Researchers are starting to publish about the Sustainability Mindset and the Indicator.

Joshua L. DeVincenzo, Lauren D. Esposito, Thomas E. Chandler, Himanshu Panwa


Climate change poses significant challenges for emergency management professionals tasked with preparing and adapting communities to its impacts. This study aimed to understand how climate change education can meet the learning needs of emergency management professionals throughout the United States. This exploratory collective case study involved six certified emergency management professionals as key informants, along with a survey distributed to 56 emergency managers. The study initiated an essential needs assessment, combining their knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions about climate change with effective engagement in adult learning. The findings carry national and global implications, offering insights into climate literacy programs’ design and implementation. The study revealed that most emergency managers feel unprepared for climate impacts, but their sustainability mindsets, such as purpose and mindfulness, are strengths. However, areas for development were identified in long-term thinking, interconnectedness, and embracing both-and thinking and flow in cycles. The research has the potential to equip emergency managers with a deeper understanding of climate literacy, striving for a sustainable and resilient future.

Embedding a sustainability mindset in responsible management education

Karen Cripps and Simon Smith (Oxford Brookes University Business School, UK)

Purpose – Organisational responses to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals depend on the competency and mindset of business leaders to lead responsibly. This study is informed and underpinned by the Principles of Responsible Management Education. This study aims to examine how embedding the “sustainability mindset principles” within a university programme can contribute to responsible management education and, by extension, leadership development.
Design/methodology/approach – An illustrative case study using 84 students was applied, including undergraduate, postgraduate and executive Master of Business Administration students. An exploratory, qualitative design was followed, primarily adopting focus groups.
Findings – Evidenced learning gains in connecting sustainability knowledge with personal beliefs and behaviours, provide a compelling basis for educational and business practitioners to focus on the sustainability mindset principles (SMPs). Mapping of mindset against leading global  competency frameworks provides important theoretical insight. Learning is illustrated through multiple dimensions (i.e. cognitive, behavioural and affective) to inform leadership development approaches.
Research limitations/implications – The mapping of sustainability competency frameworks against the SMP, alongside qualitative research insights, provides a compelling basis for further research into the learning gains from embedding the mindset principles. The situated nature of the study and the lack of longitudinal measurement of what students take forward into their lives and workplaces is a limiting factor to be considered.
Practical implications – This study evidences the value of “whole-person” learning for responsible management, which can helpfully inform the design of both educational and workplace leadership development programmes.

Proceedings of the 2023 EurOMA conference, Leuven, Belgium, July 3-5

Beate Klingenberg, Albachiara Boffelli, Alice Madonna

Abstract: This paper presents an explorative case study for developing a sustainable supply chain management course (“Sustainable and Global Supply Management”, MS in Management Engineering, University of Bergamo, Italy), using a unique and new combination of pedagogical approaches. Various exercises aligned with Kolb´s experiential learning method were used to enhance learning and stimulate the Sustainability Mindset (SM)
development. The choice of exercises was flexibly and intentionally designed based on results of the Sustainability Mindset Indicator (SMI®), an assessment of students’ position towards the SM. A pre-post analysis employing the SMI® allowed determining the effects of the experiential teaching methods.

The role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in educating future leaders with social impact contributing to the sustainable development goals

Barbara Tomasella, Anne Wylie, Devi Gill

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how higher education institutions (HEIs) educate future leaders with social impact contributing to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). HEIs have an interest in developing leaders with social impact, but there is a lack of knowledge on the best teaching and learning strategies to engage students with social action aimed at the SDGs. This paper fills this gap by addressing the question of how HEIs can shape the sustainability mindsets of future leaders with social impact contributing to the SDGs.

Design/methodology/approach: This research used a mixed method research design, including a quantitative survey and qualitative semi-structured interviews of UK students involved in HEIs experiential learning programmes, focused on social impact and entrepreneurial action, developed in partnership with the organisation Enactus.

Findings: This research highlighted the importance of experiential learning, as it develops the knowledge, values and competency underpinning the sustainability mindset of future leaders contributing to the SDGs, in particular their emotional intelligence.

