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Leading Sustainable Innovation Professional Certificate


A Transformational Online Experience by WholeWorks and the UVM Grossman School of Business

  • 8 weeks, 100% online, 5 - 8 hours of activities per week
  • Earn a Professional Certificate from the University of Vermont

Do you want to lead your organization to a more sustainable future?  Advance your career?

Companies are struggling to innovate fast enough in a turbulent, disruptive world and emerging leaders will need to drive the much-needed innovation.

WholeWorks has collaborated with the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont to create this one-of-a-kind professional certificate program. Leading Sustainable Innovation is a modern, online learning experience that builds the critical competencies you will need to lead sustainable innovation and change. We use a unique learn-by-doing approach to ensure that you can apply what you learn to your organization and your career.

Simulation-Based Approach

Over 8 weeks, Leading Sustainable Innovation participants will work in diverse teams in a realistic and immersive simulation experience. You will generate novel solutions to complex problems as you transform a conventional business into a sustainable one. Simulation teams include management and stakeholder roles and face compelling scenarios, challenges, and tensions across the roles. You learn by doing as you navigate a complex change process.

Our simulation-based approach is a profound departure from most online executive education programs. Traditional leadership programs emphasize content first and may include exercises to reinforce your learning. We take a different approach: emphasize the simulation as a leadership “practice field” and use online microcontent to support that learning experience. We also include a Personal Project where you design an innovative initiative to take forward in your organization.

Building the Skills You Need to Lead Sustainable Innovation

By combining distilled content from UVM’s top-ranked Sustainable Innovation MBA program, WholeWorks’ immersive practice field, and your Personal Project, the Leading Sustainable Innovation Professional Certificate helps you develop these competencies:

  • Business Ecosystems Thinking: Expanding your view to incorporate a broader, multi-stakeholder perspective and anticipate long-term consequences of business decisions
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Working across boundaries to find innovative solutions to the most challenging problems
  • Sustainability Acumen: Applying the concepts and principles of sustainability and corporate social responsibility to make business decisions that benefit people, profit, and planet
  • Financial/Business Acumen: Developing the skills to effectively make the business case for sustainability in your organization

As an innovative sustainability leader, you will be better able to:

  • Articulate and integrate win-win scenarios across all relevant operations, benefiting the bottom line while delivering sustainable business solutions
  • Develop a strong business case to overcome organizational skepticism, while implementing clear action steps promoting short- and long-term strategy
  • Adopt a broad, systems-thinking approach to anticipate changes in government regulations, consumer behavior, and stakeholder concerns
  • Link competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility to create new strategic opportunities while minimizing risks

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for emerging and high-potential leaders in business, NGOs, government, or entrepreneurial firms who:

  • Have 3 to 10+ years of expertise, including supervisory/management roles (management experience not necessary, however—individual contributors are welcome)
  • Seek to progress from a functional/technical role to leading teams across functions or sectors
  • Work for an organization facing a disruptive/changing business environment
  • Want to incorporate sustainability into their business decisions and drive innovation

Benefits to Your Organization

  • Accelerate your progress toward sustainability
  • Integrate Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) initiatives with core business drivers to create value
  • Experience a positive future: create value for business and society
  • Surface innovative business opportunities
  • Increase agility across your organization; build resilience
  • Leverage talent development resources using a scalable, cost-effective approach

Benefits to Participants

  • Build competencies needed to lead sustainable innovation and change
  • Experience a positive future: create value for business and society
  • Deepen sense of purpose at work
  • Expand personal network and access to innovative partners
  • Clarify leadership role within your organization; gain visibility
  • Receive a certificate from UVM Grossman School of Business that advances your career