Fall 2024 MBA Courses in Sustainable Business

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At a time of indisputable societal and environmental change, Stern MBA students specializing in Sustainable Business and Innovation will examine the unique role of the private sector and gain a broad understanding of how embedding sustainability into core business strategy benefits financial performance and management practices. To learn more about the Specialization and its course requirements, click here.


To assist MBA students as they design their schedules, CSB has assembled the following list of Sustainable Business and Innovation courses offered in the upcoming Fall 2024 semester. 


BSPA-GB.2305: Sustainability for Competitive Advantage

Professor Taylor | TR 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM | In-Person

Professor Rifkin | M 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Online


In this course, students will develop a effective leadership perspective through pursuit of the following learning objectives: 1) to become familiar with the key environmental and social issues affecting business today, 2) to understand the evolution of corporate response - from compliance to engagement to innovation, 3) to begin to develop some of the skills required for leading in this new social and political environment (e.g. multi-stakeholder management), 4) to explore the efficiencies and innovations being developed by corporate leaders in pursuit of sustainability, 5) to explore innovations in finance (true cost accounting, net positive value, social impact bonds), and 6) to become familiar with the latest consumer insight research on sustainability. In short, this course is multi-disciplinary, and seeks to integrate across the functions of the firm to arrive at an effective firm-wide leadership sensibility.


BSPA-GB.2306: Sustainable Food Business

Professor Taparia| R 9:00 AM - 11:50 AM | In-Person


For many years, a poor diet has been the leading cause of mortality in the U.S. The  pandemic proved a calamitous amplifier—obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, largely a  result of a poor diet, became the leading comorbidity factors in Covid19 related deaths as  well. The food industry is also now the largest source of emissions in the world, accounting  for one-third of greenhouse gasses produced. Monopoly and monopsony conditions in the  food industry have also made for limited consumer choice, pervasive farmer poverty and  fragile supply chains. During the pandemic, this led to the ultimate paradox of produce  rotting on farms and livestock being put to death prematurely, while millions went hungry.  Food is vital to our survival, our sense of community and happiness, but the food industry has become the cause of many pernicious negative externalities with costly outcomes. This  course is designed to put the idea of teaching social entrepreneurship to its ultimate test,  with a focus on identifying and reversing negative externalities caused by the food industry through entrepreneurship. In other words, the objective in this course is to develop a food  venture that has the potential to be a viable business and positively impact public health and/or environmental outcomes.  


BSPA-GB 2308 Driving Market Solutions for Clean Energy

Professor Gowrishankar & Berlin | M 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM | Online


This course is designed to provide students with a rich understanding of the economy-wide energy transitions that are needed in the United States to help curb climate change, with an emphasis on how the private sector can drive such changes. As relevant background, the course will cover energy-related macroeconomic concepts and trends, and provide environmental and international context. It will draw on the instructor’s diverse experiences, readings and other media, classroom discussions, case studies, visiting speakers, and group projects, to explore and debate how such ambitious but necessary transformations may be brought about.


BSPA-GB 2309 Supply Chain Management

Professor Jacoby | R 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM | In-Person


There is increasing market demand for companies operating in a global context to develop inclusive, transparent and sustainable supply chains that minimize risk, improve performance, engage with value chain actors in new ways, and meet socially-conscious business goals. Across industries, companies seek to move from transactional to transformative relationships with suppliers in order to create or increase positive societal impact and company value. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to expose further weaknesses within the current approach. This course is about how to utilize supply chains and responsible sourcing to create a strategy and implementation plan for sustainability and social impact, whether as a budding social entrepreneur or from within an established firm. Students will learn about the latest advancements in social and environmental sustainability standards, the application of technology (e.g., blockchain and beyond), the engagement of partnerships with NGOs, and business practices and strategies that are being adopted by various companies. Students will consider organizations and sectors such as Walmart and Unilever in consumer-packaged goods (CPG), fashion and home brands, and sustainability and social impact drivers in natural resource-based sectors like mining. We will hear directly from executives operating in this space – past speakers include executives from Target, West Elm, PVH, as well as entrepreneurs involved in tech innovation. Understanding the complexity of supply chains and the new sustainability demands is critical for all students regardless of industry. From finance (as investors are beginning to scrutinize these practices) and management consulting to retail and manufacturing, this course is meant for anyone interested in learning best practices for incorporating social impact thinking and strategies within their own career and field..


