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Sustainability Centres Knowledge Exchange: Open Space Event Series

Join virtual discussions to share knowledge, get advice, and build community with business school sustainability centre leaders from around the world. Register now and find past session outputs below.

Business school sustainability centres are an essential part of meeting today’s sustainability challenges. Many advance common sustainability goals through research, teaching and outreach. They also face common challenges – from identifying a core focus to funding and scaling centres.  

The NBS Sustainability Centres Community (SCC) exists to connect and support these centres in their work. It’s a network of almost 200 centres, at universities on every continent but Antarctica. 

In 2023-2024, the SCC will have a new space for peer support: an “open space” discussion, held every other month, where centre leaders can discuss current challenges and opportunities in running sustainability centres.

This series builds on a discussion at the 2023 SCC Workshop of the “nuts and bolts” of running a centre, where leaders identified priority questions and possible solutions. Let’s continue the peer-to-peer learning.

The format: During each session, participants will suggest discussion topics and then break into groups to share advice and experiences, with space to report back key learnings. Live topic identification and changing participants makes for relevant, timely, and fresh discussions.

Whether you’ve been working with a centre for years or you’ve just started dreaming about founding one, there are sustainability centre leaders around the world who can share insights with you — and benefit from your perspective.

You can also review the outputs from past sessions, below. 

Session schedule:

Most sessions are taking place at 9:00AM ET / 3:00PM CET. Find recordings, notes, and key takeaways from past sessions in the section below. 

    • Oct 11, 2023  

    • Dec 13, 2023  

    • Jan 17, 2024, 9 PM ET / 9 AM CST. Session timing adjusted for members in Asia Pacific and North American West Coast Regions. 

    • Feb 14, 2024  

    • April 10, 2024

    • June 12, 2024

Potential Discussion Topics

6 questions for leaders running sustainability centres

 

Existing resources on running a sustainability centre

Looking for answers now? You might find them in these existing compilations of SCC wisdom:

    • How to Run a Sustainability Centre. Based on discussions from the 2023 SCC workshop, this article answers some key recurring questions sustainability centre leaders ask.

    • Finding Centre Funding Struggling to fund your research centre? This webinar brings together leaders to share top funding tips.

Register for the series to discuss these ideas live.

Past Event Outputs

October 11, 2023

Participants talked about how centres can generate revenue or attract funding, how to set up a new sustainability centre, how to align with the interests of school management in order to progress centre goals, how to foster interdisciplinary approaches, and how to use business school levers to maximize impact.

October 11 NBS Knowledge Exchange Event Series breakout topics

Watch participants share their key takeaways here (Passcode: 97q?#jL7).

Read the notes from the breakout groups on each topic here.

Dec 13, 2023

Find the notes from our two main breakout topics here

Feb 14, 2024

In this session, with a smaller group, we stayed in plenary to discuss 3 priority topics identified: 

  1. Key issues in starting a new centre 
  2. Best size for a sustainability centre; ways of organizing so that funding is feasible 
  3. University data collection and management – collecting sustainability info for rankings etc.

Watch the recorded discussion here for insights shared by participants on each topic. 

Questions or concerns? Write to info@nbs.net. 

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