A flagship initiative of UNU-IAS, ProSper.Net* held its annual Leadership Programme from 23 to 29 August in Sabah, Malaysia. Under this year’s theme, “Transformational Leadership in Implementing and Assessing Sustainability Projects”, it offered its participants a chance to learn about Malaysia’s sustainability challenges and how local communities address them.
Expert lectures were complemented by a series of field visits, which served as a basis for case studies developed by the participants. One of the studies explored the efforts of the Palace Hotel in Sabah, in working with local farmers and encouraging them to adopt green farming and waste management practices. The study found that the collaboration had a positive spillover effect on the entire community and resulted in neighbouring farmers being drawn into the trend and shifting towards more sustainable, organic farming practices. These leaders exemplified how integration of green concepts by primary stakeholders (industrial workers and farmers) can transform the society.
Key messages the participants took away from the programme were how to identify sustainability performance indicators and how to involve key stakeholders from the very beginning of any transformation plan. Many agreed that Malaysia can gain a competitive advantage if it embraces green growth now and rethinks its higher education system and develops leaders strong in problem-solving and systemic thinking with anticipatory, normative, strategic and interpersonal competence.
Full reports from the following five case studies will be available from the ProSper.Net website:
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ProSPER.Net (Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network) is an alliance of leading universities in the Asia Pacific region that are committed to integrating sustainable development into postgraduate courses and curricula. This network is developing a new generation of leaders who can best tackle global sustainability challenges in the face of rapid environmental degradation.