Sustainability Leadership | University of Cambridge - PEP - Promoting Economic Pluralism

Sustainability Leadership | University of Cambridge

Delivered part-time over two years for working professionals, it is part of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership's (CISL) mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges. It shows how the economy can be ‘rewired’ through collaboration between business, government and finance.

How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?

Whilst not being a formal programme on economics, we do engage with economic thinking in a number of ways by exploring: the ultimate purpose of the economy and considering different (new) narratives for the economy; the value of heterodox economics and critiquing the dominance of neo-classical economic thinking; the value of a diverse range of economic thinking with insights from environmental economics, ecological economics, steady state economics, behavioural economics, feminist economics, efforts to decolonise economics and the importance of context; and  new measures of success for the economy away from GDP e.g. wellbeing economy. Whilst not being a formal programme on economics, we do engage with economic thinking in a number of ways by exploring: the ultimate purpose of the economy and considering different (new) narratives for the economy; the value of heterodox economics and critiquing the dominance of neo-classical economic thinking; the value of a diverse range of economic thinking with insights from environmental economics, ecological economics, steady state economics, behavioural economics, feminist economics, efforts to decolonise economics and the importance of context; and  new measures of success for the economy away from GDP e.g. wellbeing economy. 

How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?

We make the case for a 'strong' understanding of sustainability – informed by ecological economics – which sees the economy as a sub-set of society and then the environment. In this regard, planetary boundaries, environmental ceilings and the risk of exceeding the regenerative capacities of natural systems are considred. In addition, we take a critical look at growth and consider de-growth and a-growth as concepts, along with steady state economies and narratives around sufficiency, plenitude and sustainable prosperity. 

How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?

Our assignments are premised on students evaluating critically a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data sources relevant to their real-world context, in order to analyse options for change in their professional context. Students also undertake original research grounded in their real-world contexts, using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. This is supported by a range of virtual and in-person teaching and support, including 1:1 tutoring/supervisions, online modules, taught workshops, peer writing clinics and troubleshooting support.   

What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?

Our learning approach strongly emphasises: A systemic approach that values interdisciplinary insights and multiple perspectives.The importance of developing critical thinking amongst our students, including the questioning of foundational assumptions.Providing spaces to ‘nurture’ leadership through active engagement with thinking, practice and (importantly) values.A growing recognition of the importance of context, reflected not least amongst our global student base who we seek to engage through peer learning and sharing. 

How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?

We take an interdisciplinary approach that values multiple perspectives. As such, we are constantly seeking to expand our community of academic and practitioner contributors who bring historically, geographically, contextually and positionally diverse perspectives into our curriculum and teaching content, and develop critical thinking amongst our students. 

Other information:

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. For over three decades we have built individual and organisational leadership capacity and capabilities, and created industry-leading collaborations, to catalyse change and accelerate the path to a sustainable economy. Our Rewiring Leadership framework sets out our model for the leadership needed to achieve this. It shows how the economy can be ‘rewired’, through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, to deliver positive outcomes for people and environment in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Our interdisciplinary research engagement builds the evidence base for practical action, through a focus on six cross-c

Country:

UK

University:

University of Cambridge

Course name:

Sustainability Leadership

Department/school:

Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Course level:

Taught Masters

Course language:

English

Website:

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Sustainability Leadership | University of Cambridge

Sustainability Leadership

Institute for Sustainability Leadership