Jeffrey Sachs Endorses MBS's Master in Sustainable Business

March 14, 2019

By Robert Wagenseil

As momentum builds for the August 2019 launch of the new Master of Science in Sustainable Business program at Miami Business School, the STEM-designated program received an enthusiastic endorsement from Jeffrey Sachs during last week’s edition of Southern Glazers’ Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series. Despite a cancelled flight preventing his arrival in Miami, Sachs delivered his endorsement during his Distinguished Leaders Lecture via video conference call to a packed Storer Auditorium.

The world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development and senior UN adviser began his lecture with a dismal forecast for the future, despite vast global economic growth. To address the numerous externalities that are fueling climate change, poverty, and inequality, Sachs discusses 13 Sustainable Development Goals that will ensure environmental sustainability and promote prosperity. These include:

  1. Health and well-being for all
  2. Education and decent jobs for all
  3. All-clean energy by 2050
  4. Sustainable land use
  5. Sustainable cities
  6. Digital economy and governance

At the conclusion of the lecture, Sachs voiced his endorsement for MBS's new Master in Sustainable Business, which begins this August. Pointing to Miami's position as the geographic epicenter of the impact of climate change, he argued that MBS is uniquely positioned to graduate the next generation of business leaders who will be advocates for sustainability.

"Sustainability is the road to happiness, longer lives and healthier democracies," he said.

"When you teach Sustainable Business in your new master’s program, you’re going to be empowering the really successful businesses of the future. They’re going to want to go that way because that’s the way markets and regulation are going to be pushing us.”



Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development. He is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change.  He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General, for Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and Antonio Guterres (2017-18).

Professor Sachs was the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He was twice named among Timemagazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and has received 28 honorary degrees.  The New York Timescalled Sachs “probably the most important economist in the world,” and Timemagazine called Sachs “the world’s best-known economist.” A survey by The Economistranked Sachs as among the three most influential living economists.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. Sachs was Director of the Earth Institute from 2002 to 2016.

Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Timesbestsellers, The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011).  Other books include To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015),Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017), and most recently A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2018).

Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, most recently as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.

Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development, global macroeconomics, and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, overcoming macroeconomic instability, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than thirty years he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  He was among the outside advisors to Pope John Paul II on the encyclical Centesimus Annus and in recent years has worked closely with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on the issues of sustainable development, especially in the context of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.

Sachs works closely with many international organizations, including the African Union, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, among others.

For more information about Sachs, click here.  

Want to see more? Click here to watch the whole lecture.

Southern Glazer’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series at Miami Business School brings students, alumni and other members of the UM community together with top business leaders throughout the year. For more information and a complete schedule of upcoming special guest lectures, click here.

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