Events & Media
Bard MBA in Sustainability officially launched!
“The Bard MBA is for people who want to change the future.”— Eban Goodstein, Director and Faculty, Bard MBA in Sustainability
Serious sustainability requires radically rethinking the way business models are designed. It demands that companies not only earn profits for shareholders, but do so by engaging customers, employees, suppliers, and communities in the underlying mission of building a sustainable world.
The Bard MBA program focuses on the business case for sustainability. We train students to see how firms can integrate economic, environmental, and social objectives—the triple bottom line—to create successful businesses that build a more sustainable world. Graduates of the Bard MBA program will transform existing companies, start their own businesses, and pioneer new ways of operating that meet human needs, while protecting and restoring the earth’s natural systems.
The Bard MBA builds on the College’s tradition of cutting-edge programs and entrepreneurial spirit to bring a new kind of MBA program to the East Coast. Conventional MBA programs typically offer only one or two courses in sustainability, mainly as an add-on, not a core component. Any progress in sustainable business is challenged when sustainability is an afterthought rather than a guiding principle.
The Bard MBA is different. We fully integrate the study of business with the study of sustainability. In course work covering subjects from leadership to operations, marketing to finance, and economics to strategy, our modular, crosscutting curriculum ensures that students master the business case for sustainability and understand how to align profit with ecological and social mission.
Success in sustainable business requires mastery of business fundamentals. Green companies have to execute product quality and performance, efficient operation, sound financial management, employee engagement, responsible and effective marketing, creative responses to changing economic conditions, flexible strategies, and continuous innovation. Students in the Bard MBA program receive rigorous training in these core areas, with all classes taught through a sustainability lens.
We face the prospect of sharing the world with nine billion people, all aspiring to a better quality of life. Can we meet human needs without destroying the ecological systems and exhausting the natural resources on which our civilization depends?
The answer lies in sustainable business. When our business systems have learned to mimic natural systems, we can see our way to a just and prosperous future. Sustainable businesses aspire to operate on the following ecological principles, making progress toward true sustainability:
- No pollution: In nature, all waste from one production process is food for another.
- No energy crisis: Nature runs on abundant renewable energy.
- No system too big to fail: Nature promotes and thrives on diversity.
Bard MBA focuses on a business strategy predicated upon achieving continuous reductions in ecological impact. Students master the ways in which successful businesses make money by learning from, protecting, and restoring ecological systems. The program teaches the skills and techniques of social entrepreneurship to provide graduates with the tools they need to guide corporations toward a sustainable future.
Low-Residency Structure with New York City as Your Laboratory
The Bard MBA is structured around monthly “weekend intensives” with regular online instruction between these residencies. Five weekend intensives are held each term: four in the heart of New York City and one at a retreat center in the Hudson Valley. Classes take place over four days, beginning Friday morning and ending Monday afternoon. Students also attend online classes Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the semester.
Business education, especially in sustainability, requires a strong hands-on orientation. A key component of the Bard MBA curriculum is NYCLab. During the first year of study, working in teams of six, students consult for New York–area businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Each team is closely monitored by a faculty member.
The Bard MBA curriculum is modular, with each module topic addressed in a residency, and followed by online instruction. Students take four courses per semester, covering five modules. Faculty collaborate throughout the semester, focusing on each module’s theme to create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to business education. Courses include:
- Foundations of Sustainable Business
- Economics for Decision Making
- Accounting and the Integrated Bottom Line
- Finance for Sustainable Business
- Customers and Marketing
- Employees and Organizations
- Strategy for Sustainability
- Business Pragmatics
- Globalization and Emerging Markets
- Political Economy of Sustainability
The Bard MBA faculty reflects the broad diversity and extraordinary talent of sustainability-focused leaders in the New York metropolitan region and beyond. The weekend-intensive structure of the program attracts a remarkable set of practitioners as adjunct instructors, in addition to the permanent faculty at Bard.
The Bard MBA Student
The Bard MBA in Sustainability seeks motivated candidates from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Our selection committee considers academic performance and proof of quantitative skill, but also takes a close look at our applicants’ statement of purpose, general writing skills, relevant work experience, and faculty and employer evaluations. Applicants are expected to have demonstrated leadership potential, a commitment to business and environmental issues, and an aptitude for graduate study.
As a pioneering member of our inaugural class, you will help shape our program, creating a new kind of business education that will be a model for the world. Above all, you will gain knowledge and skills that are the foundation for the work of your life.
- Do you want to shape a different future?
- Do you understand the depth of the sustainability challenges that lie ahead?
- Do you have a talent for business?
- Are you motivated to put those talents to work building a prosperous, ecologically sound, and socially aware enterprise?
If so, you are ready to become a business leader of the future. We look forward to hearing from you.
April 15, 2012: Regular admission deadline
June 15, 2012: Final admission deadline
Download: Bard MBA in Sustainability.pdf
This event was last updated on 12-16-2011