A supply chain view of sustainability management

Fritz Morgane

Abstract: Given the global sustainability challenges facing humans and nature today, this theoretical paper aims to propose a supply chain view of sustainability management and thereby contribute to elevating the sustainable supply chain management field to the level of theory. This is done by identifying supply chain stakeholders and related sustainability challenges, which reveal the inherent paradoxes and tensions in global consumption and production networks. This perspective supports the urgent need for all supply chain stakeholders to understand sustainability challenges and adopt a sustainability mindset. The focus on reducing supply chain disruptions, improving supply chain resilience, and improving supply chain sustainability performance has neglected and even undermined broader sustainability challenges, such as climate change. Therefore, this paper first provides a discussion on the complementarity between stakeholder theory and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) from a systems perspective; and, second, develops a novel supply chain theory to enhance sustainability management by identifying supply chain stakeholders and related sustainability challenges. Linking stakeholder theory and SSCM facilitates a holistic understanding of sustainability challenges, making it possible to identify opportunities to improve one’s decisions, actions, and current consumption and production patterns. Instead of perpetuating a firm- or client-centred perspective, the supply chain view places the product/service at the center of the stakeholder identification process. It clearly identifies stakeholders upstream, within the focal firm, downstream, or outside the supply chain (SC), as well as the related sustainability challenges. It encourages all organizations and individuals to practise their systems thinking skills in order to improve their sustainability mindset and enhance their subsequent ability to solve sustainability and ethical challenges. The proposed supply chain view supports managers, policymakers, educators, consultant, consumers, and individuals in identifying stakeholders and understanding sustainability challenges related to production and consumption effectively. This extends existing knowledge on sustainability management from a supply chain perspective and opens new research areas, particularly for ethical decision-making and behavioural sciences

The Sustainability Mindset Indicator - A personal development tool

Isabel Rimanoczy
Beate Klingenberg

This paper addresses the problem of assessing, measuring, and further developing a Sustainability Mindset. This mindset is a way of thinking and being that predisposes individuals to act for the good of planet and people. It is a complex construct, developed via the path of an ecological worldview, a systems perspective, and aspects pertaining to emotional and spiritual intelligence. It is aimed at guiding individuals toward living and promoting a more sustainable life, which is crucial for humanity in the 21st century. As educators have been intentionally developing the Sustainability Mindset, it became important to find ways to assess and measure it.

The Sustainability Mindset Indicator (SMI) was designed to address this problem. This paper describes the method followed to develop the SMI: a) anchored in theories of psychology and pedagogy, objectives of the instrument and constructs of measurement were defined; b) a questionnaire was designed; and c) 320 personalized feedback reports were created. The questionnaire uses Johnson’s (1992) framework of polarities and stages of human development (Kegan, 1994), whereas the reports follow the directions of Positive Psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014) and Appreciative Inquiry (Cooperrider, Whitney, & Stavros, 2008). Three validation phases were employed to confirm phrasing, improve comprehension and accurateness, and prepare for pilot studies.

The SMI represents an important addition to other scales available in the literature. It focuses on personal development and transformative learning to facilitate mindset change in individuals as well as in educational or coaching settings, and can be used to tailor interventions and assess the impacts thereof.

Twelve Principles to guide a long-overdue paradigm shift

Isabel Rimanoczy
Ana Maria Llamazares

If human behaviors are associated with climate change, it relates to how we consume, entertain, travel, do business, relate to “natural resources”, to ourselves and to each other.

The authors posit that human behaviors are but the visible tip of the iceberg, sustained underwater by a voluminous mass comprised of our values, beliefs, assumptions, the anchors of our identity and shared paradigms. They trace back the history of a shared paradigm that has become dysfunctional and introduce the Sustainability Mindset Principles – a scaffolding to address the complexity of the paradigm.

This paper describes how the dysfunctional paradigm can be brought back into balance by developing neglected aspects of a Western-Northern worldview that has been shaping our behaviors for centuries.

By naming these aspects, the authors propose a language to incite the readers’ imagination of what is possible. Naming creates reality.