BSPA-GB 3305 Global Markets, Human Rights, and the Press

Professor Posner | MW 9.00 AM - 10.20 PM | In-Person


This course will explore some of the choices global businesses face when trying to incorporate human rights values into their core business decisions and operations and the risks they take when they fail to take these issues into account. We will be especially focused on the challenges raised by accelerating globalization and advances in information technology in recent years, and will rely on a series of case studies to illustrate and analyze business decisions made in this context. Many of the issues we will examine have become more prominent in public discourse since the coronavirus.


MGMT-GB 2100 Inclusive Leadership

Professors Weisberg & Rashid | MW 1.30 PM - 2.50 PM | In-Person

Professors Weisberg & Rashid | M 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM | In-Person


In today’s rapidly changing global economy, companies with the best talent are at a competitive advantage and inclusive leadership skills are increasingly at a premium. This course will provide students with the skills and strategies to be inclusive leaders: to recognize their own agency to interrupt implicit bias, develop and support allies of diverse backgrounds, address microaggressions, and to leverage the talent on their teams to achieve business outcomes. Students will be able to utilize the lessons of the course in their own career decisions as well as when managing, being managed by, or collaborating with others. The course is highly interactive so that students can learn from each other as well as guest speakers such as the former CEO of Jamba Juice and author of Anti-Racist Leadership, the head of multicultural marketing at Johnson & Johnson, the Chief Impact Officer at Advantage Capital, and the Vice-Chairman of global capital markets at Morgan Stanley. Any student who wants to deliver better results through better people decisions should take this class.


MKTG-GB.2323 Marketing and Sustainability

Professor Bollinger | TR 1.30 PM - 2.50 PM | In-Person

Professor Bollinger | W 6.00 PM - 9.00 PM | In-Person


This course aims to provide a broad range of tools and frameworks for understanding how 

business can interact with issues related to sustainability, taking a marketing perspective. In 

particular, we examine how traditional marketing strategies can be incorporated into and/or 

modified in domains in which sustainability is critical. By necessity, it is essential to not only 

account for the role of firms and customers, but of government, non-profit organizations, 

employees, and other stakeholders.


This course will draw upon cases, guest speakers, academic and industry research, and recent 

articles and events. The final course deliverable will be a marketing plan focused on a firm 

strategy that can increase the sustainability of the firm’s actions while also creating stakeholder 

value. This course counts towards both the Marketing and Business and Society concentrations. 


INTA-GB.3371 NYU Impact Investing Fund (NIIF)

Note: this course is now a full year commitment. All rising juniors and seniors not studying abroad next academic year are welcome to apply in the spring. For more information please visit https://www.niifonline.com/ and contact experiential@stern.nyu.edu to apply by April 17. Please note that the course runs from September to May on Wednesdays from 12-1:20 PM.  


The NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) is a unique interdisciplinary, experiential learning course which is offered in tandem with a student-led and operated Impact Investing Fund of the same name. For students to participate in the Fund they are required to be enrolled in this course. The creation of NIIF has been approved by the Deans of both Wagner and Stern. NIIF is operated under the guidelines of an Operational Handbook which has been reviewed by the NYU Office of General Counsel. Investment transactions made during the course are supported by the Business Law and International Transactions Clinics of the NYU Law School resulting in a three school interdisciplinary collaboration offering students the opportunity to interact with their peers across the University ecosystem. 


Students participating in NIIF are expected to enroll in the NIIF course for the full academic year (fall and spring) and will receive 1.5 credits for each semester of participation. The course will meet every other week, but students are expected to complete assignments and deliverables during weeks that the class does not meet to assure the investment processes and momentum are responsibly maintained. 


The class will be divided into five Deal Teams. The Deal Teams will have a sectoral focus (e.g., Financial Inclusion, Environment, Healthcare/Aging, Education and Food Systems) for sourcing prospective investment clients. The teams will also have access to the MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network & Training) program which is a competitive experiential on-line lab designed to give students at graduate schools a hands-on education in impact investing. The NIIF Investment Committee will recommend one of the teams to compete in the finals of MIINT where top graduate schools present to a judging committee composed of industry leaders in impact investing. Those participating in MIINT will have some additional deliverables in accordance with the MIINT program guidelines though the majority of the requirements align with deliverables identified in this Syllabus for the NIIF class as a whole.