Purpose Talks – Sustainability and Purpose, the key to meeting today’s challenges

The idea of a ‘higher purpose’ cannot disregard the issue of sustainability. Businesses today are called upon to innovate their way of competing, leveraging environmental and social sustainability, and governance.

What are the challenges that companies face regarding these three macro aspects of sustainability?

What might be the transformations that will necessarily impact on business thinking?

How is a “sustainable” strategy developed?

On Thursday, April 21st, take part in the third appointment of our Purpose Talks on this topic. Purpose Talks is the series of events featuring lecturers, consultants, business managers and coaches who will explain how companies and organisations are moving in practical terms towards a new business model inspired by a “higher purpose”, which sees people and society as fundamental elements in creating a successful business.


The Speakers

Francesco Ferrara, Assurance partner and ESG Leader – PwC in Italia

Josip Kotlar, Associate Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Family Business at MIP Politecnico di Milano

Antonella Moretto, Associate Dean for Open Programs at MIP Politecnico di Milano


The event is held in English


Purpose Talks – Gli effetti del purposeful management: l’esperienza di Fabio Moioli

What does it concretely mean to marry a leadership model guided by a higher purpose and capable of putting people at the center?

Find it out during the next Purpose Talk, the second round table dedicated to purpose organized by our Business School. You will be able to witness the testimony of Fabio Moioli, Head Consulting & Services Microsoft, who will share his experience as a manager and the path that the company is making towards purpose-driven management!



Mario Calderini, Full Professor of Management for Sustainability and Impact al Politecnico di Milano

Fabio Moioli, Head Consulting & Services di Microsoft


The event is held in English.


‘New Generation’ MBA will prepare future leaders to succeed, give meaning to their success, and to contribute to build a better future for all

MIP, the Business School of Politecnico di Milano, has launched a unique ‘New Generation’ MBA, that will train a new generation of leaders to deliver more impactful and sustainable performance.

The New Generation MBA will not only deliver advanced management skills but will combine these with tools to unleash the latent power of purpose and enable a new generation of leaders to meet the unique challenges of the 21st century.

In addition to teaching core topics from a traditional MBA, the full-time programme will teach students how to generate and sustain higher levels of meaningfulness, motivation and effectiveness in themselves, their teams and their organisations.

Federico Frattini, Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano said: “The world of business, and indeed society at large, is going through sweeping changes. In response, together with our partners at The Mind at Work, we decided to redesign our full-time MBA programme to prepare a new generation of managers, entrepreneurs and professionals, to meet the challenges that are arising.

“When considering what is required in response to these challenges, managers point not only to the realm of hard skills but most importantly, to skills, such as the capacity to engage people, understand motivation, and the ability to connect to emotions — especially in highly charged situations.”

MIP’s New Generation MBA integrates these two dimensions for the first time. Students will go through a rigorous programme to provide the hard competencies and skills they will need to perform.

In addition, they will be exposed to cutting-edge tools to elevate their performance by developing their awareness of self and others, to consciously choose purposes to create higher levels of engagement, motivation and alignment, and to combine through this deeper awareness and understanding of complexity the pursuit of higher purposes and positive impacts on society with sustainable financial performance.

Thus, students will possess what is needed to achieve both superior performance and personal fulfillment, at individual, team and organisational levels.

Darren Rudkin, founder of The Mind at Work, added: “This is genuine personal and professional growth, a personal journey of discovery — not just so that you can make a difference, but so that you can become the difference. It is a real breakthrough in the landscape of business school education. Business Schools have been recently criticized for their inability to contribute to train a new generation of leaders who are able to combine shareholder value and positive impact on society. This program is an unprecedent response to this criticism, and has the potential to pave the way for a new approach to management education that is suited to the challenges that our society is confronted with”


Leadership and purpose: the human aspect returns to the centre of business

From awareness to sustainability. Why is it so important that managers leading companies put the human element at the centre? Arrigo Berni and Josip Kotlar explain, presenting the Executive Programme in Leading with Purpose

Facing the challenges of the present supported by a conscious intention, a reason that pushes us to pursue an objective. In a word, purpose. It’s the test that awaits the leaders of today and tomorrow, called on to deal with increasingly interconnected scenarios and challenges and with consumers who evaluate brands based on their contribution to society: «In the last decades, material living conditions have improved enormously at the global level. And human nature is such that from the satisfaction of a class of needs, in this case material ones, new ones are born, in this case immaterial, of meaning», explains Arrigo Berni, founding partner of The Mind at Work Italy and Adjunct Professor at MIP. But not only. The progressive worsening of environmental conditions imposes a rethinking of the reasons at the basis of economic activities: «Defining the purpose of an activity is essential to bringing the human aspect to the centre of business in a coherent fashion», explains Josip Kotlar, director of the Executive Programme in Leading with Purpose offered by MIP Politecnico di Milano with the collaboration of The Mind at Work. «Until now we have seen a sort of division between economic and corporate social responsibility activities. Our intention is to use purpose to promote a more integrated vision of these two aspects which are not separate but must go together to be sustainable».

Awareness, the key for complexity

A sea change, that requires enlightened leaders: «Intentional leadership», explains Berni, «is characterized by great self-awareness and by the ability to give a meaning to reality, rather than reacting to it. In addition to this, a purpose-driven leader has the ability to develop collaborative relationships with others and to correctly interpret the situation in which they operate».

An approach that can be read as an evolution of the methods by which people have always tried to come up with effective strategies.  As Kotlar explains, «it’s important that decisions are guided by what we can define as “conscientiousness”. Today, however, the traditional tools with which decisions are made are commodities available to every company. They no longer represent a competitive advantage. New approaches are needed that lead to conscientious decisions. Purpose is important because it provides a new set of tools with which to manage complexity, without restricting oneself to a technical, and therefore limited, vision of the world».

Sustainable change involves purpose

The advantages of leadership inspired by purpose are due above all to abandoning a vision superficially focused on “what” and “how”. «An approach », stresses Berni, «that sacrifices awareness of the intentions underlying a decision and that leads to results that not only are not very sustainable over time, but also fall short of their potential, because it doesn’t’ transmit energy to the entire organization». If you let yourself be guided by purpose, instead, «results are based on structural changes and therefore are sustainable over time, because they are children of a systemic vision of the company. Results are also better, because they are the fruit of more energy, both at an individual and collective level».

A course to develop your strengths

Motivated by the desire to encourage positive change in the world, MIP Politecnico di Milano decided to launch the Executive Programme in Leading with Purpose: «It is based on the innovative digital learning model FLEX», explains Kotlar. «It combines impact learning with maximum flexibility. The programme is composed of eight thematic modules, each consisting of a combination of brief clips, a live question-and-answer session and four interactive lessons. It concludes with project work that allows participants to put themselves to the test with real projects; it also offers a coaching session that supports participants in working on themselves, to discover and develop their inner strengths, to improve the ability to innovate, develop entrepreneurship and other characteristics of leadership. It’s a programme that allows for broad flexibility in one’s personal path».