Solving important social problems and promoting sustainable development requires solutions involving multiple stakeholders. Nevertheless, previous social marketing studies were limited to individual behavioral changes and lacked a perspective to involve surrounding stakeholders. This study focused on education for sustainable development (esd) on a field trip and clarified the factors that promote students knowledge diffusion from the viewpoint of network externalities. A questionnaire was distributed, and responses from 1950 high school students were collected. This study used factor analysis to unveil the factors related to students features and field trip experiences and clarified how these factors promote driving network externalities and expanding the network through regression analysis. The findings indicated that the experiential value obtained from visiting a site with actual social problems has a large positive effect on driving network externalities and expanding the network. Therefore, encouraging driving network externalities and expanding networks by providing esd on a field trip can contribute to solve social problems and achieve sustainable development. 2020 By the authors. Licensee mdpi, basel, switzerland.