“Governments will not lead the way to a sustainable future by themselves,” asserts Prof. Mike Rosenberg, “the state of the world depends on business stepping up.” He comments on the impetus behind the launch of his new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on November 21: “Strategy and Sustainability”.
Sustainability is not optional for businesses, and today all companies must have a strategy to deal with it. “I strongly believe that regardless of political or environmental beliefs, there are business issues that are at stake,” says Rosenberg.
The new MOOC schools anyone – from CEOs and Board Directors to business students – on how they can make the right strategic choices to save the planet, and make a profit.
The course will be immediately open for enrollment on Coursera. However, new cohorts start every four weeks so participants can sign up at any time. Delivered online, it is designed to fit in with busy lives of learners, who can study whenever and wherever they like.
Taught as six modules in six weeks, the course is based on Rosenberg’s book published last year, Strategy and Sustainability: A Hardnosed and Clear-Eyed Approach to Environmental Sustainability for Business. “In my MBA class I was able to reach 40 or 50 students a year,” says Rosenberg, “the book and the MOOC offered the possibility of literally reaching thousands of learners – this was irresistible.”
“The book provides an excellent overview of the sustainability discussion, its development, and its relevance for businesses,” said Uwe Bergmann, Henkel’s Director of Sustainability Management.
While the material of the course reflects that of the book, it is adapted to the medium and audience, with a more explanatory tone.
Rosenberg blends the work of some of the leading academic thinkers in the field with practical examples from a variety of business sectors and geographies, offering a framework with which senior management can engage with the topic, not (just) for the benefit environment but to fulfill their short, medium and long-term responsibilities to shareholders and other stakeholders.
“Many companies have really been embracing environmental sustainability in the U.S.,” says Rosenberg, “but there are still thousands globally that don’t understand the issues.”
“However,” says Rosenberg, “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability strategy. It depends on the situation of the business, the industry and the country. This stuff is complicated, and there is no simple answer.”