Sustainability policy careers: Changing the rules of the game

Republished from Director Goodstein’s post on

Notice the overlap in the business and policy skill set here. The common key to career success and satisfaction in the sustainability field is the ability and desire to lead, not to manage. By definition, driving sustainability—either through rule-changing or game-playing—involves taking people where they otherwise would not go, and inspiring others to lead in the same direction.

Imagine: 80 percent reductions in global warming pollution by 2050; rewiring the world with clean energy; re-designing the global food system. We can’t manage our way to these outcomes. Both policy and business demand entrepreneurial, innovative strategies to meet the profound challenges of the coming decades.

The final point: neither business nor policy can get the job done alone. Anyone playing the green business game soon bumps into policy constraints. And sustainable policy advocates need critical business support to drive good changes in the rules. Around the country and across the globe, wherever we see vibrant, emerging green economies are the places where smart policy-makers work synergistically with green industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

So which career suits you best? Glad to talk further. Contact me at [email protected].

Image of Man with blank sign outside by Stephen Finn; inset of pollution and clean energy by Tom Wang, both via Shutterstock. Photo collage by GreenBiz Group

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