Our Master of Arts in Sustainable Design degree program consists of ten 3-credit courses, two of which are devoted to thesis work. That means we only have eight courses to provide our students with all of the knowledge, skills, and understanding we think they need to be sustainable designers. That’s not much time, especially considering our students come from a diversity of backgrounds.
With so little time, why do we devote an entire course (required!) to leadership?
And why do we call it “Creative Leadership”?
The answer to the first question is easy. Sustainable designers are faced with forwarding new ideals and new ideas in a conventional world designed to resist change. That means, like it or not, every sustainable designer that wants to make change in the world has to become a leader. We want our graduates to succeed, so we teach leadership — it’s that important.
Why “Creative Leadership”? When most people think of leadership, they think of a conventional, traditional, or classical leadership model. That’s the masculine, top-down, make-it-happen kind of leadership that we’re all familiar with. That leadership model, born from military and royalty structures, may make things happen, but it is not conducive to the co-creativity, diversity, and emergent thinking that is required to make sustainable design happen.
“Creative Leadership” is not just one model. Our students explore:
Leadership Models in Nature
Servant Leadership & Inclusive Leadership
Collaborative Leadership & Integrative Thinking
Participative Leadership & Distributive Leadership
Systems Leadership & Theory U
Conscious Leadership & Adaptive Leadership
And it’s not enough to learn about leadership. Our students learn to be leaders, by engaging with and practicing:
Leading Others & Organizations
Leading Change in the World
Unconventional Leadership Tools & Leadership Myth-busting
And they end the semester with a Creative Leadership Passion Project.
Along the way, they create their own personalized Creative Leadership Observatory in the form of a website that they can refer to, and add to, in the years ahead.
If this sounds interesting — or important– to you, consider joining our program. If you’re not quite ready for that, we offer our Creative Leadership course to the public via MCAD’s Continuing Education program.
If you have questions about this or any of our courses, feel free to contact me and set up a time to chat.