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Cambridge seminar


26-29 April 2020

8-11 November 2020

Duration and format

Three-day residential seminar


Madingley Hall, Cambridge


£4,500 inclusive of course fees, accommodation, activities and meals (no VAT will be charged). Bursaries and company agreements are available; please to find out more. 

Selection criteria

  • Appropriate seniority of position
  • Typically more than 15 years' experience
  • A high level of proficiency in the English language – this is important so as to derive maximum value, participation and enjoyment from the programme
  • Ability to pay the fees, or to identify a sponsoring institution

How to apply

Submit your application or get in touch to  who meets the above criteria and we will share materials with you to forward on. 


The Business & Sustainability Programme, Cambridge

The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme is an international leadership programme for senior executives in leadership roles. With a 25-year history, it has over 3,200 alumni from more than 1,500 organisations.

The programme equips leaders with the knowledge, commitment and inspiration to turn sustainability trends into strategic business decisions.

It gives leaders the knowledge and techniques to redefine and respond to their social, economic and environmental priorities by providing a safe space for sharing, innovation and collaboration.

See a list of previous delegates.


Programme benefits

The programme is designed for organisations and individual leaders who seek to better understand and explore the opportunity of sustainability.

Participants in the programme can:

  • gain a critical understanding of the key social, economic, environmental and market trends and identify implications for the business and priorities for action
  • learn with leaders across different sectors from around the world in a safe space for sharing, innovation and collaboration
  • engage with the latest research and thought leadership from the University of Cambridge and influential experts
  • strengthen leadership skills for a changing context aligned with a sustainable economy
  • leave inspired, with the knowledge and confidence to drive change for sustainable business
  • join a valuable network of international leaders from business, government and civil society.

Programme participants go on to join the CISL Network of nearly 9,000 senior leaders and leading practitioners from around the world. Members enjoy access to alumni events including keynote lectures and gala dinners, they are invited to join our private LinkedIn group, and receive regular updates on international sustainability developments, with the opportunity to contribute to innovative research.




How the programme is delivered

The Business and Sustainability Programme is a residential seminar taking place over three and a half days, with approximately 35 senior executives attending.

The focus is on the successful management of change and is designed to help business reconcile profitability with sustainability.

Participants begin their engagement ahead of the seminar through tailored conversations, a sustainable business survey and a two-hour online introductory course, Sustainability Essentials.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, case-study presentations, group discussions, individual reflections, networking and external activities. Small-group conversations help participants reflect on their leadership journey, share challenges and co-create responses.

The seminars are designed to encourage participants to test their assumptions and learn from peers whilst making the most of Cambridge and the experts in the room.


Key themes

The need for effective business leadership

In the context of global trends such as food, water and energy security, social equity, consumption and the circular economy, supply chain resilience, sustainable finance and investment and climate change

The framework for sustainable outcomes

Including the Sustainable Development Goals, the wider regulatory market, and technological shifts and disruptions and the business risks and opportunities they create

The case for a sustainable business approach

Touching the organisational purpose, its role in working with customers, investors, and policymakers, and the commercial case for sustainability

The way to ‘operationalise’ sustainability

Setting strategies, exploring new business models, and building capacity to create shared value

The role of individual leadership

Framing a vision for a sustainable business, the priorities for change and bringing others on board


World-class faculty and contributors from business, policy and academia

Each programme is facilitated by an expert faculty of business and policy leaders, academics and influential thinkers, including:

Will Day

Will Day

Will is Sustainability Advisor to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Chairman of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), a non-profit company bringing together private sector and NGO member organisations to pursue the Millennium Development goal for water and sanitation in the poorest parts of the world.

     Bob Scholes

Bob Scholes

Bob is a systems ecologist and a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has led several major national and global science assessments, including parts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Sam Mostyn

Sam Mostyn

Sam is a non-executive director, sustainability adviser and speaker. Her  board roles include Mirvac, Transurban and Virgin Australia. Her corporate roles have encompassed human resources and culture change, corporate and government affairs, community engagement and corporate sustainability.

Paul Gilding

Paul Gilding

Paul is a CISL Fellow, and is recognised as an authority on sustainability and business. He has worked with the CEOs and executives of leading companies globally including Dupont, Diageo, BHP Billiton and Ford. He was CEO of Greenpeace International, Ecos Corporation and Easy Being Green.

TonyJuniperTony Juniper

Tony is the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK, a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and President of the Wildlife Trusts.

Anna Easton

Anna Easton

Anna is Global Head of Social Impact at Dentsu Aegis Network and a senior associate at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership. Anna works at the intersect of strategy, communications and sustainability helping organisations embed purpose at the heart of everything they do.


Philippe Joubert

Philippe is Founder and CEO of Earth on Board, is on CISL's Advisory Board and is Chair of Corporate Leaders Group. He is Special Envoy Climate and Energy for the WBCSD, advises several CEOs, sits on various Boards of global companies and is a trustee of Client Earth.

Sue GarrardSue Garrard

Sue is a CISL Senior Associate and Unilever’s former EVP Sustainable Business. She was responsible for leading and embedding the company’s ambitious USLP (the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) and ensuring progress against its 70-plus time-bound targets.


How do we deal with participants from the same industry?

The seminars provide a safe space for delegates to share and co-explore challenges and ideas relating to their personal and professional context. All discussions are treated as confidential and are conducted under the Chatham House Rule. For some of the more sensitive conversations, attendees from competing organisations are allocated to different syndicate groups, however, there is nothing to prevent these individuals engaging in active debate and sharing of ideas – in our experience, delegates appreciate the opportunity to interact with their peers on a shared sustainability agenda.


How to apply

Approximately 35 delegates are selected to attend each seminar. All nominations are subjected to a robust vetting procedure to achieve the right balance on each seminar between industry sectors and between business, government and NGOs.

Submit your application or get in touch to  who meets the above criteria and we will share materials with you to forward on.

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.


Fees, bursaries, terms and conditions

The programme fee consists of the course fee of £4,500 (VAT-exempt), which includes tuition, learning materials, a license for our online learning platform, member of our alumni Network, full accommodation, meals and the Gala Dinner.

Our long history of running professional development courses has shown that there is an increased value to your organisation when you send multiple employees. To facilitate this, we offer organisations a reduced rate when sending four or more delegates to an individual seminar or across multiple seminars or years. Please to discuss in more detail.

A limited number of bursaries are also available to support the participation of delegates from civil society and government organisations who would otherwise be unable to participate. To apply for a bursary or for more information regarding group discounts please .

Download the terms and conditions.




| T: +44 (0)1223 768845


"This has given me the space to think about the big issues and reflect back in my own organisation – what could we be doing more of, less of, and certainly how can we engage not only our own people but our customers as well?"

Chris Moss, Customer & Marketing Director, B&Q


“Thought-provoking, challenging and provides a real roadmap to understanding the issues as well as the solution."

Peter Chamley, Chair, Global Infrastructure Practice, Arup Group Ltd


"This programme is fantastic in giving the broadest global overview possible on all areas of sustainability, and to be honest, business."

Chris Foy, CEO, Equity Insurance

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