LEAP! is a global open network of faculty and scholars interested in promoting the sustainability mindset in the business leaders of tomorrow. The scholars were brought together by the desire to explore how to engage, motivate and develop a new generation of leaders to act with a sense of planetary responsibility. The genesis of this network arose from research conducted by Dr. Isabel Rimanoczy into the dimensions and characteristics of the sustainability mindset, and from her efforts to design a program to develop the mindset in business leaders of tomorrow.
Our name, LEAP, and our mission is to Leverage resources, Expand awareness, Accelerate change and Partner (LEAP).
LEAP was officially designated the PRME Working Group on Sustainability Mindset in June 2015 at the Global Forum of UN PRME in New York. At the end of 2020, the Working Group has 160 members, representing 49 countries in 138 institutions. The academics range from young doctoral students, to senior lecturers; they are scholars of different business areas, but also from outside management schools: Tourism, English, Writing, Education, Agriculture.
We realize that a sustainability mindset is the result of knowledge about the state of the planet, processed with a systemic framework to understand the interconnections. But it really becomes settled when we engage the being dimension, when we explore our values, as they are expressed in our actions, and how they relate to our sense of purpose, to the difference we want to make in the world. That is when the sustainability mindset becomes a way of looking into the world, a new narrative, a questioning of our decisions, a revision of who we want to be, and it fuels action.
The SDGs are the platform for the ‘Sustainability Mindset in action’. Members weave into their classes and exercises the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), providing a scaffolding within which the students can analyze facts and develop initiatives. The Sustainability Mindset Working Group research and materials are widely used to benefit students in classrooms and communities.
The Working Group has a high rate of participation (80%) with over 125 members involved and connected. This results in a large impact as these individuals incorporate aspects of the sustainability mindset into their teaching, writing, development of assessment instruments and research. According to a 2020 survey, over 27500 students are impacted collectively every year in terms of developing a sustainability mindset.
Furthermore, the acceleration of change is going beyond the classroom, impacting communities. This is the case of students creating social enterprises that bring a tangible benefit to their community, or students influencing their family businesses by sharing materials, educating them and fostering new ways of doing business. For example, a student at a university in the Philippines indicated that her family had a company to produce plastic bags, and that as a result of the dialogues in the classroom, she was addressing her father to explore bio-bags that are environmentally sound.
Members of the Sustainability Mindset Working Group are actively connecting to each other, visiting their institutions, sharing experiences and providing mutual support. Recently a member created the Center for Sustainability Mindset and Corporate Responsibility in her university in Jakarta; the Sustainability Mindset became a core component of a new higher education initiative in Ghana. Sobey in Halifax, Canada and TEC in Mexico are institutions that recently decided to make the development of a sustainability mindset a priority across the disciplines. Other members are in close collaboration with UNESCO, chambers of Commerce, local business, and the media, promoting their work and the SDG beyond their institutions.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by developing a Sustainability Mindset.
We see the SDGs as the much needed framework for educators to make their teaching relevant and focused on actions for a better world. Our members are finding creative ways to bring the SDGs into their courses, and engaging students in exploring the goals, finding projects that support the goals, and developing contests and events around them.
We recently developed a Toolkit with resources to develop a sustainability mindset, available to the larger community of educators around the world.
On the horizon for this Working Group are some initiatives of great leverage. The last quarter of 2020 will see the launch of ‘The Sustainability Mindset Principles - a Guide to Develop a Mindset for a Better World’ by Isabel Rimanoczy published by Routledge Taylor Francis, UK. It introduces the 12 SM Principles and offers a pedagogical scaffolding for educators in any discipline, to find easy ways to develop a new mindset, and go beyond management education.
In connection with this, the Sustainability Mindset Indicator (SMI) is being developed. It will provide the first assessment instrument to map and profile the place and progress of an individual on his or her personal journey towards a new mindset. The SMI will facilitate longitudinal research, as well as provide educators with guides and exercises for their students (available in 2021).
Our Goals and Outcomes To impact students and support them in developing a mindset for sustainability
- To lead students to work on SDG based projects making a difference in their community, and to document it
- To create and document tools and exercises that best develop the sustainability mindset
- To produce papers and present at academic settings
- To connect with other departments and/or faculty in their respective institutions, to promote awareness of the sustainability mindset
- To create a network of mutual support that can be a resource for each other’s institutions
- To establish and maintain relationships with national and international institutions: UNGlobal Compact, other PRME Working Groups, GRLI, AACSB, Oikos, Net impact, efmd, CEMS, Ascolfa.
Find more information (Summary of Activities, Outlook for 2020 and beyond – projects, events, activities) here, or contact Dr. Isabel Rimanoczy
You are invited to contact Dr. Isabel Rimanoczy if you would like to know more and become a member.