Managing Impactful Projects


The main focus of this course is to understand, analyse, and through your own efforts create societal Impact. Impact is a critical measure of work as the world stands together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (check this link Impact is also important as it provides a short and long term views to the endeavours operated by Governments, Businesses, Third sector organizations and Civil Society. As an example, check the work of The Ocean Cleanup project ( where organizations of all kinds have come together to operationalize Impact.

    General characterization





    Responsible teacher

    Afonso Reis


    Weekly - Available soon

    Total - Available soon

    Teaching language




    There are multiple resources for understanding, analysing and working with impact led organizations. These are just a selection to get you started:
    Craig and Snook (2014) From purpose to impact, Harvard Business Review, May 2014 issue, electronic reference
    Kearins, K., & Springett, D. (2003). Educating for sustainability: Developing critical skills. Journal of management education, 27(2), 188-204.
    Rusinko, C. A. (2010). Integrating sustainability in management and business education: A matrix approach. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9(3), 507-519.
    Starik, M., Kanashiro, P., & Collins, E. (2017). Sustainability management textbooks: Potentially necessary, but probably not sufficient.
    Urban, M. & Yip, C. (2017, May). Basic impact: Examining the potential impact of a basic income on social entrepreneurs. The Mowat Centre & Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto, Canada.

      Teaching method

      In 1459 Managing Impactful Projects, we meet students in 90 minutes Lectureshops. These are underpinned by a combination of sharing of main concepts (what one would do in lectures) and application into your own project (similar to work developed in more practical workshops). Indeed, each session will encompass elements of knowledge sharing (academic literature), of vicarious learning (through the examples of others) practice (application to your own task), of team work (group reflection and case studies) and of individual reflection.

      Evaluation method

      The assessment of this course is based in 3 components with the following weight on the final grade: (i) Participation: 20% (ii) Intermediate Presentation of the project: 25% (iii) Final Presentation and Report of the project: 55%.
      There is a minimum grade in the final presentation to pass the course which is 9 out of 20.

      (i)    Individual - Quality of Participation (20%):
      a.    Students offer comments balanced between general impressions, opinions & specific, thoughtful criticisms or contributions based on class material or experiences
      b.    Quality of contribution in the classes through questions asked to interviewees, support provided to other colleagues, case preparation
      c.    Listening skills
      d.    Students participate energetically in the activities prepared for class
      (ii)    Group - Midterm Presentation (25%): a. Presentation of client analysis and project proposal b. Client inputs – The proposed recommendation in the presentation must be validated by the client. c. Application of the tool d. Oral presentation (6 minutes presentation + 4 minutes for jury questions)
      Deliverable: mid term presentation
      Students are expected to fully participate in the group presentation. Therefore, their presence in the midterm presentation is mandatory.
      (iii)    Group - Final Presentation and Report (55%): a. Oral presentation of the reflection b. Final report c. Client inputs – The proposed recommendation in the presentation must be validated by the client. d. Oral presentation (6 minutes presentation + 4 minutes for jury questions)
      Deliverable: final presentation & final report
      Students are expected to fully participate in the group presentation. Therefore, their presence in the final presentation is mandatory.
      (iv)    (OPTIONAL FOR STUDENTS BETWEEN GRADES) Final learning essay. This short essay is suggested to students that are between grades (i.e, 15.4, 16.4, 17.4 ,…) and want to improve their final grade. Take the key personal learning of this class and write a short piece (max 500 words) on how his dimension has the potential to change your approach to a future career. The additional grade will be awarded if the essay clearly demonstrates the following:
      a)    Intelligent reflection with strong critical discussion, which demonstrate an ability to bring together theory, practice and self-development.
      b)    Strong evidence to identify impact of issue in future professional setting.
      c)    Outstanding sense of ingenuity.
      If students decide not to take the opportunity, their grade remains unchanged.

      Subject matter

      A practical and critical understanding of some of the various dimensions involved in the processes of consulting for impact-led organizations, namely:

      (a)    Working through Relationships:
      •    Understanding, analysing and recognizing the importance of planning, adapting, communicating and learning to work with a range of different people, including tutors, group members, clients, external stakeholders, etc. and understanding their different interpersonal working styles and how to navigate various interpersonal, cultural and political issues in managing relationships.
      •    Learning to give and receive constructive feedback and to critically reflect on the dynamics within project teams, clients and other parties, and how it influences work performance and output.

      (b)    Diagnostic approaches to consulting:
      •    To become familiar with ways to diagnose and interpret organizational issues and learn how to correctly and appropriately select, adapt and apply different approaches and perspectives as well as reflect upon their strengths, limitations and assumptions.
      •    Learning how to conduct and offer assessment and suggest suitable solutions for intervention to clients that focus on creating further impact

      (c)    Project planning for impact
      •    To engage in project planning, execution, management, evaluation, reflection and appreciate the role of agreeing deliverables, working protocols and creative problem-structuring in completing projects.
      •    To understand that impact-led organizations have a multitude of choices that create distinct outcomes in relation to impact.

      (d)    Developing impact-led options:
      •    To engage in the investigation, articulation, evaluation, recommendation and execution of impact-led options for your organization and to contribute to the development of further strategic options that lead to virtuous impact cycle as appropriate.
      •    To prepare, develop and use appropriately various modes of communication, including executive summary, client reports and presentations.


      Programs where the course is taught: