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What is a customised programme?

Our custom programmes enable individual organisations to inform strategy and identify how they can play a part in delivery. Unlike our open programmes that convene individuals from organisations, our customised programmes are designed for organisational change. These bespoke offerings contain specific content that is relevant to our client’s market, convene suitable contributors and provide delegates with challenge to create a shared vision.

Customised programmes provide a safe space for organisations to set strategy, inform decisions, and build organisational resilience.

Are custom programmes applicable for all organisations?

CISL runs programmes for public bodies (including government agencies), multilaterals, civil society organisations, and large businesses. Our customisation process means we can deliver for companies in different sectors and we have recently engaged with companies in sectors including oil and gas, extractives, diversified industries, automotives, finance and insurance, technology, construction and the built environment, and professional services.

What is unique about our customised programmes?

Building on the University of Cambridge's learning model, we empower individuals to take ownership of sustainability, making it relevant to their role in order to support organisational performance. This means that our programmes are fundamentally different from both prescriptive guides to corporate social responsibility ('CSR') and most advice from external consultancies.

By equipping individuals with the relevant information and inspiring them to act, we find that it is easier to assemble a critical mass of informed and motivated stakeholders pulling in the same direction.

How can customised programmes benefit my organisation?

We help organisations to understand sustainability challenges where scientific excellence meets operational performance. Typically, our clients face some internal log-jam to creating a new strategy, rolling out the existing one or having the capacity and confidence to implement.

Our programmes aim to overcome these impediments by creating a shared vision and the impetus for people to act.

Read more about our impact and case studies.

How many participants can join a custom programme?

Typically, programmes are delivered to audiences of 24-40 people, but can they be tailored to cater for smaller or larger delegations depending on programmes’ objectives.

What are the additional benefits to alumni of a customised programme?

On successful completion of a custom programme, delegates receive a certificate of completion and are invited to join our exclusive alumni network. This enables interested delegates to continue their learning journey with us by accessing the latest information on our programmes and initiatives, such as our business platforms, which help set the standard for progressive business commentary and action on key sustainability issues such as low carbon transformation, natural resource security, strategy and implementation and sustainable finance.

Who usually attends these programmes?

The audience varies depending on the programme’s objectives. We deliver for executive teams (especially where the aim is to inform strategy), sustainability champions (where the aim is to implement a strategy), and senior managers (where companies want to develop leaders of the future).

Is this a standard training programme?

We do not offer standard executive training courses of any kind. Each of our customised programmes is designed to meet an organisation’s specific needs. We use a four-step process to understand the organisation and its culture, identify the shape of the industry and inform the design of the programme.

Throughout the design phase, we work closely with our client to ensure that the programme builds on existing work (no-one wants to reinvent the wheel) and that the impacts exceed expectations.

Can CISL deliver a programme outside the UK?

We have a track record of delivering programmes around the world. Our programmes are designed to be delivered at your offices or run at facilities that are local to you. Recently, we have delivered programmes in the UK and Europe as well as Chile, China, India, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Who delivers these programmes?

Customised programmes are led by our core team, Faculty and hand-picked expert contributors. For each engagement, we carefully select the programme team from our international network (including our Senior Associates) and identify suitable subject experts.

Where can I find out more?

For further details about our programmes, contact


Programme Director