Climate change. Income inequality. Social injustice. These are just three of the big problems of our time. In Sustainable Business Strategy, you will learn how businesses can thrive and grow while simultaneously playing a major role in solving some of these big problems. You will also learn how you as an individual can make a difference.

Through interactive online case studies with leading companies such as Walmart and Unilever, you will learn why purpose-driven firms perform well, and how they can kickstart the wheel of change. You will examine different business models and gain an understanding of the broader landscape including the role of government, investors, and customers.

Course Structure

Sustainable Business Strategy consists of approximately 15 to 20 hours of material developed by Professor Rebecca Henderson and delivered over a three-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework, which consists of a highly engaging mix of short videos, multimedia cases, interactive learning exercises, and written reflections, on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through the innovative HBX online platform. While there is no direct real-time interaction with the faculty built into the course, current and former participants may be invited to special events, both on and off-line, where HBX faculty are present.

The HBX Learning Model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

The case protagonists in Sustainable Business Strategy represent executives from leading companies including Walmart, King Arthur Flour, and Unilever. You will also hear from faculty experts working across the broader system in law, government, and finance.

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Business Models & the Business Case for Doing Good
  • Purpose-Driven Business & the Wheel of Change
  • Public Goods Problems
  • Collective Action
  • Business & the Broader System

Participants in Sustainable Business Strategy are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from HBX and Harvard Business School. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines and actively contribute to the vibrant HBX learning community.

Who would benefit from taking Sustainable Business Strategy?

Sustainable Business Strategy is primarily for individuals in the for-profit space at all levels of their careers who are interested in learning how business can effect change and in becoming a purpose-driven business leader. Not-for-profit individuals may also benefit from this course, particularly those who want to develop strategic partnerships and understand innovative business models when working with for-profit entities.

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What are HBX certificate programs?

HBX certificate programs are focused on one essential business topic. They combine the flexibility of online programming with the rigor and quality of a Harvard Business School education to give participants a unique edge in their careers.

Meet The Faculty

Rebecca M. Henderson

Rebecca M. Henderson

John and Natty McArthur University Professor

Rebecca Henderson is the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, where she has a joint appointment at the Harvard Business School in the General Management and Strategy units. Professor Henderson is also a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as co-chair of the Harvard University Climate Change Task Force. She serves on the board of several public companies and her MBA course, Reimagining Capitalism, is one of the most popular elective courses in the Harvard Business School MBA Program.

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