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Preparing interdisciplinary leadership for a sustainable future

May 2020

Publication: Sustainability Science
Author(s): C. Boone, S. Pickett; G. Bammer, K. Bawa, J. Dunne, I Gordon, D. Hart, J. Hellmann, A. Miller, M. New, J. Ometto, K. Taylor, G. Wendorf, A. Agrawal, P. Bertsch, C. D. Campbell, P. Dodd, A. Janetos, H. Mallee

Urgent sustainability challenges require effective leadership for inter- and trans-disciplinary (ITD) institutions. Based on the diverse experiences of 20 ITD institutional leaders and specific case studies, this article distills key lessons learned from multiple pathways to building successful programs. The lessons reflect both the successes and failures our group has experienced, to suggest how to cultivate appropriate and effective leadership, and generate the resources necessary for leading ITD programs. We present two contrasting pathways toward ITD organizations: one is to establish a new organization and the other is to merge existing organizations. We illustrate how both benefit from a real-world focus, with multiple examples of trajectories of ITD organizations.

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