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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

CISL works with organisations towards a broader vision of leadership encompassing sustainability and transformational change














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We convene senior leaders

These leaders are typically those who shape corporate strategy and government policy. We work with them towards a broader vision of leadership encompassing sustainability and transformational change.

Our programmes provide constructive challenge, informing and inspiring leaders to shape strategic interventions that will deliver impact within their organisations and in their wider operating contexts.

We bring diverse perspectives to critical problems

The complex problems that many leaders face are impossible to solve working in isolation. We bring together delegates with different perspectives and backgrounds, with faculty from a wide range of disciplines to help our participants to see their work in a new light and find new solutions to their challenges.

Effective engagement with these challenges requires a deep appreciation for the interconnected nature of our social, environmental and economic systems. In order to embed this kind of systems thinking, we need to help our delegates to see problems from multiple points of view. This is reflected not only in the diverse array of our Faculty, but also in the spectrum of functional and industry leaders that we bring together.

We help shape change

We have an organisational purpose of helping to change systems, institutions and cultures to create a more sustainable and resource efficient world.

Our contribution to this change is not as campaigners for any specific political or commercial actions, but as champions for more informed decision-making. Our understanding of how change happens at the level of individuals, organisations and at a wider systems level is crucially important to this work.

We apply the knowledge that resides in the University, among our extensive network of Fellows and Senior Associates, and through our international network of leaders to solve real-world problems and design effective approaches to scaling sustainable solutions. This requires that we understand and promote innovation.

We deliver bespoke programmes

Each of our programmes is designed by hand. Our programmes have two distinctive features: the quality of the discussion; and the extent to which we challenge and stretch participants to think more broadly and longer term about their own leadership role and the resilience and growth of their organisation.

Our focus on participant needs and objectives – and those of their organisations – ensures that we select the most effective delivery methods to deliver lasting impact. Our programme design is rooted in the principles of adult learning, with activities ranging from expert presentations and to small group workshops and innovation labs, to experiential learning through first-hand, on-the-ground engagement with challenges and solutions.