Abstract: The immensity and complexity of today’s socio-environmental (S-E) challenges has altered the roles and responsibilities of scientists. Producing relevant knowledge and achieving actionable solutions requires that scientists shed outdated, siloed scientific models; however, it is rare that graduate students receive the training they need to build sustainability leadership capacities and effect lasting S-E change. Progress has been made with regard to what topics students “should” know about and what instructors “should” teach, but much remains to be done to properly advance and provide skills training for the next generation of leaders in S-E sustainability.
We propose a meeting of practitioners and experts from institutions across North America that represent key players in graduate sustainability leadership training. Recognizing that no one institution or program can build the next generation of skilled sustainability leaders alone, and also acknowledging that the complexities of pressing S-E challenges necessitate a requisite diversity of approaches, insights, and experiences, we will come together to ask what is possible if we not only align our diverse efforts to develop sustainability leaders, but combine, expand, and share our core contributions in novel and widely accessible ways. At SESYNC, we will arrive at a shared understanding of how to best close sustainability leadership training gaps; integrate our disparate experiences, approaches, materials, and areas of expertise to enact that vision; and leverage our unique resources and assets to break down barriers and explore what we can collaboratively do to meet long-standing needs and improve graduate training that is greater than the sum of our individual parts.