PRME Working Group on Sustainability Mindset


In January 2014, a group of academics from 16 countries came together, called by a common vision: to develop change accelerators, by developing a mindset for sustainability with their students. They were curious to learn, exchange, research, share and connect, and to document their journey. LEAP! was launched to Leverage resources, Expand awareness, Accelerate change and Partner with forward thinking individuals, to develop a generation of sustainability minded leaders. In May 2015, LEAP! became the PRME Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset. To this date, the network has 83 academic members from 75 universities in 31 countries:  Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark,  Egypt, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States .


What is the Sustainability Mindset?

Sustainability mindset is a way of thinking and being that results from a broad understanding of the ecosystem's manifestations, an introspective focus on the personal values and the higher self, and finds its expression in actions for the greater good of the whole.

What are the Components of the  Sustainability Mindset Program?

The Sustainability Mindset program is designed to develop the systems thinking, basic ecoliteracy, and aspects of emotional and spiritual intelligence, while promoting innovative and collaborative work on projects to make a difference in the students' community.

Why is the mindset important?

Society, business, and professional educators, are witnessing an environmental and social planetary crisis that threatens life in its current form. If the required change is to be implemented effectively, it demands collective and urgent action from all stakeholders. It also demands strong leadership that focusses on addressing these challenges. As such, academics are in positions of strong influence and outreach, and have the opportunity, the skills, and the perspectives to become change accelerators. Many of them sense the responsibility of that privilege. By sharing experiences and insights, the PRME Sustainability Mindset Working Group creates a learning-teaching-researching network of support with a single goal: to accelerate change for a sustainable planet.

The focus of the Working Group is to explore ways to develop the Sustainability Mindset, through the Knowing/Thinking,  the Being and the Doing:

  • Developing awareness – the full picture;
  • Exploring paradigms: the values and emotions that have led us into an un-sustainable mindset; developing a new paradigm that unites us with nature;
  • Identifying and working on a passion project to make a difference.


One Vision

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by developing a Sustainability Mindset.

We see the SDGs as the much needed framework for educators to make their teaching relevant and focused on actions for a better world. Our members are finding creative ways to bring the SDGs into their courses, and engaging students in exploring the goals,  finding projects that support the goals, and developing contests and events around them.


Impact Potential

Academics impact their students, and also inspire their colleagues in other networks. They engage in collaborative research on the Sustainability Mindset, produce papers and materials and present at international conferences. Students engage on projects in their community, supporting the SDGs through their impact in their own institutions, neighborhood, on business, education or policy. This can draw the attention of the local media, developing awareness of the SDGs and aspects of the Sustainability Mindset in the general public. Students also transfer their new-gained perspectives to their workplace, or become social entrepreneurs. 


Goals and Outcomes

This Working Group seeks:

  • To impact  students and support them in developing a mindset for sustainability
  • To lead students to work on SDG based projects making a difference in their community, and to document it
  • To create and document tools and exercises that best develop the sustainability mindset
  • To produce papers and present at academic settings
  • To connect with other departments and/or faculty in their respective institutions, to promote a sustainability focus and create synergy
  • To create a network of mutual support that can be a resource for each other’s institutions


Projects and Activities


Before LEAP! officially transitioned to become the PRME Working Group in 2015, we had offered four Introductory Workshops on the Sustainability Mindset and three Fast Track Programs for members in 7 Modules, and produced a Handbook for the Sustainability Mindset Course. Three members adopted the full syllabus, while others adapted and integrated elements into their various courses.

LEAP! became a Founding Member of AIM2Flourish and twenty three members of LEAP! became part of the pilot of AIM2Flourish, setting the foundation for the new UN-PRME supported celebration of Business as an Agent of World Benefit.

The Working Group was present at the AOM 2014 (two sessions), 2015 (three sessions), 2016 (two sessions) and 2017 (two sessions, a PDW and a Panel Symposium).  Members have presented at various academic conferences and became guest lecturers in other members’ institutions.

A longitudinal research study is being conducted to assess the impact of the Sustainability Mindset course and two instruments have been developed in India and Hong Kong to measure the development of the Sustainability Mindset.

Three journal papers were produced, one of them received the Best Paper Award by Junior Faculty (AOM 2016), five book chapters were produced and a book was published on the teaching methodology of the Sustainability Mindset course (2016).

At the initiative of the PRME Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset led by Dr. Isabel Rimanoczy, a new Sulitest Module incorporating questions about the Sustainability Mindset has been developed and is now available to PRME Signatories.

