University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education


What’s your passion?  What’s your sustainability vision?  How can your vision be fused with others to help create a more sustainable future?

The Leaders Program is a leadership accelerator within the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. The Leaders Program develops demonstrated undergraduate leaders into real world change makers committed to solutions-focused leadership.  Our goal is to grow a cohort of students who are committed to becoming the next generation of community, regional, and world leaders. We encourage holistic thinking and respect the diverse skills and perspectives each leader brings to the table.

The ideal IonE Leader candidate has impactful environmental leadership experience, shows a passion for environmental change, and has a strong academic track record. Participants can expect an open and accepting cohort experience to reflect on, practice and improve their leadership. Through workshops, cohort meetings, and mentorship participants will gain valuable hard skills, cultivate solutions-oriented soft skills, and grow a professional network.

The IonE Leaders Program contextualized my leadership, I understand the necessary complexity of environmental change

2014-2015 Focus themes: equity and reciprocity

  • How can we use lenses of equity, reciprocity, justice, and diversity to define and think about sustainability?
  • How can we bring together science, creativity, art, healing practices, and diverse ways of knowing in communication to make sustainability more interdisciplinary and inclusive?
  • How do these versions of sustainability fit into the big picture governance and policy frameworks?

 Cohort Learning and Action

  • Kick Off Workshop (ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED): November 8, 2014
  • Create change agent alumni piece for Sustainability Education website
  • Sustainability Symposium (Leaders present creative work): Spring 2014
  • Participate in Earth Day (April 22)
  • Present 1 of 4 Sustainability Film Series Films
  • Work towards AASHE Minneapolis 2015 Student Action Plan

Amp up your sustainability know-how by participating in

  • Once-a-month Leaders meeting/field trip (First Thursday of every month)
  • Food Day (October 24th, 2014)
  • At least 1 Frontier in the Environment Lecture Series (Wednesday @ 12)
  • Sustainability Film Series Events
  • Student Engagement Leadership Forum (SELF) Sustain (Spring 2015)
  • May Celebration at Eric Sannerud Family Farm, Sandbox (Ham Lake)

The Institute on the Environment investing in my leadership made me more confident of my leadership

Application Deadlines

The application period for the 2014-2015 Leaders Program is now closed.  Check back early next fall if you are interesting in applying next year!


Applicant FAQ

Meet IonE Leaders Program Alumni

I feel that my experience in the IonE Leaders program got me more into the real world of people actually doing things rather than academia


Questions? Contact us at


The Sustainability Education website is administered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

The University of Minnesota offers sustainability courses in most of its colleges and campuses around the state. These courses encompass biophysical sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, design, engineering, business, and health. The Sustainability Studies minor is one of several interdisciplinary programs through which such diverse courses come together.