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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Global Leadership in the Asian Century


  • 21 - 24 January 2024

Duration and format

  • Four day residential seminar 


  • Cambridge, UK


  • Fees vary according to participant type.  For more information visit our dedicated fees page.

Selection criteria

The programme is designed for leaders in the fields of national and multilateral governance, business, technology, finance and culture who operate at an international level. Participants will typically demonstrate:

  • Appropriate senior level position within organisations that operate internationally.
  • Significant influence to directly affect strategy/strategic decisions within and beyond their organisations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to deploy their leadership and influence towards more resilient and sustainable societies

Next steps

Register your interest to receive further details on the programme when they become available or get in touch to schedule a discussion with the programme team or to nominate a colleague.

Applications can be made here.


About the programme

In a fast-changing world that is increasingly influenced by Asia, this University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability  Leadership programme will provide senior leaders and decision makers with insight, understanding, capability and networks to navigate the changing global context, in ways that will shape and enable a sustainable future.

In the midst of a global business and context in which the imperative to respond to pressing climate, environmental and social issues is becoming ever more urgent, Asia is becoming the driving force in terms of opportunity, innovation, and resources. As the world's largest and most diverse continent, the region represents not only an enormous consumer market, but also a crucial supply chain, intellectual and technological hub.

The achievement of sustainable societies and economies will require swift action – globally - towards step-change solutions which combine the best ideas, practices, market and tech innovations from both East and West. This represents both a leadership challenge and opportunity. It will require leaders who are equipped to engage with not only the commercial and operational dimensions but also the social, political and cultural dimensions of the changing landscape. It will also require leadership courage and creativity to go beyond simply adapting to the changing context, but to proactively shape globally shared ambitions, to overcome trust deficits, to forge new collaborations and to unlock new East-West innovations in support of thriving and resilient societies and markets.

The programme will bring focus and momentum to this ambitious and vital agenda through engaging influential international perspectives, creating a space for rich debate and providing insight into leading and potential ‘next’ practice. It will explicitly explore the underlying values and worldviews that drive today’s decisions and actions and consider what shifts might be necessary and possible to unlock better decision-making and find new forms of global learning, connection and collaboration.


Programme benefits

The programme is designed for those who influence the ways in which businesses, institutions, societies and economies are structured and led and who have a strong interest in working to address global challenges and driving systemic change to achieve a sustainable future for people, nature and climate.

Participants in the programme will gain:

  • Broad understanding of macro trends, as well as deep insight into the social, cultural and economic drivers of change and potential points of intervention
  • Analysis of current political, economic and governance systems, and the opportunity to explore potential new ideas and approaches to unlock step-change progress
  • Insight into leading and ‘next’ practice, with a particular focus on insight from leading Asian practice, and innovations that enable effective East-West collaborations
  • An informed and influential peer network, both though connections forged within the programme and its associated forum.

Additionally, programme participants go on to join the CISL Network of nearly 30,000 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.


Key themes

This programme will explore critical themes relating to the rise of Asian influence and the implications for global challenges, and will bring insight and clarity to corporate, national and international responses to these challenges.  

Macro trends 

The macro trends and issues that will shape the arena for leadership over the coming decade including: the impact of technology in reshaping lives, economies, and power dynamics; the need for concerted global action to respond to the twin challenges of climate change and environmental degradation; geopolitical shifts – and particularly the rise of Asia and the Global South, and shift in power and influence from West to East
Innovation and enterprise Emerging opportunities for East-West innovation and collaboration; insight into the most successful, promising and disruptive Asian-led or influenced enterprises and innovations 
Politics and governance The strengths and limitations of current political ideas and paradigms to enable effective action towards global goals; understanding a range of Asian models and paradigms; considering underlying worldviews and values, lessons from history and the potential of new ideas.
Geopolitics and grand strategy How to approach strategy in the context of new power dynamics, disruptions within and between societies, and growing social and environmental imperatives.
Trust and collaboration Historic causes of trust deficits and inequalities between East and West, how trust and collaboration are shifting through new tech and forms of governance, understand the enablers of future trust building, for institutions, economies and societies.
Capital and markets Drivers of future prosperity and sustainable value creation; institutional and private capital, and how it can be deployed in service of thriving societies; market innovations and regulatory practice that is driving positive outcomes.
Technology, and its impact on power, politics and culture The impact of technology on global power-dynamics, economics, politics and markets; the implications for East-West collaboration and innovation.
Leadership and influence How to lead and influence progress in this changing context

How to apply

Approximately 25 participants are selected to attend each seminar. All nominations are subject to a robust vetting procedure to achieve an appropriate level of seniority and to ensure a breadth of perspective and experience.

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.



The residential programme fee is available in this fees table. Programme fees include tuition, learning materials, accommodation, activities, meals and membership of our alumni Network. 

Download the terms and conditions.  


Register your interest


Register your interest in the programme

Contact the team

Contact a member of the team to discuss the programme.