The Center of Sustainability Mindset and Social Responsibility (CSMSR) of IPMI International Business School in Jakarta opened in 2017. It will continuously design collaboration with other researchers and experts to make sure that the Future Leaders are equipped with the new paradigm of Business as an Agent for World Benefit. If you want more information or are interested in partnering/collaborating, contact Amelia Naim Indrajaya:



LEAP Café: Join the informal conversation, meeting colleagues from around the world. Every first Monday of the month, in two time zones.

Storytelling Circle: With such a diversity of members and experience, there is a lot to share and learn. Attend the monthly Storytelling Circle, the 3rd Monday of the Month. 

Peer coaching monthly session: Launched September 2017, members can share current challenges and get valuable input with a powerful and simple peer coaching technique.

Fast Track Course: The popular course in 7 modules, provides members with the experience and tools they can use to develop the sustainability mindset with their students.

For information and registration, contact




Kerul Kassel, Isabel Rimanoczy and Shelley Mitchell presented a paper: A Sustainability Mindset Model for Management Education. "We present a novel conceptual model of Sustainability Mindset that can help educators facilitate learning among current and future leaders in developing an orientation through which to analyze challenges and create solutions, allowing them to navigate the complexity in the practice of management and in particular management for sustainability."

Isabel Rimanoczy presented a paper: Are we developing Damage Workers or Visionary Entrepreneurs? in which she challenged the remedial perspective that is most commonly developed in sustainability-related courses, inviting to adopt the model of Positive Psychology and Appreciative Inquiry, focusing on what works, and on what the best imaginable scenarios could be.


IAMSR Conference: Leadership, Spirituality and Education

The Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas - May 18 - 20, 2017.

LEAP members Jim Stoner, Stacie Chappell, Claudio Senna-Venzke, Mary Finney, Richard Peregoy and Isabel Rimanoczy attended. Stacie, Claudio, Richard and Isabel ran several sessions presenting about their work and research.



The Working Group organized an All Academy Theme Panel session:  What if the Dream World Already Existed?’ with presenters from Nigeria, Russia, India, Philippines and USA.

At the same conference, a Professional Development Workshop brought together members of 9 countries on the theme ‘Bringing the Being Dimension into the Classroom.’



July 17 – 18,  2017, New York

The Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset held a session at this special PRME event.   



15 members attended from USA, Morocco, Brazil, Philippines, Nigeria, Germany, China and Russia to discuss activities and plans for 2018. As a result of the exchange of best practices, members created a list of Pedagogical Techniques to develop a new mindset, and explored new options for creating a digital repository. 


PRME LATAM - 13-14 September 2017, Curitiba, Brazil

4th Responsible Management Education Research Conference: New Research Questions for Advancing the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Working Group was present  and several Working Group members presented. Isabel Rimanoczy was the Closing Keynote speaker.

2018 and the Future

Current projects include several publications: we have a contract with Routledge –Taylor - for an edited volume on the Sustainability Mindset, with 23 contributing authors from around the world (forthcoming 2018). We plan a textbook of the Sustainability Mindset and are considering a Podcast Series on the Sustainability Mindset, an online course on the Sustainability Mindset (all audiences), a virtual conference on the Sustainability Mindset and a new repository for pedagogical tools and materials to bring the Sustainability mindset into the classroom. We are committed to engaging all PRME Working Group Sustainability Mindset participating institutions in PRME and setting up a Consortium for exchange of faculty and students among the Working Group's member institutions. 


Working Mode and Deliverables

By participating in the Sustainability Mindset Working Group you will have the opportunity to:

  • Join the monthly LEAP Café, a virtual meeting the first Monday of the month
  • Join the monthly Storytelling Circle, a virtual meeting the third Monday of the month 
  • Participate in the next Sustainability Fast Track
  • Learn a powerful coaching technique by participating in the monthly Peer Coaching session, also receive support from your colleagues on a current challenge.
  • Receive and contribute to the monthly electronic newsletter
  • Participate in the upcoming Virtual Conference
  • Host or attend Regional F2F meetings (so far, we have met in in Philadelphia, Vancouver, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Copenhagen, Paris, Miami, New York, Atlanta, Portland, Anaheim, Barcelona, Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Atlanta)
  • Make suggestions, start your own projects within the scope of the Sustainability Mindset

You will bring your expertise and talent to support our goals:

