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Program Impacts

New network: ANGLES

International network building

Outreach to universities

New Network: ANGLES

Our recognition that many fellows had launched graduate leadership programs led to the formation of a graduate leadership network called ANGLES, A Network for Graduate Leadership in Sustainability. In partnership with the Boreas Leadership Program at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, we convened a meeting in February 2017 of approximately 20 program staff members, graduate students, and faculty champions from 13 institutions who are engaged in developing and delivering graduate leadership training. The purpose was to explore the need for such training, obstacles to providing it, and interest within the group in forming and supporting a resource exchange network on graduate leadership training. We successfully catalyzed an inter-institutional network to form and become self-sustaining.

The group continues to meet monthly to share ideas and gathered again during the Leadership Teach-in in May 2018, specifically to enable other universities to develop leadership programming for graduate students. In February 2020 the group met at SESYNC with the goal of making resources accessible to propel the next generation of leaders to have greater impact on socio-environmental grand challenges. 

Here is a sampling of graduate sustainability leadership programs that are part of ANGLES:

New Network

International Network Building: Sharing what we've learned

Fellows recommend the program to others who are considering or have already begun to design new leadership programs. These requests come from directors both from within North America and internationally. It’s gratifying that we’ve achieved the reputation for being an outstanding leadership program within the research community and we’ve met with more than 50 programs. Below we describe a few of these relationships:

Africa Science Leadership Program, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In 2015 we were invited to codesign the Africa Science Leadership Program and help select appropriate facilitators for their 2015 cohort. In 2016 we returned to co-facilitate and share aspects of our leadership modules with both the 2015 and 2016 cohorts. The program is now using the Collective Leadership framework as part of their training.

International Social Science Council: Transformations to Sustainability Programme, Durban, South Africa

In 2015 Susanne Moser and Margaret Krebs were invited to facilitate a meeting of the grant finalists for the purpose of building a knowledge network. Susanne continues to support this expanding network of transdisciplinary researchers.

Global Transdisciplinary Training Initiative

The International Social Science Council and International Council for Science (now merged) convened a meeting in February 2017 of 12 organizations to launch a program to build capacity and create the conditions for successful transdisciplinary research at the international level. Through our previous work and through fellow connections within the Future Earth Network, we were invited to participate in this planning group. We expect that we will lead the continuation of this project under the leadership of Pam Matson and Sharon Collinge through a National Science Foundation grant to support the curriculum development and train-the-trainer workshops.

International Network

Outreach to Universities

As pioneers in environmental and sustainability leadership, we have advised and helped launch several leadership programs for institutes, colleges, and universities around the US. Multiple Leopold Fellows have also developed their own university leadership programs modeled on the Leopold Leadership Program. Each new program and partnership has been different, as every university has its own culture, goals, structure, and intellectual capital. Here is a sample of three of the more in-depth partnerships.

Atkinson Sustainability Leadership Program, Cornell University and Environmental Defense Fund

In collaboration with Carrie Young, we are working with their postdocs, focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration. After the program, the postdocs taught many of the tools to the graduate students at Cornell.

C-Change, Iowa State University

As part of the planning process, Lisa Schulte Moore and Emily Heaton invited us to work with the faculty engaged in this presidential grant on transforming Iowa's agriculture. The primary focus  of the work centered around visioning.

RIO Faculty Fellows - University of Colorado, Boulder

Working with Kirsten Rowell, Alan Townsend and Terri Fiez, we helped CU Boulder establish its Rio Faculty Fellows Program, which supports 20+ CU Boulder next generation faculty leaders per year to lead and learn from each other.

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