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Building Leadership CRED for Change Makers in Sustainability

Our current sustainability crisis is a crisis of leadership. Around the world, governments, big businesses, and major cultural organizations are struggling to cope with the looming threats of extreme weather conditions, food scarcity, and mass extinctions. While some efforts are being made in the public and private sectors, the lack of vision and leadership is crippling the effectiveness of these efforts. 

If you are passionate about sustainability and eager to make a difference for the environment and the world in your career, the most important thing you can learn is how to lead. Leadership is not an innate gift, it is an attitude and competency that can be learned and shared in conjunction with others. 

Keep reading to learn more about Bard's approach to teaching sustainable leadership skills and to hear student testimonies about their personal leadership journeys.


Recognizing Your Own Leadership Potential

According to Gilles Mesrobian, a leadership consultant and coach, “Leading the sustainability transformation towards a flourishing world requires all of us to recognize our own potential for leadership. We need to see it as a resource in need of development, management, and to gain a picture of our drivers and motivators.”

Mesrobian teaches the first semester course on Personal Leadership Development for the MBA in Sustainability program at Bard College. The course is designed to discover, identify and develop the individual’s personal motivation and individual competencies as a leader. It also explores the attributes and themes of sustainability  through an examination of traditional and contemporary leadership models in multiple settings. As the culmination of the course, students produce a short video called a CRED Talk reflecting on their personal leadership practice, and communicating their personal competence as a leader.

Students Reflect on Sustainability Leadership in CRED Talks

The following videos produced at the end of a course on Personal Leadership Development at Bard highlight the personal and professional transformation that can happen when students are made aware of their own ability to lead. 

Lindsey Strange



Melissa Baez



Sam Monkarsh


View CRED talks from our other students, Savannah Parsons, Reed Shapiro and Stephanie Erwin directly on our Youtube page.  

 Thinking Creatively to Drive Sustainable Change

“CRED talks help students think creatively about what they bring to the table as leaders: the strengths they have built up throughout their lives, and that they can use to help drive sustainable change,” said Bard MBA Director, Dr. Eban Goodstein. “Gilles' course as a whole strengthens existing competencies, and supports students as they identify leadership skills they need to improve.”

If you are wondering if you can help lead the change toward a more sustainable future, we know that the answer is yes. It's time to recognize your own potential for leadership, strengthen the existing competencies you bring to the table, and then get to work thinking and dreaming creatively about how to solve the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

The world needs leaders.

Learn more about Bard's MBA in Sustainability in our digital resource,

The MBA of the Future: What to Look For in a Cutting-Edge Business School. 

Explore the Resource

About the Author

Katie Boyle

Katie Boyle

Katie Boyle is the Enrollment and Marketing Director for the Bard MBA in Sustainability program and Bard Center for Environmental Policy. In this role, she oversees the marketing and brand management for The Impact Report podcast. She also manages recruiting, admissions, and enrollment for both programs as well marketing and advertising campaigns.