State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

A Record 16 Leading Sustainability Practitioners Headed to Practicum

The Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Leadership, a course in the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, will host a record 16 leading sustainability practitioners this spring. The practitioners will help students answer a fundamental question of sustainability management: how to change organizations and more complex systems, such as communities, industries, and markets, by integrating environmental concerns in the way that they operate.

Jo Weiss, Head of Global Citizenship at White & Case.

The practitioners include trailblazers and innovators in the field, with experience in business, government, and civil society. They lecture in the first hour of the course. In the second hour, George Sarrinikolaou of the Earth Institute, the course instructor, leads a student-only class discussion, which is geared toward formulating management strategies, better understanding their application, and considering their effectiveness. A 10-minute break between the first and second hour of class time provides an opportunity to students to speak informally with the guest practitioners, who, this semester, include the following.

  • Steve Nicholas, Vice President, U.S. Program, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Bill Barry & John Sargent, Macmillan
  • Al Iannuzzi, Vice President, Sustainability, Estee Lauder Companies
  • Sophia Mendelsohn, Head of Sustainability, JetBlue
  • Erin Meezan, VP and Chief Sustainability Officer, Interface
  • Raghu Sudhakara, Section Manager, Regulatory Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, Con Edison
  • Anne Van Riel, Head of Sustainable Finance Americas, ING
  • Nathaly Filion, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Newark
  • Joseph Daniel, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Venetia Lannon, Vice President, Matrix New World Engineering
  • Cameron Thomson, Associate Principal, Energy and Sustainability, Arup
  • Donna Givens, CEO and President, Eastside Community Network
  • Lacey Shaver, Manager, Technical Solutions & Education, LEED for Cities & Communities
  • Jo Weiss, Head of Global Citizenship, White & Case LLP
  • Emmanuelle Humblet, Environment, Policy & Social Initiatives, Apple
Donna Givens, President and CEO of the Eastside Community Network in Detroit.

The course offers a 3-credit and a 1-credit option. (Sustainability Management students must opt for three credits.) The Practicum complements the M.S. in Sustainability Management program’s required course, Sustainability Management (SUMA K4100). In that course, students study management and organization theory. In the Practicum, students learn directly from leading practitioners, who confront sustainability management issues daily. Non-registered students and alumni are welcome to attend the first hour of the course.

Steve Nicholas, the Institute for Sustainable Communities’ Vice President of the U.S. Program.
Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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