to financial and non-financial transparency have been the most common and the fastest evolving type of regulatory activity in the domains of sustainable finance and corporate responsibility worldwide. 

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What is (non-) financial transparency?
    What role does transparency play for the development of sustainability?
    How can a company benefit from transparency in the field of sustainability activities?
    How can (non-) financial transparency be implemented in corporate settings?

    May 25th, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): May 25th, 2022 

    10

    Session 10

    Business  Transformation

    SESSION #10 – BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

    Innovation and transformation towards sustainable business models requires change. Managing the transition of organizational goals, processes and technologies from independent shareholder to interdependent stakeholder thinking (and behavior) involves inspiring change, engaging people and monitoring progress.  

    In this session, the following questions will be addressed:

    What are the key phases in change processes?
    How does people's motivation affect change?
    What tools can be applied to instigate change?
    How can sustainable change be achieved?

    June 1st, 2022

    Date (Time: 6-8PM CET): June 1st, 2022 

    Note: Session date and time is tentative and may change.

    Action Plan for Implementation

    Each participant will be inspired to develop  company specific Action Items per Topic. The portfolio of Action Items will serve as an Action Plan that participants can present to their respective company boards/CEOs for implementation toward sustainable development. The Action plan will also enable participants to respond effectively to a company board/CEO’s question of “What did you learn and how will it benefit our company?