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FREC/NR/LAR 2554: Leadership for Global Sustainability

This course explores leadership principles and humanities perspectives relating to global sustainable development challenges such as climate change, the food-water-energy nexus, the rising middle class, a circular economy, and environmental justice. Students will examine trade-offs among economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development, and will engage in the integration and application of disciplinary topics including ethics, ecology, evolution, anthropology, economics, religion, aesthetics, and risk management.

Why take it?

Through this course, students will be challenged to find and understand their place in a rapidly changing world, and examine how they can be relevant and influential in their personal lives, professions, and communities. The course emphasizes leadership skills that students can utilize throughout their futures, including collaborating on diverse teams, project management, offering feedback, negotiating conflict, self-awareness, boundary spanning, and facilitating direction, alignment, and commitment.

FREC 2554 fulfills an elective in the Green Engineering minor and the following Pathways minors:


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Critical Thinking in the Humanities, Reasoning in the Social Sciences, Ethical Reasoning, and Intercultural and Global Awareness.

“I love teaching this class. It attracts students from all majors on campus and they get really invested. We wrestle with the wicked challenges shaping our future, like circular economy, climate change, equity, and access to good food, clean water, and fair housing. We examine real examples from businesses, NGOs, and government agencies. We also build leadership capacities and soft skills that help students have influence and success in their careers.”
– Professor, Dr. Bruce Hull

“Best class at Virginia Tech!”

“Not only did I learn lots about sustainable development, I learned about myself, what I want to study, and what impacts I want to have in my career.”

“I totally enjoyed class this semester. I learned a lot, and more importantly, was able to think a little deeper about my own values and career choices.”

“[The professor] successfully created an environment where students not only have to participate, but want to participate.”