Erb Institute

Strategic Plan

Sustainability with a sense of place;
business with a sense of justice.

Institute Mission

To create a sustainable world through the power of business.

Strategic Approach 2022 – 2026

Empower architects of change who work across divides to transform companies, industries and markets for a just and sustainable world.

Strategic Planning Process

In Partnership with BSR

Desktop Research

  • Global trends and emerging issues

Global Stakeholder Roundtables

  • Major sustainability risks and opportunities
  • Future trends
  • Unique contribution of the Erb Institute


EARLY 2020

  • Initial project scoping

Mar – Dec 2020

  • Pause for Pandemic

Spring 2021

  • Six global stakeholder roundtables

Summer 2021 – Winter 2022

  • Development of final Strategic Plan

Looking Ahead

  • 2024 strategy refresh

Strategic Vision

Markets are anchored in just and sustainable systems.


Systems view of structural change in global markets


Social, environmental, racial and economic

Multi Stakeholder Governance

Empower current and prepare future sustainability leaders for success in increasingly complex and polarized environmental, social and governance systems. LEARN MORE >

Global Vision & Local Solutions

Create scalable solutions for global sustainability challenges through action-based learning and place-based research in the Great Lakes, across the U.S. and globally. LEARN MORE >

Scaled Reach


Take Erb learning and impact to scale through entirely new, significantly larger audiences of current and future leaders. LEARN MORE >


Multi-Stakeholder Governance

Global Vision & Local Solutions

Scaled Reach



Multi-Stakeholder Governance

University Learners: Expand the scope of Erb co-curricular programming around business, sustainability and justice to include a broader range of institutions and stakeholder perspectives.

Professional Learners: Provide sustainability leaders opportunities to integrate innovative thought and practical action into traditional fields of expertise and new voices into traditional stakeholder perspectives.

Alumni Learners: Continually build Erb graduate and undergraduate alumni capacity through professional development that integrates multi stakeholder perspectives around business, sustainability and justice.

Scholars: Engage scholars from a variety of disciplines to better understand the complexities of business, sustainability and justicein a polarized world.

Global Vision & Local Solutions

Action-Based Learning: Provide students with new action-based research and learning opportunities that demonstrate local and regional solutions for global challenges.

Place-Based Research: Explore current thought and practice around business, sustainability and justice, and evaluate the possibility of expanding our current sustainability research agenda to incorporate considerations of justice and “a sense of place.”

Scaled Reach

University Learners: Scale Erb learning opportunities for broader graduate and undergraduate audiences at U-M and beyond.

Executive Learners: Scale learning opportunities for broader audiences of
early, mid-career and senior business and nonprofit leaders.

Capacity Building: Secure new funding to support scaled reach: staff,
capacities, organizational structure, resources.

Get the entire strategic narrative.