An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: An Ecological Viewpoint

A New Psychology Bookcover

Presenter: Steve Schein

Date: 16 March 2016

Visit Greenleaf Publishing or your favorite bookstore to buy the book on which this webinar is based.


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During the last decade, the sustainability position in multinational corporations has grown considerably in influence. Beginning with the appointment of the first Chief Sustainability Officer in 2004, today there are senior sustainability executives in hundreds of the world’s largest multinational companies. In many cases, the Chief Sustainability Officer now reports directly to the CEO. These are highly influential individuals inside today’s global corporations.

Although thousands of sustainability related books, articles, and corporate reports have been published in recent years, today little is known about the deeper psychological motivations of corporate sustainability leaders. Although much has been written about their accomplishments, we don’t know enough about their personal histories, their deeper motivations, and how they think. We don’t know enough about how they think about nature, leadership, resistance, and change.

Outcome of Attending

  • Learn how an understanding of ecological worldviews can enhance your effectiveness as a sustainability leadership educator, consultant, and coach.
  • Explore — through the application of key theories from developmental psychology, integral ecology, and eco-psychology to sustainability practice — how many of the most influential corporate sustainability leaders are motivated by their ecological worldviews, which can be thought of as the deep mental patterns and ways of seeing our relationship to the natural world.
  • Discover how sustainability leadership requires much more than content expertise. Drawing on interviews with 75 leaders and more than 40 multinational corporations and NGOs, Schein will explain that it requires a unique set of leadership capacities developmental psychologists call post-conventional worldviews, which include an enhanced systems thinking, the ability to communicate to diverse audiences, think over longer time frames, and collaborate across boundaries.

Speaker Information

Steve Schein

Steve Schein is a senior sustainability leadership consultant and Expert-in-Residence at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.  His 2015 book A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews has been featured in US News & World Report, The Guardian, Bloomberg News, Psychology Today, GreenBiz. He is a frequent speaker at business sustainability conferences and his work has been appeared in numerous leadership journals including the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, the Journal of Management of Global Sustainability, and the New Global Citizen.   He is a former CEO and certified public accountant (CPA) with more than 35 years of senior management and business development experience in several industries. From 2005-2015, Steve was a member of the faculty at SOU, where he founded the sustainability leadership certificate program.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Net Impact and the GEOS Institute.

He lives in Portland and Ashland, Oregon.  He can be reached at or through his personal website at