Marc Le Menestrel
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BSM: Ethics and Sustainability Leadership

The ethics of sustainability leadership is an opening of the mind, one that invites you to let go the very place from which you look at the world, to become the whole world and look at yourself as a creative part of it.

This is a transversal course about some of the leading edge issues of business life, and more.

Starting with yourself, we work to ensure that your future success as a leader becomes part of your own accomplishment: there is no true victory against yourself.

We then tackle the deep motivations behind business decisions and the many opportunities for failing to decide what you truly want and can do. Beyond the paradigm that business is just about making money, we decode the intricate discourses that can hide the most difficult challenges leaders are facing today. We identify and practice the attitudes and actions that you can choose to proactively adopt in order to express your full potential and become an inspiration for others.

Often more powerful than institutionalized political powers, business is now an actor at the most global level: the planet. We learn to think this new systemic dimension so as to participate actively in the current transformation towards sustainable business. This is where the true opportunities for growth and innovation await for you.

Main Objective(s)

1. To develop students’ leadership to its full potential

2. To decode the role of values and ethics in business decisions

3. To elaborate innovative strategic approaches towards sustainability in business



1. The role, meaning and importance of values

2. The influence of the organizational context on your decisions

3. Defining your personal values and your personal success

4. Voicing and acting upon your values in a business context

5. Inspiring others with your own power and vision


6. The many uncomfortable paradoxes of ethics

7. The handling of corruption in business

8. Myths and reality of Corporate Social Responsibility

9. The power and spirit of Money

10. Risks and promises of the technological dream


11. The challenge of thinking like the Earth

12. Energy and the importance of fossil fuels

13. Where is away? The necessity of a circular and collaborative economy

14. Business sustaining the web of life

15. For-profit transformations towards sustainability


The course builds on my teaching to MBAs and executives around the world, at UPF, INSEAD, Cambridge University and in Asia. The method is inductive in the sense that students are the masters of their learning process, reaching out for the knowledge that is appropriate to their own development, intellectual interests and life projects. The method is also experiential in the sense that the learning requires more than concepts but involve emotions, attitudes and ability to act in practice. Therefore, the difficulty lies in opening yourself to the full potential you have within and, from there, dare to reach out towards others and the real life in order to make your contribution. In this process, there is no intellectual hierarchy between students and faculty, as we are all equal in attempting to make our life a successful and meaningful one.

Evaluation criteria

Before classes, preparatory work is proposed which shall be handed in and later discussed with the professor. After classes, both students and professors evaluate their own work in order to measure interest, effort and learning. A project, individual or in group is presented at the end of the course. There is no exam.

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