Sustainable Systems Practicum
BUSI 738 – 3 Credits
SOCIAL VALUE CREATION | CONSULTING
The Sustainable Systems Practicum course is an experiential, multi-disciplinary research project in the identification, evaluation and recommendation/resolution of problems at the intersection of business and environmental science.
In teams of 4 to 6 students, MBA students from the Smith School of Business collaborate with experienced MS students from the Program in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development (CONS) to solve complex problems or research new initiatives in Environmental Sustainability. This is a course that marries the business skills learned in the MBA program with the environmental knowledge of sustainability issues developed in the CONS program to give students critical thinking skills, creative problem-solving abilities, collaborative teamwork and the ability to communicate with leaders in both fields.
Students will accomplish the following:
1. Define the project goals, deliverables, timelines, and processes with
input from the client and faculty advisor.
2. Conduct appropriate investigation and analysis to add value and maximize client satisfaction while maintaining the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.
3. Deliver oral and written reports to the client and key stakeholders such as senior management and boards of directors.
Projects will confront issues in traditional business areas (e.g., finance, marketing, strategy, management and organization, logistics and transportation, human resources, and information technology) as well concerns related to environmental impact and sustainability (e.g., environmental impact, carbon trading, recycling, waste production, green supply chains). This unique approach encourages students to work in partnership across disciplines, a process which produces a fuller understanding of the values and priorities held by multiple stakeholders and which will stimulate novel insights and solutions. Past clients include IFC-World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture/Potomac Conservancy.