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The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme

Frequently Asked Questions

Who usually attends The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme (BSP), and how many delegates attend each seminar?

BSP delegations usually comprise of approximately 30 carefully selected senior leaders from business, including both private sector and state-owned companies, and government. Ten to fifteen per cent of delegates come from civil society and academia. The selection process ensures that unlike other sustainability training programmes, BSP is attended by those who can contribute significantly to the group and will benefit the most from it.

How do companies use the programme?

Leading international companies such as Nestlé, have integrated BSP into their leadership development programmes. These organisations strategically nominate 8–10 senior executives to attend BSP seminars every year, creating knowledge networks and champions in the process. Other organisations use the programme to provide strategic context and vision for those responsible for innovation and product markets. Many companies use the programme to build the capacity of senior staff who have recently moved to sustainability or resource related roles.

What happens before the seminar? Do I need to prepare?

In the months leading up to the seminar, participants receive a pre-seminar briefing document containing background information and references on business and sustainability issues and trends that they are encouraged to read as part of their training. Participants are also required to complete a short pre-seminar survey that provides essential insight to the programme team and faculty and is drawn upon during the seminar. The pre-consultation process finally involves a 15-minute conversation with the programme team to discuss personal expectations and priorities, and organisational objectives.

Who delivers BSP?

As with all of CISL’s programmes and seminars, BSP is delivered by a world-class Faculty that comprises of senior industry ad sustainability practitioners, including former CEOs, expert facilitators and scholars.

How do you balance the learning needs of participants from different sectors and geographies?

BSP seminars are designed for a diverse, international audience. The practitioner-led Faculty has significant expertise in facilitating discussions and learning for delegates from varied backgrounds. While some issues and context will be local or industry specific, many of the leading-edge ideas, networks and practices on sustainable business are found across different sectors and regions. The opportunity to interact, share and learn from different contexts of business leadership and participants’ knowledge and background is one of the most recognised benefits of the programme.

How do you deal with participants from the same industry?

As a deep learning journey, the seminars provide a safe space for participants to share and co-explore challenges and ideas relating to their personal and professional context. All discussions are treated as confidential. In our experience, representatives from competing organisations appreciate the opportunity to interact with their peers on a common agenda. For the syndicate groups, where some of the more delicate conversations take place, we ensure that participants from competing organisations are allocated to different groups. But there is nothing to prevent individuals from organisations which could identify themselves as competitors from engaging in active debate and sharing of ideas during the seminar.

Where is BSP run?

Annually, we run a BSP senior executive seminar in the UKSouth AfricaBrazil and Australia. The programme also frequently runs seminars in various locations in the US. Tailored BSP or sector programmes also run in other locations. 

How long is BSP?

A typical BSP seminar is 3.5 days long. In some cases, the programme has been delivered in 2.5 or 5 days to fit the needs of specific locations and organisations.

When are the next seminars?

All details are here.

How much does BSP cost?

The cost of BSP is £3,950 (VAT is not chargeable). This includes all course materials, accommodation and meals during the seminar, but excludes any travel expenses. BSP South Africa costs R34 950 + VAT and BSP Brazil costs R$11,850 (overseas delegates pay £3,950). Companies nominating delegate groups on an annual basis or nominating more than 2 delegates per seminar are eligible for discounts. CISL strategic partners are granted 5 places at half price annually, at any of its programmes.

How do I apply?

You can apply here.

What happens after the seminar? How does CISL help delegates keep the momentum and network?

The programme team continues to act as a bridge among participants and between them CISL and the University of Cambridge. Upon completion, delegates automatically become members of the Cambridge Sustainability Network. As alumni, they receive regular updates, a newsletter with the latest developments from CISL and the University, and opportunities to attend networking and thought leadership events. In many cases, CISL continues to work with participants and their organisations, as contributors to programmes or by joining one of CISL’s Business Platforms.

Do I get a certificate?

All participants receive a certificate of completion.

What do previous participants say about the programme? Can I speak to programme alumni about their experience?

Depending on your region, the programme team can provide contact details of programme alumni.

Does CISL run other programmes?

CISL runs a variety of programmes focusing on strategy and leadership in sustainability. We also run customised programmes, tailored to suit the specific needs of organisations and/or of the national context in which they operate. For those interested in sustainability studies, our graduate study courses (our MSt or Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership, the PCSB, Postgraduate Certificate on Sustainable Business, and the PCSVC, Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains) may be good options.

CISL’s involvement on business and sustainability goes beyond executive education programmes and sustainability training. Through our Business Platforms we focus on issues where business can have a significant impact on policy and business practice and where collective action is needed.

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Apply Now

Forthcoming Seminars

Cape Town: 25–28 May 2014
Cambridge: 10–13 Nov 2014
São Paulo: late Nov 2014 (tbc)
Melbourne: Spring 2015 (tbc)

Contact Us

For more details, please contact:

Sarah Hayward,
Project Manager

T: +44 (0)1223 768832
bsp@cisl.cam.ac.uk