Our Work in 2017

The Leopold Advisory Board is exploring four strategies for deploying our program’s strengths to influence changes needed within the academy and beyond to support researchers in linking their knowledge to action on sustainable development:

Universities as change agents: Engage Leopold leaders to catalyze senior university leadership to strengthen support for transdisciplinary work needed for the transition to sustainability. 

Graduate leadership development network: Develop a network for graduate leadership programming for science, sustainability, and society. In partnership with the Boreas Leadership Program at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, we will convene a meeting February 9-11, 2017 of approximately 20 program staff, graduate students, and faculty champions from 13 institutions who are engaged in developing and delivering graduate leadership training. The purpose is to explore the need for such training, obstacles to providing it, and interest within the group in forming and providing concrete support for a resource exchange network on graduate leadership training. 

Environmental leadership narratives: Develop environmental leadership narratives and case studies for use in teaching best practices for linking knowledge to action. These materials will be shared and implemented through Leopold-led training sessions and other mechanisms. Building on the work begun at the advanced training “Designing Environmental Leadership Case Studies” in January 2016, the Leopold staff and advisory board are now drafting a description of the “hidden curriculum” of leadership skills and qualities needed to develop the trusting relationships that lead to credible, legitimate, salient, and relevant research on sustainable development. Once this framework is finalized, we will use it in our January 2017 workshop on writing narratives for environmental leadership case studies for teaching. It will serve as a frame to help the 12 fellows attending to shape their narratives in ways that facilitate their adaptation as teaching materials.

International: Explore partnerships with entities that have expressed interest in having case-based leadership training materials and could support our efforts.