USF for Sustainability

MNA and MBA students who participated in the 2019 Sustainable Reporting Capacity Training with Dr. Marco Tavanti


University of San Francisco for Sustainability 

The University of San Francisco’s Master of Nonprofit Administration in the School of Management have been promoting sustainability education in three ways: with specialized courses in sustainability reporting, in certificate programs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in study abroad – global immersion opportunities on sustainability innovation.  

1. Specialized Courses in Sustainability Reporting

The University of San Francisco’s School of Management (SOM), and specifically its Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) in partnership with other graduate programs for public administration (MPA) and business administration (MBA) offers opportunities to take part in a Professional Training on Sustainability Reporting Capacity. The MNA program integrates the concepts of nonprofit sustainability and a sustainability mindset (Jean Bell, MNA ’01) with hybrid business elements for CSR reporting and certifications including GRI, ISO, B-Corp, and Fair Trade among others. The training program is part of the Education for the Sustainable Development plans of the University and the commitment of the School for the Higher Education for Sustainability Initiative (UN-HESI) and the Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN-PRME) for the implementation of capacity for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This graduate level program integrates perspectives and practices for Impact Investing and extend s the SDG trainings provided in partnership with the United Nations Association San Francisco for Young Professionals (YPSDG). What is significant and exciting about these trainings is the integration of sustainability paradigms, CSR reporting skills, impact investing and social enterprise solutions for the future of nonprofit management education. Students have expressed keen interest in pursuing CSR careers and Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) positions.

2. You Professional Sustainable Development Goals Certificate 

Since 2018, the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) has been collaborating with the United Nations Association San Francisco (UNA-USA-SF) to design and deliver specialized certification trainings on theUnited Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program is called Young Professionals for Sustainable Development Goals (YPSDG) and it is directed by Fyodor Ovchinnikov from the Evolutionary Leadership Institute and coordinated by Mary Steiner (UNA) and Dr. Marco Tavanti (MNA). It provides selected young professionals the essential mindsets, overview of the SDGs, and skills for World Cafe and Collective Narrative methods. It also gives young professionals opportunities to think about their careers for good thanks to the mentorship of more ‘senior’ professionals.The program consists of 4 monthly half-day sessions at the War Memorial Veterans Building and 30+ hours of self-study. Through panel discussions, a dialogic process called World Café documented with the Collective Narrative Methodology, and curated self-study and peer learning participants deepen their understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explore possibilities to contribute to UN Agenda 2030 in different sectors and industries, work on developing the right mindset and the appropriate skills to contribute to real change, learn about relevant tools, resources, and networks, and develop a relationship with a mentor who is well-positioned to support specific career aspirations of the mentee. Learn more about the certificate program at 

3. Academic Global Immersion on. Sustainability Innovations

The Academic Global Immersion (AGI) program in Milan-Piacenza, Italy, is an opportunity to understand the leadership innovations and managerial challenges for integrating sustainability practices in the food, fashion and design industries. Italy is internationally recognized for its food quality and design in the fashion, transportation and luxury industries. How do these industries innovate for sustainability while maintaining traditional values? These subjects are the focus on this academic immersion program in Milan, Piacenza and other contexts in the north of Italy in partnership with the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore (UCSC), the largest Catholic university in the world and the. University of San Francisco’s School of Management. We offer this opportunity to learn directly from industry experts and industry visits. Graduate students from different programs interested in sustainability, leadership, marketing, finance, and social economy are encouraged to apply. The course associated with this program is NPA 699: Comparative Sustainability Innovation (2 credits) taught by Dr. Marco Tavanti, a USF Professor expert in sustainability reporting and Dr. Emanuele Vedramini, a UCSC professor an expert in international management. All AGI courses are applicable electives for any graduate program at USF. Selected students will visit industries and industry leaders from Barilla, Max Mara, Salvadore Ferragamo, Brunello Cucinelli, Mediobanca, Absolut Yacht, and Dallara car racing design and manufacturer. The selected industry visits have been carefully selected for their experiential learning value. Students arrange flight to Milan (MXP) and reach Grande Albergo Roma in Piacenza. Company visits and panels are coordinated and accompanied by UCSC professors who will help to critically reflect on the experiential learning. The program provides, double occupancy hotel accommodations, site visits transportation, breakfasts, lunches and some dinners. Student teams will work on comparative analyses during small group dinners. Students are required to attend two mandatory preparatory sessions and actively engage in the Canvas Course site for the required readings, discussions and assignments. To inquire about this program contact Dr. Marco Tavanti at