For over twenty years, Cathleen Sheehan has successfully advised global brands, entrepreneurs and nonprofits on sustainable strategies to leverage core strengths and opportunities within the dynamic fashion, beauty, consumer products, electronics and retail landscapes. Today, Cathleen is the Managing Director of New York-based consultancy REPERTOIRE specializing in growth strategy advisory services. Prior to founding REPERTOIRE, she was President & Partner of ESP Trendlab, a leading trend research and strategy consulting firm with over 500 international clients. Cathleen got her start in fashion at Escada where she led a corporate strategy program, helped launch Escada’s new beauty brand and worked alongside the founders of Badgley Mischka to expand the business. Prior to joining Escada, she worked at Big 4 accounting firm KPMG and audited banks, manufacturers and universities. Cathleen was voted “Best Dressed” in her class at Harvard Business School where she also earned an MBA. Passionate about fashion, authenticity and career development, Cathleen has guest lectured at Harvard, SCAD, FIT, LIM and the Copenhagen School of Design & Technology, among other schools and universities. She serves on several advisory boards. 

Workshop Objective:

Starting from the operational level, this seminar-workshop looks at modern management instruments that enable companies to strive for long-term success in terms of sustainability. The focus here is not just on defining sustainability in the narrow sense of the three-pillar model, but on an adaptive system that brings long-lasting success. Students are able to define their own role as managers at different levels of action and to specify mechanisms to establish sustainability. This particularly applies to businesses in global markets.

Learning Outcome/Competencies:

  • Ability to define the role of managers at different levels of action
  • Methodological skills for designing and implementing sustainable developments

Course Content: 

  • History, definition, and forms of sustainability
  • Factors for sustainable company success: Organization, personnel, management, business administration, vision, and strategy
  • Organizational factors: Structures and procedures, activities, roles and positions, media, resources, and environments
  • Approaches to managing environmental changes (trends and megatrends): Trend management, strategic foresight, scenario planning, simulations
  • Organizational change, organizational learning, and learning organization
  • Sustainable company and personnel management at different levels (individual, team, organization, markets and networks, functional systems, and society)
  • Sustainability as a combination of economic, social, and ecological sustainability

Required previous knowledge/skills: Knowledge of the development of various markets

Examination/assessment criteria:

  • Successful participation in the seminar is evidenced as follows:
    • Assessment: Seminar paper (100%) and Presentation
    • Evaluation Criteria: Theoretical Knowledge and Transfer

Suggested / Recommended Reading List:

  • Kotler, Philip / Kartajaya, Hermawan: Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital. Hoboken: Wiley, 2016.
  • Mcintyre, Charles / Melewar, T. C. / Dennis, Charles: Multi-Channel Marketing, Branding and Retail Design: New Challenges and Opportunities. Bingley: Emerald, 2016. 
  • Palmatier, Robert / Stern, Louis: Marketing Channel Strategy. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Porter, Michael E.: On Competition: Updated and Expanded Edition. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2008.
  • Shimp, Terence A., / Andrews, J. Craig: Advertising Promotion and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications. Mason: South Western Cengage Learning, 2013.

Course Reading:



  • Module 1: History & Evolution of Sustainability Movement; Three Pillars of Sustainability
  • Module 2: Context: Mega-Trends, Scenario Planning & Brand Strategy
  • Module 3:  Ecology: Product, Production & Environment; Case Study Workshop
  • Module 4: Society: People & Organizations; Case Study Workshop
  • Module 5: Economics: Profits & Organizational Vision; Case Study Workshop
  • Module 6: Bringing It All Together; Case Study Workshop
  • Module 7: Sustainability in Action at All Levels of an Organization 
  • Module 8: Final Presentations & Closing Thoughts