Leadership for Sustainability: Strategies for Tackling Wicked Problems (Paperback)

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Leadership for Sustainability: Strategies for Tackling Wicked Problems (Paperback)

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Solving today’s environmental and sustainability challenges requires more than expertise and technology. Effective solutions will require that we engage with other people, wrestle with difficult questions, and learn how to adapt and make confident decisions despite uncertainty. We need new approaches to leadership that empower professionals at all levels to tackle wicked problems and work towards sustainability.
 
Leadership for Sustainability gives readers perspective and skills for promoting creative and collaborative solutions. Blending systems thinking approaches with leadership techniques, it offers dozens of strategies and specific practices that build on the foundation of three main skills: connecting, collaborating, and adapting. Inspiring case studies show how the book’s strategies and principles can be applied to diverse situations:
 
  • Coordinating the activities of widely dispersed individuals and groups who may not even know they are connected, illustrated by the work of urban planners, local businesses, citizens, and other stakeholders advancing ambitious climate action goals via a Community Energy Plan in Arlington County, Virginia
  • Collaborating with diverse stakeholders to span boundaries despite their differences of opinion, expertise, and culture, as illustrated by the bold actions of a social entrepreneur who transformed the global food service industry with the “plant-forward” movement
  • Adapting to continuous change and confounding uncertainty, as a small nonprofit organization mobilizes partners to tackle poverty, water scarcity, sanitation, and climate change in rural India
Readers will come away with a holistic understanding of how to lead from where they are by applying leadership principles and practices to a wide range of wicked situations. While the challenges we face are daunting, the authors argue that these situations present opportunities for creating a more just, healthy, and prosperous world.
R. Bruce Hull is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability at Virginia Tech, which provides graduate education and professional development opportunities for sustainability professionals working at the intersection of business, government, and civil society. He has authored and edited numerous publications, including two books, Infinite Nature (University of Chicago Press) and Restoring Nature (Island Press).
 
Michael Mortimer is Founding Director and Senior Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability at Virginia Tech. Dr. Mortimer works with professionals and students on sustainable development questions in locations around the world, and his most active research and writing is centered on the role that global cities can play in leading and solving sustainable development challenges.
 
David Robertson is Founding Director of the Executive Master of Natural Resources graduate degree program and Senior Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, Virginia Tech. Dr. Robertson is also a founder and principal of Educene, a travel education, upskilling, consulting firm.
Product Details ISBN: 9781642831672
ISBN-10: 1642831670
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English
"Although here presented through the lens of sustainability, the leadership practices laid out would apply equally to all wicked problems, making this a useful guide for practitioners and theorists in a variety of fields."
— Choice

“[Leadership for Sustainability] provides a roadmap of the challenges and opportunities of the Anthropocene, a leadership toolbox, and a storybook of wicked leadership in practice. This practical guide provides clear leadership strategies that support emerging and seasoned planning and design professionals alike.”


— The Dirt

"Sustainability is the challenge of our time. The problems are complex, interconnected, and play out across temporal and geographic scales. They are also solvable. This book focuses on the how, providing examples and tools to help readers turn problems into opportunities and opportunities into solutions."
— Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Research, Data, and Innovation at the World Resources Institute

"This is a handbook on how to lead individual, organizational, and societal actions toward a more resilient, interconnected, compassionate, and thriving future. It tells an optimistic story of a future unwritten and full of possibilities for a better world. It gives all of us the tools and examples to become agents of change and actually achieve that vision."
— Beth Gibbons, Executive Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals

"It's easy to fall into the chasm of despair when contemplating the wicked challenges of sustainability. Hull, Robertson, and Mortimer neatly leap that chasm with practical leadership tools to influence you and those around you to deliver the solutions we all need. Whatever those solutions are, they will come from us—the decisions we make and the way we lead. This book is a valuable guide to that future."
— Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Vice President of Sustainability, Mars Incorporated

"I cannot imagine a more timely, useful, and tested collection for sustainability professionals. Teaching beside the authors for nearly a decade, I continuously marvel at how effectively their tools, strategies, and stories transform professionals of all backgrounds and aspirations into effective changemakers."
— Jerry Abrams, Envisioneer, Center for Creative Leadership

"Although here presented through the lens of sustainability, the leadership practices laid out would apply equally to all wicked problems, making this a useful guide for practitioners and theorists in a variety of fields."
— Choice

“[Leadership for Sustainability] provides a roadmap of the challenges and opportunities of the Anthropocene, a leadership toolbox, and a storybook of wicked leadership in practice. This practical guide provides clear leadership strategies that support emerging and seasoned planning and design professionals alike.”


— The Dirt

"Sustainability is the challenge of our time. The problems are complex, interconnected, and play out across temporal and geographic scales. They are also solvable. This book focuses on the how, providing examples and tools to help readers turn problems into opportunities and opportunities into solutions."
— Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Research, Data, and Innovation at the World Resources Institute

"This is a handbook on how to lead individual, organizational, and societal actions toward a more resilient, interconnected, compassionate, and thriving future. It tells an optimistic story of a future unwritten and full of possibilities for a better world. It gives all of us the tools and examples to become agents of change and actually achieve that vision."
— Beth Gibbons, Executive Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals

"It's easy to fall into the chasm of despair when contemplating the wicked challenges of sustainability. Hull, Robertson, and Mortimer neatly leap that chasm with practical leadership tools to influence you and those around you to deliver the solutions we all need. Whatever those solutions are, they will come from us—the decisions we make and the way we lead. This book is a valuable guide to that future."
— Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Vice President of Sustainability, Mars Incorporated

"I cannot imagine a more timely, useful, and tested collection for sustainability professionals. Teaching beside the authors for nearly a decade, I continuously marvel at how effectively their tools, strategies, and stories transform professionals of all backgrounds and aspirations into effective changemakers."
— Jerry Abrams, Envisioneer, Center for Creative Leadership