The world needs leaders with the drive, courage and perseverance to protect the health of the environment and ensure a sustainable future. The goal of this course is to help students develop the leadership skills needed to solve the most pressing global environmental conflicts - whether in government, NGO or business settings. This course will be a leadership boot-camp in which students will face a series of emotionally challenging negotiation simulations, small group exercises, and cases.
Leadership is difficult in any enterprise, but it is especially hard when the opposition has vastly more money and power. To overcome this imbalance, environmental leaders have learned to negotiate and build power through skillful advocacy and communications. This course will help students strengthen these skills, drawing on academic research, the experiences of global environmental leaders and the instructor’s 28 years of environmental leadership. As president of the Land Trust Alliance, Rand Wentworth was the leader for over 1,000 conservation organizations and worked closely with the U.S. Congress to pass environmental legislation that helped double the pace of land conservation in America.
This course will concentrate on conflicts over land and water as a means to develop leadership skills that can be applied to many other environmental issues. This course will develop the following skills:
- Negotiation: Through a series of nine intense simulations, students will learn how leaders negotiate complex multi-party agreements and diagnose opportunities to create value for both sides.
- Strategy: In many parts of the world, environmental leaders are not invited to the negotiating table, so they must start by building power. We will study how leaders diagnose politics, develop a campaign strategy, build coalitions and get results.
- Communications: Environmental leaders develop influence through persuasive speaking, creation of a compelling message, and mobilization of both traditional and digital media. To counter attacks of “fake facts,” they need to be able to interpret and explain scientific findings and evidence to a skeptical public.
- Advocacy: Leaders need skills to shape legislation, recruit allies and effectively lobby elected officials. They need to skillfully maneuver through each step of the legislative process.
Students who have not taken a course in negotiation will be required to complete additional readings and attend Friday review sessions during the first three weeks of class.