Leading in sustainable development is a direct response to the recent call by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. The new executive leadership course will enable senior leaders from the UN system, the private sector and civil society to lead, coordinate and deliver nationally owned results.

The delivery of a transformative 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change requires smart institutions, access to knowledge and public accountability, serious long-term changes in attitudes and mind-sets, along with visionary leadership.

Leading in Sustainable Development will address the key dimensions of sustainable development; reflect on transformative change through personal stories and practical examples in North Rhine Westphalia; professionally strengthen communication skills for sustainable development messaging, and discuss the new leadership framework adopted by the Chief Executives Board for Coordination.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Have increased understanding of key concepts and substantive focus of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement;
  • Be aware of key leadership approaches for sustainable development programming, policy integration, partnership and communication;
  • Demonstrate a better understanding of the imperatives of transformative leadership and have critically examined their respective organisational cultures and opportunities for change;
  • Be equipped with a better understanding of their own leadership styles and have identified individual trajectories.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

The course is interactive in nature and will use real-life examples and exercises to offer opportunities for participants to learn and internalise critical elements of the training programme.

The training programme promotes intellectual and practical knowledge sharing, and fosters a culture of understanding and cross-fertilisation among participants. It offers a venue for networking among participants of various organisations aiming at fruitful collaborations on similar visions.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Day 1: Sustainable Development—what has changed and where are we going? Exploring the Rubik’s Cube
  • Day 2: Constant dripping wears away the stone; repositioning the UN development system, the political economy of sustainable development; fostering change and innovation;
  • Day 3: Getting the message across; personal and professional media training at Deutsche Welle Studio;
  • Day 4: Sustainable development in action; full day excursion to reflect on ongoing projects and processes in North-Rhine Westphalia;
  • Day 5: Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk: The UN leadership framework

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN senior staff, government representatives and leaders in the business sector as well as from civil society, academia and foundations.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 5,500 USD covers the following:

  • Five days of training with a balance of presentations and group work on case studies and exercises.
  • Exclusive access to our online learning platform with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues.
  • All course materials, resources and contacts.

Participants are expected to cover all travel costs related to their attendance in the course. Accommodation in a hotel in town will be booked in advance by the UNSSC; however, accommodation expenses will be borne by the participants.

Certificates of Attendance from the UN System Staff College will be awarded to participants who complete the course.

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