Exploring Sustainability Leadership: A Journey to Bologna

Earlier this month, Amanda Stewart, CEO of the High Performance Building Alliance, embarked on a transformative journey to Bologna alongside her fellow MSc Sustainability Leadership students from the University of Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics and Bologna Business School. This enriching experience provided a platform to delve into the challenges and opportunities surrounding urban and agricultural transition, while immersing themselves in the cultural and educational landscape of Bologna.

 The trip commenced with a lecture held in the exquisite Villa Guastasvillani campus of Bologna Business School, the international business school of the University of Bologna which is renowned as the oldest university in the world. The villa is a splendid 16th century residence, lovingly restored.  The group had the privilege of exploring the beautiful BBS campus, renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and innovative academic environment.

 Central to the itinerary was the exploration of sustainability as a key theme throughout the journey. The group had the opportunity to tour the Urban Innovation Lab, where they gained insights into cutting-edge initiatives driving sustainable urban development. Witnessing firsthand the intersection of technology, innovation, and sustainability underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing contemporary environmental challenges.

 One of the highlights of the trip was the visit to Eta Beta, an innovative social enterprise dedicated to fostering social inclusion and rehabilitation. Eta Beta operates as a social cooperative, offering therapeutic and rehabilitation programs, as well as work placement services for disadvantaged individuals. The group was warmly welcomed and treated to a tour of Eta Beta’s facilities, providing invaluable insights into the transformative impact of social enterprises in promoting sustainable development.

 Beyond the academic and professional aspects of the trip, exploring the picturesque city of Bologna offered a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage and vibrant community. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, each location visited served as a source of inspiration and reflection on the interconnectedness of sustainability and human well-being.

 The group now carry with them a deeper understanding of sustainability leadership and its role in shaping a more resilient and equitable future. Their experiences in Bologna serve as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and social entrepreneurship in driving positive change within communities and beyond.

 The HPBA looks forward to leveraging the insights and experiences gained to further our mission of promoting sustainable development within the built environment.