Fall 2024 Undergraduate Courses in Sustainable Business

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Stern undergraduate students concentrating in Sustainable Business 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 Concentration and its course requirements, click here. To assist undergraduate students as they design their schedules, CSB has assembled the following list of Sustainable Business courses offered in the upcoming Fall 2024 semester.



Foundational Course (Required for Specialization)

BSPA-UB 68: Sustainability for Competitive Advantage

Professor Whelan | MW  11.00 AM - 12.15 PM | In-Person


In this course, students will develop an 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 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 sustainable finance, 6) to become familiar with the latest consumer insight research on sustainability, 7) be able to design an effective embedded sustainability strategy that will deliver competitive advantage. 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-UB 44 Innovations and Strategies for Building a Progressive Social Enterprise

Professor Hollender | R 5.00 PM - 8.00 PM | In-Person


Innovations and Strategies for Building a Progressive Social Enterprise, taught by Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and former CEO of one of the most successful sustainable brands – Seventh Generation – and the co-founder, Board Chair and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, explores the role business has played in the concentration of money and power and increasing social inequity, the future of sustainability and responsible business, and how just and regenerative business can contribute to a world of greater equity and wellbeing.


Issue Area

BSPA-UB 41 Social Entrepreneurship

Professor Taparia | W 6.20 PM - 9.00 PM | In-Person


Social Entrepreneurship is an emerging and rapidly changing business field that examines the practice of identifying, starting and growing successful mission-driven for-profit and nonprofit ventures—that is, organizations that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. This course, rooted in stakeholder theory, is designed to provide a socially relevant academic experience in order to help students gain in-depth insights into economic and social value creation across a number of areas including poverty alleviation, energy, health and sustainability. Students will have the opportunity to find and test new ideas and solutions to social problems, create sustainable business models, identify funding options and alternatives, learn about evolving legal and governance structures, learn how to measure social impact and scale a social enterprise to name a few. This course will provide students with a toolkit and frameworks that can be used to start a social venture, applied within a social venture or within other types of organizations to influence social change.


BSPA-UB 43 Economic Inequality - Perspectives & Practice

Professor Statler | TR 3.30 PM - 4.45 PM | In-Person


This course invites students to consider the causes and consequences of economic inequality from a variety of analytic perspectives, to judge the current situation based on their own ethical values, and to take concrete actions to bring about positive change in the world. The format includes a discussion seminar and two major research projects. In the seminar, students become familiar with relevant terms and concepts drawn from disciplines including economics, political science, sociology, organization studies and philosophy. Informed by these diverse perspectives, students undertake two major research projects. The first project focuses on the causes and consequences of inequality in the various contexts of individual students’ own hometowns. The second project focuses on possible points of leverage with the market, government and community sectors, and encourages students to work in groups and use these points of leverage to bring about a more just society. The overall learning objectives are for students to become more familiar with the complexity of economic inequality as an empirical phenomenon, and more empowered to contribute pragmatically to a just society.


BSPA-UB 51 Marketing for Impact

Professor Taparia & Bemporad | R 6.20 PM - 9.00 PM | In-Person


Leading a brand is always challenging. But at least in times of stability, tried and trusted approaches  based on historical data and insights work. Patterns emerge. The past can be projected into the future  with minor adjustments. Today’s brand leaders don’t just have to build great, compelling brands that delight consumers, they  also have to address the major reckonings of the 21st Century. But wrestling with global issues  wasn’t part of the training or job description. These used to be things that only experts and politicians  had to worry about. 


This is a new and challenging era for branding. To win, brands must think and act in new ways. In  this course, we will dive in to what that means by: 


  • Exploring the role of brand purpose and the relationship between brands, culture and society.
  • Reviewing what both innovative startups and legacy brands are doing – and might do – to  succeed in years to come 
  • Working on a live client project and applying a framework that will help us understand the  fast-evolving consumer, generate unique insights, develop a brand strategy and bring it all  to life with a live campaign.  


BSPA-UB 52 Flourishing

Professor Haidt | MW 3.30 PM - 4.45 PM | In-Person


People are like plants: if you get the conditions right, they will usually flourish. So what are those conditions, and why are so many members of Gen Z (born 1997 to 2012) failing to flourish? We will look at research in social and positive psychology on happiness, virtue, self-change, and personal growth. We will also look at ancient wisdom––insights into mind and heart passed down to us from many cultures because they work. The goal of this course is to help students understand the conditions that lead to flourishing, and then to develop specific habits that will help them to thrive at NYU, at work, and in their personal relationships. Each student will choose a specific “happiness habit” and will design a plan to cultivate the habit over the 14 weeks of the course. The final paper will include a self-evaluation of progress in becoming stronger, smarter, more sociable, and happier. 



BSPA-UB 103 Experiential Learning Seminar - Social Impact Consulting 

Professor van Loggerenberg| M 2.00 PM - 4.45 PM | In-Person


This course is an experiential learning seminar involving project-based collaboration among students, faculty and nonprofit organizations.  Its two objectives are: 1) to provide students with an occasion to learn from the experience of becoming strategy consultants, and 2) to produce project outcomes that have meaning and value for participating nonprofit organizations.  The experiential learning process includes the following key elements (with additional detail appearing below):


  • Discussion seminar:  Every Monday from 2-4:45pm, students engage in a facilitated discussion in which they analyze, reframe and reflect on their project experiences in reference to the core concepts, while receiving mentorship from faculty regarding their project work. 
  • Projects with partner organizations:  Nonprofits participating in the Fall 2022 semester include the Invest NYC SDG Project and the United Nations Joint SDG Fund.
  • Faculty teaching and mentorship:  Dr. Matt Statler serves as the lead instructor and project mentor, and Mara van Loggerenberg serves as adjunct instructor and project mentor.
  • Students:  Students have registered for the course based on their relevant interests and aptitudes.  In project teams, they are jointly responsible for project deliverables.  Individual performance in the course is assessed based on the quality of those project deliverables as well as the completion of other assignments as set forth below.
  • Logistics:  assignments, grading, policies, etc.


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.  Please note this is  a grad level course. UGs are admitted by special permission.


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.