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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

We support our clients and Network to lead transformational change through Foresight, Education, Convening and innovation

Our professional staff in Operations and Communications and Marketing provide strategic and operational support services to enable the organisation to deliver impact and excellence.  

Our work draws upon an expert group of Fellows and Senior Associates, comprised of business leaders, academics and other influential thinkers who have direct experience of working to address sustainability challenges, and our Network Ambassadors convene and energise our global Network.


Senior Leadership Team

Lindsay Hooper, interim CEO for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Lindsay is interim CEO for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership which activates leadership globally to transform economies for people, nature and climate.

She brings over 20 years’ experience at the forefront of business and sustainability, challenging, inspiring and supporting senior leaders from multinational businesses, financial institutions and influential organisations to accelerate progress to a sustainable economy.


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James Cole, Executive Director, Chief Innovation Officer

James has spent over 15 years working at the intersection of business, sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of CISL’s senior leadership team he works across business policy and finance initiatives building the capacity of leaders, and leading institutions, to drive systemic change for global sustainability. In 2022 he launched The Canopy - CISL’s incubator, accelerator and workspace in central Cambridge, to activate an international community of impact-led startups, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators. 


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Anna Nitch-Smith, Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer

Anna is the Chief Operating Officer at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), part of the University of Cambridge. In this role, Anna is responsible for overseeing all of CISL’s operations which underpin our mission for impact.   


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Alice Spencer, Interim Executive Director, Education

Alice is the interim Executive Director of Education at CISL which encompasses three portfolios: a range of digital courses, accredited postgraduate programmes including the Masters of Sustainability Leadership and executive education. CISL has been at the forefront of sustainability education for over three decades and brings a deep understanding of the changing global context and access to a wealth of world-leading research to help inform business strategy and inspire more ambitious action.


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Eliot Whittington, Executive Director, Chief Systems Change Officer

Eliot leads CISL’s team that bridges between business and policymakers to bring about a more sustainable economy. He is Director of CISL’s Corporate Leaders Groups, leading the team behind both the European and UK Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe and CLG UK). He also leads CLG Europe’s Green Growth Partnership with leading EU climate and environment ministers.


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