The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development demands profound reflection and a sharp ability to understand and navigate complexity.

The interconnectedness and indivisibility of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge fragmented approaches to development, forcing international actors to rethink multilateral cooperation in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Leaders are now asked to think across and beyond their specific area of expertise and mandate; analyse their environment as a set of complex ecosystems; discern their organizing principles as well as the linkages, interactions, dependencies and distribution of power among constituencies; and strategically identify leverage points in network multilateralism to achieve maximum impact. In the context of sustainable development, this entails building on and working across the five intertwined dimensions of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

“Leading for Sustainable Development” is designed to enable senior leaders to think systemically and act cooperatively in their work on sustainable development.

The programme is offered in cooperation with the Commonwealth.



Upon successful completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Understand the tools, perspectives and concepts of systems leadership
  •  Apply systems leadership to challenges related to sustainable development, small states and network multilateralism.
  • Test ideas, share experiences and devise actions in an inspirational and safe space
  • Build communities across sectors and spheres of influence to amplify impact

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

The programme combines real-life case studies with presentations and instructor-led inputs, discussion, reflections and site visits. The programme faculty is composed of thought leaders on sustainable development and systems leadership from the UN, the Commonwealth, as well as public and private sector leaders, artists and practitioners.

The programme will require your participation in a three-day face-to-face learning experience and a follow-up webinar. An optional mentoring programme is available to accompany the prolonged leadership journey.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

In this programme, you will be exposed to the following content:

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the interconnectedness and indivisibility of the agenda and the role of national and international actors
  •  Systems leadership for sustainable development: key concepts and tools, case studies, site visits, and reflection for personal action and one's own leadership practice
  • The challenges and successes of small states in leading for sustainable development

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

The programme thrives on the participation of senior leaders from different spheres of leadership influence including the UN, other International Organizations, the public and private sectors, academia, civil society and non-governmental organizations, specifically:

  • Highly experienced professionals operating in relevant fields of international cooperation and sustainable development in international organizations, public and private sectors
  • Senior government officials (with special emphasis on small states)
  •  Senior UN staff at the D1 – D2 and above levels
  •  Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators
  •  Agency Country Representatives
  • Alumni of the UN Leaders and UNCT Leadership Programmes

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