Top 5 Executive Education Programs in Climate Change

Triple Pundit kindly offered me this digital real estate to discuss a range of topics related to intersecting commerce and climate change.  I like to call this “climate capitalism.”

The past month or so I have done a deep dive on universities around the world who are starting to show an interest in promoting climate capitalism. Obviously we already have rankings of the best green MBA programs such as Corporate Knights and Beyond Grey Pinstripes.

But which schools excel at teaching about the most pressing environmental challenge the world has ever faced, climate change, and how companies can profit by being part of the solution?

The answer is very few seem to have dedicated content related to climate capitalism.  On March 25th, Hunter Lovins and I are in collaborating with Net Impact to introduce our book, Climate Capitalism, to their vast network of MBA students and alumni interested in the intersection of sustainability and business.

I set about to find executive education programs around the world that have a significant focus on climate capitalism related topics. Again I did not find much.  However, here is my unscientific poll of the top 5 executive education programs that appear to be headed in the right direction.

1.) The University of California San Diego Rady School of Management has partnered with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to provide an immersive executive education experience on climate capitalism.   While the website does not currently summarize this year’s program, their program director confirmed they will be offering a program this year (September 2011).

2.) Colombia Business School Executive Education and Point Carbon have an ongoing collaboration entitled: Carbon Finance and Management Strategies.  You know this program has to be good given that it pairs one of the best business schools with the leading  purveyor of market research in carbon markets together.  Like many of the programs I found you almost surely need to be an executive to pay for the program: cost $5250.

3.) The University of British Columbia teaches courses at their downtown campus including a Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership which this year will be held from July 4-8, 2011.  Program fees are a more affordable $2,000.  I should mention that this program is not delivered by the business school but rather by their school of continuing education.  Staying in Vancouver (my current residence), Simon Fraser University (Full Disclosure: I used to teach sustainable entrepreneurship at SFU and was recently their sustainable entrepreneur in residence) is beginning to get in the sustainability and climate change game.  The business school just received a sizable endowment and they are moving more into sustainability and climate change including an emerging program entitled Carbon Talks.  This nascent program, in partnership with the Wosk Centre for Dialogue, is reaching out to industry to open the conversation between industry, government and the academy.

4.) From October 23-29, 2011, Stanford’s executive education program will be offering a course entitled: Business Strategies for Environmental Sustainability Of course it is being delivered by Stanford so it is not cheap: program price is $9200.  While the course description doesn’t explicitly call out climate change, I would be shocked if it is not one of the key topics discussed during the week.

5.) Lastly, you can’t go wrong taking a class from the specialists like the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) and Presidio Graduate School as they are the two premier dedicated Sustainability MBA programs in North America.  Neither one from what I can tell has dedicated climate change content but I know they are both including climate change topics in their programs.

Others that in the past offered courses include Duke, the University of Michigan, and the University of New South Whales, Australian Business School.

While only few universities are currently focused on climate capitalism-related content I suspect over the next few years we will see many more getting into the act. In the meantime the choices above are a good start.

Boyd Cohen is the CEO of CO2 IMPACT, a carbon origination company based in Vancouver, Canada and Bogota, Colombia. Boyd is also the co-author of the forthcoming book, Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.

Twitter: boydcohen

This series will use the hashtag #climatcaptlsm


Boyd Cohen is the CEO of CO2 IMPACT, a carbon origination company based in Vancouver, Canada and Bogota, Colombia. Boyd is also the co-author of Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.Twitter: boydcohen

3 responses

  1. After reviewing this post I received this addition to the list from Mike Peirce in the UK: You may also be interested to see from our website what we are doing on this side of the Atlantic, including our well-established Climate Leadership Programme: I would add that our Business & Sustainability Programme, which we run in the US as well as Melbourne, Cape Town, Brussels and Cambridge, also includes a strong element focused on climate issues and their interconnection with the wider sustainability agenda.

    Thanks MIke.

  2. Great list, but there’s one glaring omission: Dominican University houses the first Green MBA ( created in the U.S., and it’s without a doubt one of the best. Every course they offer in the MBA in Sustainable Enterprise is taught through the lens of sustainability, addressing climate change and the business opportunities it presents. They also offer a Sustainable Practices Certificate Program for those who don’t want the full MBA.

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