Centre for Sustainability Transformation & Applied Research

A world in which companies can transform sustainably.

At ESCP STAR, we identify people who bring wisdom, connect them and build lasting connections. We aim to create a powerful, living organism that helps transform oneself and one's organisation, and sparks innovation in the wider field of business education.

Jan EhlersJan Ehlers

With ESCP STAR, we aim at a research- and education-based transformation of the purpose of organisations. Sustainability is not a tool to solve business challenges. Business is the tool to solve Sustainability challenges.

Florian Lüdeke-FreundFlorian Lüdeke-Freund

As we live in a rapidly-changing and dynamic world, where technological progress and cultural shifts present both significant opportunities and serious challenges, organisations find it difficult to keep up. Being at the spotlight of economic and political activity, businesses feel the pressure coming from all sides: complex regulatory environment, proactive social movements, expanding international competition, changing expectations of new generation of workers and consumers.

We at the ESCP STAR understand the difficulty organisations face when trying to navigate these complexities, while also undertaking the mission to contribute to the human and planetary well-being through socially responsible and ecologically sustainable practices. Being a part of the ESCP community and building on its track record of excellence, we find ourselves in a most favourable position, the duty of which we can ignore no further. Knowing how important it is for organisations to keep up with all the dynamic developments if we all want to survive and prosper, we would like to step forward, assume our leadership, and embrace our role in co-creating systemic sustainability transformation together with purpose-driven organisations.

All organisations are made of people, and at the ESCP STAR we cultivate and empower individuals from a variety of backgrounds and at all levels of organisations to apply their passion, insights, skills and gifts towards solving social and environmental challenges of the day. Guided by cutting-edge research, validated scientific work, innovative teaching methods and outstanding examples of initiatives from the field, we design and disrupt, coach and consult, teach and train, immerse and inspire, connect and collaborate, invest and issue funds for the greater social good.

We cordially invite you to join us in our mission if you share our values and feel the call of our commitment. Get in touch with us right now to see how we can combine our forces in co-creating sustainable business transformation side by side.

Vision & Mission


A world in which companies can transform sustainably.


STAR creates an environment in which organisations and individuals get inspired, learn, and exchange about sustainable business model transformations.

Main focus areas

Research transfer

Sustainable transformation is enabled via improved sustainability literacy

By synthesizing and curating available research on sustainability mindsets, sustainability transitions, and sustainable business models, further translating it into digestible formats, the ESCP STAR aims to improve the sustainability literacy of its main target audiences (managers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, consultants, and students).

These activities include:

  • Developing, funding, and sponsoring flagship studies on sustainable business model transformation, such as a study we are currently working on in partnership with the Bertelsmann Foundation
  • Curating and presenting top-notch sustainability research for practitioners and professionals, in the form of videos, infographics, whitepapers, one-pagers, small reports and case studies
  • Organising and contributing to conferences and symposiums, joining forces together with other researchers, institutions, collaborators, partners, government bodies, think-tanks and nonprofit organisations
  • Setting up fellow and residence programs in collaboration with partner institutions and organisations

Education formats

Sustainability transformation can only be achieved through proper education

To accelerate sustainability transformation, ESCP STAR focuses on developing holistic learning approaches that empower inspired changemakers with head, heart and hand. We aspire to close the knowledge gap and equip organisations with the right skills and mindsets by training, coaching and mentoring their change captains.

These activities include:

  • Creating and continuously improving Executive Education and Training for Managers
  • Developing of engaging and experiential educational formats for students, where sustainable business ideals and practices are taught in class and in the field
  • Designing and implementing Train the Trainer Formats through which sustainable business transformation is increased at an exponential rate
  • Organising and contributing to workshops and immersions in which students and professionals dive deeper into highly specialized and customized topics of interest
  • Offering student-led Company Consultancy Projects (CCPs) to organisations dedicated to finding solutions to sustainability challenges

Community Building

Sustainability transformation is driven by people

A crucial role that the ESCP STAR plays in sustainability transformation is in laying the foundations of a learning and collaborating community which adds value to its various partners and stakeholders. The ESCP STAR will foster interpersonal connections through recurring events, accelerate knowledge sharing and stimulate co-creative formats with people from business, academia, government and, of course, future talent.

These activities include:

  • Initiating and partaking in roundtables and discussions with partnering companies and politicians contributing to exchange, dialogue, synergies, and collaborations
  • Creating and sponsoring thematic hackathons to solve sustainability challenges of partner companies through students’ creativity and innovative thinking
  • Curating and contributing to sustainable career and entrepreneurship fairs, such as Impact Fair, done in collaboration with Oikos, or Startup Fair done in collaboration with the Blue Factory, where purpose-driven organisations can present themselves and their offers, attracting talent and change-makers sustainability jobs
  • Organising annual conferences such as ESCP’s SDG conference or the New Business Models Conference

Our timeline

January 2020 ESCP STAR idea is born
Spring 2023 Received seed funding from the ESCP Foundation
March 2023 Bertelsmann Foundation cooperation secured
March 21 ESCP STAR pre-kick workshop
June 19 First ESCP STAR fishbowl discussion
July 1 Development director joins the team
July 3 ESCP STAR presented at the UNEP
September 22 ESCP STAR at the Berlin Campus Homecoming
November 3 ESCP STAR at the Recruiting Days
November 13 Second ESCP STAR fishbowl discussion
November 16 ESCP STAR at the Impact Fair
November 23 ESCP STAR at the Startup Fair

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Governance and center management

Jan Ehlers

Jan Ehlers

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Anastasia Shevchenko

Anastasia Shevchenko

Development Director
Anastasia Shevchenko

Mansi Bansal

Development Consultant
Anastasia Shevchenko

Carolin Waldner

Educational Formats