What is transformative sustainability? | Top Universities

What is transformative sustainability?

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated August 30, 2022 Updated August 30, 2022

Bocconi University in Italy has recently launched a new MSc in Transformative Sustainability. To learn more about the programme and what it means to study transformative sustainability, we spoke to programme director Professor Francesco Perrini. 

What are the key details you think applicants to this new programme should be aware of? 

First of all, potential applicants should be aware that our Master in Transformative Sustainability is an internationally oriented, cutting-edge programme. Indeed, Bocconi University and Politecnico di Milano, two of Italy’s most prestigious universities, have each leveraged their own unique areas of expertise to design a joint degree with an integrated and innovative perspective on sustainability.  

The innovative and integrated approach adopted to design the programme is the same that should be adopted to face today sustainability challenges. Indeed, the programme combines fields of a technical nature (technologies for the environment, energy, mobility and circularity) with the fields in the social sciences (management, economics and quantitative and legal disciplines).  

Why is transformative sustainability important? 

Today, it is clear how sustainability challenges are core for any type of business and stakeholder in the market, and their relevance will increase in the next years, requiring companies to have inner competencies and highly specialised leaders.  

This will be also required for companies from every stakeholder in the market, from financial institutions to consumers, and will represent a requirement to grow, remain and lead the market.  

Our programme prepares students with the knowledge and tools needed to transition companies toward a sustainable business and management approach (through the innovation of products, processes, systems and business models supported by technological advancements). It also enables them to understand the influence of ESG criteria on governance, management and financial and investment decisions. 

Why is your university choosing to introduce this programme and innovate in this area? 

Bocconi University is investing a lot in sustainability, and probably today this represents the major driver toward innovation for our institution. Innovation in terms of sustainability is evolving both in terms of theory and actions.  

From a theoretical perspective, we’re making a great effort in academic research and in applied research to support companies in the sustainable transition, and to ensure our teaching best prepares our students and contributes to scientific and social progress.  

In terms of actions, we’ve adopted ESG parameters in our admission and selection procedures, and trained top managers and boards of leading companies on ESG topics.  

Bocconi also undertakes direct initiatives in many areas, including energy efficiency, saving resources, reducing the use of materials such as paper and plastic, and recycling waste. The new SDA Bocconi Campus is part of a broader development that considers environmental, sustainable, energy-saving practices and the classes of the Master in Transformative Sustainability will be held in this new campus in a building which has a system to collect and reuse rainwater and it is integrated with sustainable mobility, including charging stations for electric cars and motorcycles.  

What opportunities does this programme offer students beyond the classroom? 

Our institution is recognised worldwide for the immersive experience it offers to students that join our campus from all over the world. Extracurricular activities offered by the university take place every day.  

Bocconi has a structured career service team dedicated to students, which supports them continuously and successfully in finding the right match between students’ aspiration and companies’ requirements.  

The school also organises job market events, online or offline, dedicated to specific sectors where students can directly meet companies. Also, we advertise work placement opportunities around the world to our current students and alumni every week through a dedicated channel. 

What are the expected career paths for graduates on this new programme? 

Experts with multidisciplinary expertise are increasingly needed to drive the transformation of organisations toward sustainability. Based on the program offered by the Master of Science in Transformative Sustainability it is possible to identify three major career paths for our students.  

Sustainability Manager Specialists 

They will drive the transformations inside companies. In this case, graduates will support the sustainable growth and “transformation process” of the corporate business by integrating sustainability into the value chain, helping design or improve organisational processes or practices toward sustainability.  

Sustainability Analysts  

This role will involve working for consulting companies and financial institutions. Graduates will contribute to projects that help clients in improving their processes or practices toward sustainability, sharing market best practices and designing action plans adapted to the client’s reality. 

Sustainable Entrepreneurs 

They will be able to innovate the market through new business models and disruptive companies, integrating sustainability at the core of their activities and purpose, and satisfying the needs of future consumers. 

Applications are now open for the first class of the programme starting in September 2022

This article was originally published in April 2022 . It was last updated in August 2022

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