Programme Design

The Executive Education Course on Sustainable Development Diplomacy consists of two blocks and builds on existing faculty, lectures, simulations, and materials from Tufts University and Wageningen University, and from the Sustainability Challenge Foundation’s IPMS training.

Week I (Wageningen) consists of lectures, self-study hours, group assignments and participant presentations on theories and case studies of international politics, regimes, law, diplomacy and sustainable development.

Topics include:

  • The Politics of Sustainable Development, including issues of North-South relationships, super-power behaviour and the role of Non-State Actors
  • International and European Environmental Politics, Regimes and Law
  • Economics and Social Dimensions of International Environmental Negotiations
  • Principles of Diplomacy and Mutual Gains Approach to Negotiations
  • Change Management, Social Learning and Leadership
  • The Role of Science and technology in Policy Making and International Negotiations 

The preliminary schedule for week I can be downloaded here.

In week II (Zeist), participants join the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability (IPMS), which has been taught by Fletcher faculty and staff, among others, in the Netherlands for 17 years. The traditional participants in this program include government and corporate officials, and NGO representatives from developing countries and Eastern Europe, along with Dutch civil servants from national and provincial governments. Hence the SDD participants encounter IPMS participants from all over the world, and gain direct experience by engaging them directly through the exercises and social interactions. This program mainly consists of presentations on negotiation theory, negotiation tools, and consensus building, exercises, simulation games and actual case discussions.

The IPMS training includes:

  • presentations on negotiation, sustainable development, integration of science, technology, and economics, cost-benefit analysis, and risk assessment
  • complex full-day simulations (3)
  • short exercises and group discussions
  •  strategy clinic focusing on participants’ actual work situations

The final day is for observations, review and receipt of certificates.

The preliminary schedule for week II can be downloaded here (see also the IPMS pages).

With these two weeks combined, participants gain high-quality knowledge and skills in both theory and practice of SDD. 



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