Competencies and Professional Credentialing

Candidate Competencies for Leaders and Managers in Organizations Pursuing Transition to a Low Carbon and Socially Just Economy

Through consultation with a broad range of industry professionals, business network leaders, academics and students, we have developed a list of competencies that we believe will be in demand by organizations successfully embracing challenges and opportunities in managing transition to a low carbon, socially just economy.

Competencies have been set out in two categories:

  1. Core Competencies, or general skills that will be required by all future leaders and managers.
  2. Specific Competencies, or skills required by leaders and managers in specific sectors and/or roles.

The Academy’s program designs, courses and learning will be built around these competencies.

Future professional credentialing based on a combination of learning and practice will also reflect acquisition of these competencies.

We welcome validation and other comments, and the identification of any competencies that may be missing from the list or that require re-phrasing. Send your comments and suggestions to

Academy for Sustainable Innovation – Candidate Competencies

Core Competencies – Required by All Future Leaders and Managers

  1. Understanding the political, economic, social, technical, legal and ecological/scientific drivers for transition, including the importance of embracing indigenous knowledge.
  2. Managing the risk and creating opportunities for value protection and new value creation from transition.
  3. Understanding and practising principles of leadership and co-leadership for transition across sectors: handling complexity, ambiguity etc.; developing confidence to present & represent new principles & practices.
  4. Understanding the roles and practising harnessing the efforts of diverse stakeholders; building and managing multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral teams and initiatives; ability to collaborate and work within the context of diversity & inclusion.
  5. Understanding green and social finance and accounting. Ability to build financial cases for transition initiatives in different sectors.
  6. Understanding ecological economics and ‘one planet’ constraints to growth. Ability to foster ideation, green and social enterprise within a one planet model; modelling, scenario-planning & forecasting.
  7. Recognizing the need for and leading organizational change; applying change management models.
  8. Identifying & understanding the role of technology eg AI to address complex issues and facilitate transition.

Specific Competencies – Required by Leaders and Managers in Specific Sectors and/or Roles

  1. Understanding the dynamics of clean tech, green business and social enterprise. Ability to build business models for start-ups in the green economy, including in indigenous communities; fostering entrepreneurialism.
  2. Understanding the dynamics of corporate responses to transition. Ability to build internal business cases within pre-transition incumbent enterprises and ability to communicate complex thoughts appropriate to audience.
  3. Understanding the dynamics of clean tech, green business and social enterprise. Ability to build supportive public policy contexts for unleashing start-ups in the green economy, including in indigenous communities.
  4. Understanding the dynamics of transition-resilient infrastructure, cities, communities and transportation systems. Ability to plan for cities and rural infrastructure of the future.
  5. Understanding the dynamics of transition-resilient food systems. Ability to plan for food systems of the future.
  6. Understanding the dynamics of transition-resilient energy systems. Ability to plan for energy systems of the future.
  7. Understanding the dynamics of transition-resilient supply chain management systems. Ability to plan for supply chain management systems of the future and a circular economy.
  8. Understanding marketing and communications systems for transition. Ability to develop digital and other marketing and communications plans related to transition-resilient enterprises, products and services; ability and confidence to make and present the business case for a diverse audience.

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Our Mission

  1. Recognizing the urgency of achieving an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 — and the opportunities this creates for scaling innovation, acting as an advocate for our movement, and its future impact.

  2. Supporting the development of a profession of managers and entrepreneurs committed to transition. We are aiming to qualify and accredit a minimum of 100,000 transition managers within 15 years.

  3. Supporting the development of role models and mentoring capacity at all levels – including ‘reverse mentoring’ – and providing for digital matchmaking of those joining the movement.

  4. Creating new educational pathways of accessible and flexible learning in transition-related topics by sharing existing educational opportunities.

  5. Developing new educational opportunities that transcend disciplinary and institutional barriers and leverage new course formats, online and open access resources, conferences, and co-labs.

  6. Join the ASI Community