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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Non exec prog


3 - 4 March 2024  

The Mansion Hotel, Werribee Park, Melbourne,

Duration and format: Two-day residential seminar

Who should attend? Non-Executive board Directors



About the programme

Designed in collaboration with Earth on Board, specifically for the needs of board directors, these intensive residential seminars draw on the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s 26 years of experience in building leadership capability.

The seminars explore the purpose of boards today, their fiduciary responsibilities, and the specific strategic issues that global challenges pose, providing a safe space for individual learning, expert guidance and exchange among peers.

The seminars equip attendees to challenge and guide management, form strategic responses for your company, and establish priority actions for the board, in relation to sustainability trends. Please note the Melbourne board programme is aimed specifically for  Non-executive directors.


Reasons to attend

Increase awareness and insight

Examine the scale and urgency of the sustainability challenge and the links to the Board’s responsibilities, focusing on trends of greatest relevance to the company’s strategic contexts.

Understand implications for the business model and for the fiduciary
responsibility of Board Directors

Understand critical risks, reporting and disclosure requirements, and potential business opportunities, and identify priority implications for your agendas.

Align governance and focus

Informed by examples of leadership from companies worldwide, review your Board’s current approach and capacity for action, including the time you spend on this agenda. We help you to identify and assess progress on priority actions for the Board.

Structure engagement with the management

Become better equipped to challenge and guide your executive team, helping it to integrate sustainability into business strategy.

"A powerful and vigorous call to action! Practical, inspiring and challenging. A wonderful opportunity to develop new thinking and approaches to evaluate leadership and contribution to issues. Of the utmost importance to all of us."

Board Director, international institutional investment manager

"Outstanding and impactful! I am now equipped to drive real change."

Board Director, utility company

"The programme raised awareness of the unknown, confirmed what we are getting right and gave an opportunity to consider alternatives."

Board Director, energy generation company


Engage with the latest research and thought leadership from the University of Cambridge and international experts.

Our Board Director Programme offers a unique opportunity for directors to explore social and environmental challenges with local and global authorities.

Designed to encourage participation, the seminars are highly interactive and combines high-impact presentations, group discussion and exchange with peers. These techniques offer maximum opportunity for sharing, innovation and collaboration and give attendees concrete ideas to take back to the workplace.


Recent faculty and contributors

Philippe Joubert

Philippe is Founder and CEO of Earth on Board, an ecosystem of sustainability actors dedicated to informing and helping Boards to put sustainability at the centre of the company’s strategy, achieving an Earth Competent Board.

Sarah Barker

Sarah is Special Counsel at Minter Ellison Lawyers and Non-Executive Director at Emergency Services & State Super. Sarah’s work on fiduciary duties and climate change has won numerous awards.


Alice Spencer

Alice is a Programme Director in the Executive Education Team at CISL. She joined CISL in February 2017 following several years working in Australia and New Zealand in regional government, not-for-profit and corporate roles.

Paul Gilding

Paul is an independent writer, corporate advisor and advocate for action on climate change and sustainability. He has been an activist and social entrepreneur for 35 years and is recognised as an authority on sustainability and business. He has worked with the CEOs and executives of leading companies including globally with Dupont, Diageo, BHP Billiton and Ford.



Application and fees

View the programme fees here. The fees are inclusive of materials, accommodation and all meals during the seminar. Fees do not include travel costs.

Submit your application here. Please note that you will need to complete the online application form in one sitting, so please ensure that you have all required information with you.’


Non exec prog outdoor

Board education

Find out more



Jane Farago, EY Australia

T: +61 3 9288 8391

Leadership platforms

Our platforms enable business, policy and finance leaders to trigger lasting change in the economy.

Low carbon transformation

Natural resource security 

Sustainable finance


Why boards must lead - board governance and accountability

This blog is the first in a series from CISL Fellow, Professor Richard Calland on Why Boards Must Lead. It explores the core fiduciary responsibility of the board of directors, and how it has changed substantially, before inviting a deeper critical reflection on the fundamental purpose of a business and the implications for board governance.

Richard Calland, Fellow of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, describes why boards must lead.

Taking leadership, taking action and not just talking about it

“By having our board attend the Non-Executive Director Programme we were able to ensure we were all aligned to become a long-term, sustainable business using a common platform that everyone could understand and subscribe to.”

Simon Mackenzie, Group CEO of Vector, New Zealand's largest distributor of electricity and gas, describes how CISL has helped to build leadership and embed sustainability across his organisation.