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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


An international programme for senior executives in leadership roles in its 30th year

Our series of Business & Sustainability Programme seminars, held around the world since 1994 have become a global benchmark for sustainability leadership education, amassing a network of over 4,500 alumni. 

Each residential seminar takes places across four days with the virtual taking place across 5 half days. The format encourages participation through a combination of lectures, case study presentations, group discussions and individual reflections, giving delegates concrete ideas to take back to their organisations.


Cambridge, UK

24-27 November 2024
27-30 April 2025


Naivasha, Kenya

22-25 September 2024


Melbourne, Australia

2-5 March 2025




6-9 October 2024


Virtual Seminars

Dates TBC



The global steering committee

The global steering committee brings together a group of senior-level peers from across business, academia, policy and sustainability to share thoughts and discuss trends that are affecting senior decision-makers. The  goal of the steering committee is to ensure that the core curriculum of the programme is cutting-edge and globally applicable. The steering committee includes the following people: 

Professor Richard Calland

Director of CISL South Africa:

Will Day

Sustainability Advisor, PwC UK

Dame Jo Da Silva

Global Sustainable Development Leader at Arup


Munish Datta

Director of Sustainability, Specsavers

Pat Dwyer

Founder and Director, The Purpose


Jane Farago

Manager, EY Australia


Malcolm Gray

CFO and Co-Founder of Libryo

Tony Juniper CBE

Chair, Natural England

Ylva Lindberg

Executive Vice President, Strategy and Communication at Norfund


Chandran Nair

Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT)

Sam Welch

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, HyveGeo; and Research Associate, Circular Economy Centre, CJBS


For more details on who delivers our programmes, download the brochure.


Who should attend?

Each seminar includes a mix of carefully selected senior executives from a range of geographies and industries, to enhance peer-learning and collaboration.

Leading companies as well as government agencies and development banks use the programme to provide strategic context and support the leadership development of senior staff.

Business leaders operating at a strategic level

Business delegates include company directors and business unit leaders responsible for areas such as strategy, brand and marketing, operations, finance, external affairs, innovation and resources. A few places are also allocated to senior sustainability leaders.

Recent attendees have included decision makers from leading companies such as ABN AMRO, Anglo American, Bank of Communications (HK), Hammerson, Heathrow Airport, IKEA, JLL, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Nestlé SA, PETRONAS, P&G, SABIC, Tata Group, and Tetra Pak. Attendees on the Programme hold executive level positions, typically c-suite or directly reporting in. This includes roles such as Chief Financial Officer, Director or Chief Advisor. The Programme is not designed for those who come from a mainstream sustainability background or are practitioners in the area.


"CISL provides access to a treasure trove of information, perspective and inspiration to energize the progress on sustainability that we critically need. The quality of content and teaching is outstanding."

Martin Riant, Group President, Procter & Gamble


Decision-makers from public sector, international agencies and civil society

The programme is also highly relevant for leaders from the public sector, city authorities and international agencies who benefit from interacting with peers from the private sector as well as from increasing their understanding of global issues and trends.

Recent attendees have included senior officials from Environment Protection Agencies, the Treasury and International departments, directors from the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and various UN agencies, and senior leaders from environmental and humanitarian NGOs.

Read a list of previous delegates. 

 Please refer to the international seminar pages for participant profiles


Selection criteria

All applications to the Programme are independently screened to ensure those attending have the best possible learning experience. Delegates who are accepted to the Programme are typically able to demonstrate:

  • Appropriate senior level position within their organisation, with over 15 years’ experience
  • Significant institutional influence within their organisation to directly affect strategy/strategic decisions
  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainability and ambition to transition their organisation beyond business as usual
  • A high level of proficient in the English language (in order to derive maximum value from participation)
  • Ability to pay the fees or to identify a sponsoring institution


Why apply?

Understand key challenges and explore the opportunity of sustainability

The programme is designed to give senior executives the knowledge and techniques to address key sustainability challenges in a practical way.

Participants are encouraged to review their current business models and set a vision for what success looks like in the future, leaving the course with the inspiration, understanding and confidence to define and respond to pressing social, economic and environmental priorities.

Read about our seminars in Cambridge (UK), Cape Town (South Africa) and Melbourne (Australia).

Read testimonials from our delegates.


How to apply

To apply for the seminar please complete the application formPlease 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.

If you have a colleague who you feel would be suitable and interested in attending The CISL Business & Sustainability Programme, please  or telephone +44 (0) 1223 768850 and we can share materials for you to pass on.

All nominations are subjected to a robust vetting procedure to ensure delegates build diverse, international networks and foster ideas that cross traditional boundaries.

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Download the brochure

Programme fees


Megan Peachey, Senior Project Manager