This course explores grand challenges and sustainability strategies from a systems thinking perspective. The course will examine complex and pressing environmental and social challenges including ocean and land pollution, climate change and inequality and others to develop a systems thinking approach and explore response strategies for business.
Students have the opportunity to experience the difficulties and opportunities that grand challenges can present. Beginning by situating environmental and social issues within the SDG framework and then unpacking selected challenges, their many stakeholders and their complexity, the first sessions offer insights into systems thinking. The course then moves on to map the materiality of issues to more specific sectors and businesses.
The final section of the course identifies opportunities and business strategies including product, service and business model innovations, cross-sector partnerships and other aspects of systemic change. Throughout the learning journey opportunities for personal and professional reflection on grand challenges will be included.
The course is recommended for those facing the complexity of dealing with grand challenges in their businesses and those who want to rethink the idea of “business as usual” from a sustainability perspective.
Jennifer Goodman is Associate Professor of CSR in the Department of Business and Society at Audencia Business School. Her research and teaching interests lie broadly in the relationship between business, government and society, sustainability and CSR.
She has a PhD in Management Sciences from ESADE Business School in Spain, where she formed part of ESADE’s Institute for Social Innovation, and spent time as a visiting researcher on the Responsible Investing Initiative at Carleton University, Canada.
At Aalto University School of Business in Finland, she contributed to the large European project EU-InnovatE: Sustainable Lifestyles 2.0. Before embarking on her PhD, Jennifer worked as a researcher and financial analyst and managed professional language training courses.