  • Production of materials
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with national and international institutions: UNGlobal Compact, PRME, GRLI, AACSB, EFMD, Oikos, Net impact
  • Representing the Working Group in national and international academic events
  • Promotion of the Working Group with new institutions
  • Engagement with leadership of PRME Engagement of Deans of participating institutions
  • Virtual support and collaboration
  • Cross-fertilization connecting with members with similar areas of research
  • Surveys 


Resources and Guidance Materials 

Big Bang Being: Developing the Sustainability Mindset
by Isabel Rimanoczy , with Foreword by Ervin Laszlo

This book explore how 16 business leaders brought together their compassion, their caring for others and the world, with their work. It presents the research which was the foundation for developing the concept of a Sustainability Mindset.


Stop Teaching: Principles and Practices For Responsible Management Education
by Isabel Rimanoczy  with Foreword by David Cooperrider

This book explores the ways in which teaching methods need to evolve in order to develop a new generation of business leaders who connect profits with purpose, who see in social entrepreneurship and innovation the key opportunity for addressing our planetary challenges. The answer lies in the contents we select to teach, in the values we invite to explore and develop, and in the methods we use. 


The Thinking Executive's Guide to Sustainability (Environmental and Social Sustainability for Business Advantage Collection)

by Kerul Kassel  

We live in an increasingly global economy in which the effects of shrunken economies, broadened communication, and widespread meteorological incidents associated with climate change are leaving virtually no one untouched. As a result, a working knowledge of concepts such as the triple bottom line and sustainability, have become mandatory. Systems thinking is foundational for grasping these concepts. This book offers a practical, relevant, and easily grasped overview of sustainability issues and the systems logic that informs them, supported by empirical research and applied to corporate rationales, decision-making, and business processes.


A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews 
by Steve Schein

During the last decade, the sustainability position in multinational corporations has grown in influence. Much literature has explored how corporations can play an important role in solving the environmental challenges facing the planet. However, until now, there has been little research on sustainability leadership at the individual level. In this book, Schein explores the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders. He shows how these motivations relate to overall effectiveness and capacity to lead transformational change and he explores the ways in which the complexity of sustainability is driving new approaches to leadership.


Handbook of Sustainability in Management Education - In Search of a Multidisciplinary, Innovative and Integrated Approach 

Editors: Shelley F. Mitchell, and Jorge A. Arevalo

With over 50 contributing authors from around the world, this Handbook strives to enhance knowledge and application within sustainability in management education (SiME) across different academic programs, geographic regions and personal/professional context. Cross-disciplinary and boundary-spanning, this book focuses on specific themes and is therefore split into four distinct sections: one on theory and practice, one on transformational interventions in business programs, one on the role of external agents and the last on innovative approaches in SiME.

Sustainable Development in the Developing World: A holistic approach to decode the complexity of a multidimensional topic.

Roland Bardy, with co-authors Maurizio Massaro and Arthur Rubens. 


Human Centered Management in Executive Education: Global Imperatives, Innovation and New Directions (Humanism in Business Series) 2016

Roland Bardy Editor, with Maria-Teresa Lepeley (Editor), Ernst von Kimakowitz (Editor)


Developing the Sustainability Mindset in Management Education 

Editors: Kerul Kassel and Isabel Rimanoczy, forthcoming 2018. 


It is the first edited book with contributions from several members of the Working Group: The book's purpose is to be of value to faculty around the world who aim to integrate a sustainability mindset into their curriculum, courses, and programs.  


Spirituality and Sustainability: New Horizons and Exemplary ApproachesEditors: Satinder Dhiman and Joan Marques.


Educating for Responsible Management, Edited by Roz Sunley and Jennifer Leigh. 
Isabel Rimanoczy,  ‘A holistic learning approach for responsible management education’ with practitioner commentary by Roger Saillant and Craig Teal.

Dennis P. Heaton and Emanuel Schachinger, Maharishi University of Management, USA, ‘Consciousness development for responsible management education’  with practitioner commentary by Chris Laszlo.

Majidi Mehdi (2016), Cultural Perspective on Sustainable Socioeconomic Development; chapter in Stachowicz-Stanusch Agata, Ed., ‘Corporate Social Performance in the Age of Irresponsibility – Cross National Perspective’; Information Age Publishing Inc. NC. 


Quarterly Newsletter: September 2017 


How to Join

If you are interested in joining the working group, please complete this registration form.

For more information about the Working Group contact:

Isabel Rimanoczy:

Martine Marie:

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