On Saturday, 9 October, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg (SHU) launched its newest project–the “Sustainability in Action” Leadership Platform–at the KlimaExpo in the presence of economy minister Franz Fayot.
A holistic approach to sustainability
The platform–which hopes to enable participants to “think differently” and creatively. It includes on-site academic courses and a new postgraduate Certificate in Sustainability and Social Impact.
The online Mini-MBeA SHU offers is accessible to anyone, all over the world. Professor Marcus Mueller, who oversees the programme, reckons that the mini-MBeA will attract more executives, as the format offers “a good handle on the complexity of sustainability” in all aspects of business.
Unlike other existing sustainability programmes in Luxembourg and abroad, the SHU platform approaches the challenges of today and tomorrow in a holistic way, he said speaking to Delano ahead of the launch. “We are building bridges between theory and practice, across disciplines, across generations present and future, across stakeholders–governments, industries, consumers–and we bridge the gap between Luxembourg and the world.”
By sharing their tools–such as building self-confidence and encouraging creative thinking–and showing their application on the whole value chain of a business, Sustainability in Action aims to give its students the knowledge needed to become “ambassadors of change” in their current or future organisations.
The selection of candidates will also play an important part in the programme: there needs to be “diversity in terms of seniority, gender, disciplines, industries,” to incite enriching and transformative interactions, Muller said.
A shift in mentalities
“The business models will change–they have to. Those who want to proactively change now will be the winners, and those who just wait for regulation to happen–they will die,” said Mueller.
The current way of approaching climate change by solely “creating fear, offering island solutions and controlling carbon footprints,” is not going to help the world, he said. Fear eventually begets the numbness of citizens, whereas stimulating the participants of the programme to be communicative and creative will provide solutions that can be implemented in industries later on.
Through the classes, supported and taught by both local and international partners, such as B Lab or Luxinnovation, among many others, the programme aims to use the tools those organisations have already proven to be applicable, and introduce them into Luxembourg’s wider ecosystem (for graduates of the certificate) and international organisations (for graduates of the mini-MBeA).
Though Mueller acknowledges the importance of cutting carbon emissions and implementing new restrictions on industries, he believes that only coming up with new ideas, technologies and innovative solutions that “bring profit” will have a big enough impact. Only economically viable ideas that are also sustainable will interest larger industries and governments, he said.
“There is still a lot of resistance at the executive levels,” said Mueller. “The next generation needs people in the second and third level to plant the seed and show the people of the organisation” how to approach and adopt the change in mentality.
And so, through the launching of their new leadership platform, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg aims to cut fearmongering from the agenda and provide new tools to its participants to confidently approach not just the “Why?” of climate change and the economy but also mainly the “How?” of creating sustainable businesses.