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Our work

For senior executives (GM & above)

The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme: unique in the region, this three-day annual seminar, run twice each year, gives senior executives the chance to immerse themselves in the foundations of the sustainability challenge and the risks and opportunities that arise from it.

For executive committees and boards

In-house seminars and workshops that can be tailored to individual company's needs to help them develop the capacity within senior management to respond strategically and proactively to sustainability challenges. We have run such events for over 30 local companies.

Strategic Thinking Partnerships provide in-depth support for leadership teams to think through the implications of social and environmental risks and opportunities.

For sustainability managers

The Sustainability Practitioner Programme, held over three days, is designed for managers in the private or public sector who have specific responsibilities relating to sustainability, whether with an environmental, social or public affairs focus.

For alumni and the general public

The Cambridge Resilience Forum hosts free, quarterly discussions in both Johannesburg and Cape Town featuring talks by top leaders and international experts, presentations on new innovations and research and panel discussions offering invaluable insight into important projects, policies and trends. 

The Nedbank Sustainability Outlook is a quarterly thought leadership publication for the financial sector.

Latest news

May 2014: Senior associate honoured

Bob ScholesWe are exceptionally proud to announce that Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Senior Associate Dr Bob Scholes, South Africa’s foremost systems ecologist and a lead author on the IPCC’s Assessment Reports, has just been elected as a foreign associate to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an honour bestowed upon the world’s most eminent scientists as chosen by their peers. The NAS, an independent, non-profit society established by an Act of the US Congress in 1863, tasked with providing independent, objective advice to the US government on matters related to science, engineering and medicine. Nearly 500 of its 2,214 members and 444 foreign associates – who are non-voting members of the Academy – have won Nobel Prizes. Only 21 foreign associates are elected yearly and there is no membership application process, as only Academy members are allowed to submit formal nominations of their peers. Bob is one of only three living South African scientists thus honoured.

Bob has been a central part of CISL’s senior executive seminars in South Africa since 2006, providing outstandingly clear, challenging contributions on climate change, systemic risks and the tendency of societies to overshoot their resource base and collapse. In recent years he has also become a regular member of Core Faculty on the South African seminars within The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme. Now a Distinguished Fellow at Wits University, for many years he was a Fellow of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where he has trained and supervised numerous top researchers from all over Africa.

For a brief sample of Bob in action, have a look at this short video – one of our daily COPpuccino broadcasts from the COP17 negotiations in Durban in December 2011.

Visitors from the future bring surprisingly good news

Animation by Stellenbosch-based Jincom Publishing

The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)’s Cape Town team produced 'South Africa 2035', a 10-minute animated film that paints a picture of a plausibly hopeful future. It is a future where electricity is cheap even while carbon is quite heavily taxed, where the gap between rich and poor has been narrowed, political and corporate power devolved and smart investments in education and renewable technologies have ensured a more equitable and prosperous life for all.

The film is inspired by a memorable live-format discussion at a side event of COP 17 in Durban in December 2011 between two CISL Senior Associates, development economist Anton Cartwright and the late Peet Du Plooy.

Peter Willis, CISL Senior Associate and former Director of our Cape Town office, says that they decided to produce the film partly to commemorate Peet Du Plooy, a brilliant and much-loved Senior Associate who was murdered in March 2013, and partly to inspire people to think more creatively about what kind of future is possible.

Listen to the original dialogue

Hear the full, fascinating and at times very funny un-scripted dialogue between Peter Willis and the two “visitors from 2035”:

South Africa regional sponsors

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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
PO Box 313
Cape Town 8000, South Africa

T: +27 (0)21 469 4765