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Middle East: Executive Education

For those that want to thrive in a rapidly changing context the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership executive education helps build the vision, strategy and competencies to lead the way.

Our work in the Middle East reflects our mission to enable individuals and organisations to take leadership to respond to the critical challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. We apply world-class knowledge and learning techniques to support and empower individuals and teams at all levels, from chief executives through to middle managers and specific teams.


Building leadership and sustainable strategies through education

CISL’s executive education builds on Cambridge’s leading-edge capabilities, our unparalleled experience in education for sustainability and our commitment to help organisations in every sector improve their performance towards a sustainable future. Our programmes draw upon and explore the latest technological, economic, social and environmental trends and their implications for strategy and leadership.

Companies and government entities working with CISL benefit from access to international industry leading practice, cutting-edge research and thinking, and unique leadership insights that help tailor each programme according to each sector and organisation.

Download our Executive Education brochure.


Dewa programme 2 2017

The core themes of our work in the Middle East

  • Leadership and change
  • Cities, growth and resilience
  • Sustainable strategies and practices
  • Innovation and new business models

Across all of our work we integrate the commercial imperative for business to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which represent a global strategy for achieving economic growth that is consistent with the planet’s carrying capacity, society’s basic needs and priorities, and the capabilities and stability of the economy.


Customised programmes designed to meet client needs

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We deliver programmes in Cambridge or locally in the Middle East, with the option to combine both.

Our programmes are fully customised to address the specific learning and development needs of an organisation. Working closely with the client to define the key objectives, our design teams then work through a process using needs analysis, horizon scanning and assessment of participant profiles to determine the right content and structure.

A course can consist of a series of short seminars, two to three-day workshops or multi-week engagements. They can combine face-to-face learning, online modules and remote coaching and working, with all attendees awarded a Certificate of Completion at the end of a course. While predominantly delivered in English, we do offer the option of a translation service if required. 

Contact us to discuss your requirements, and find out more about how our courses can support your organisation


Learning in Cambridge

Kings collegeThe University of Cambridge has an 800-year history of academic excellence. With over 90 Nobel prize-winners among our alumni, and some of the most distinguished research laboratories and libraries in the world, we are able to offer a truly distinctive environment for learning. Our teaching takes place in University facilities, including in some of the historic colleges, which have inspired generations of students, leading thinkers and world leaders. Cambridge is host to one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world with 60,000 people employed and over 4,700 knowledge-intensive firms and start-ups. Our courses include visits to experience breakthrough technologies and transformative solutions. 


Sustainability Leadership Conference, Dubai

Dewa programme 4 2017

The first Sustainability Leadership Conference in Dubai, in collaboration between CISL and DEWA, brought together ministers and senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Energy, Climate Change and Environment, senior leaders from government entities such as the Civil Aviation Authority, the Roads and Transport Authority, Bee’ah, the Dubai Real Estate Institute and Green Building Council, and companies including DP World, Dubai Airport, ENOC, Etisalat, IBM and Siemens.

The conference aimed to promote innovative business practices in the UAE focusing on knowledge, skills, innovation, collaboration and leadership.  and included two events:

  • a CEO Summit dedicated to CEOs, heads of institutions and key departments, focusing on strategic priorities, key changes and innovations
  • a Sustainability Masterclass, consisting of 6 interactive workshops and case studies, dedicated to operators and practitioners focusing on practical knowledge, capabilities and skills

CISL convened world-renowned speakers and experts from prominent financial institutions such as Barclays and BNP Paribas, international agencies such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the World Energy Council, global companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nestlé, DHL, and Marks & Spencer and academics from the University of Cambridge.


Cities, growth and resilience

London SkylineCities are shaping our collective future. Already over half of the world population lives in cities and by 2050 approximately 6.5 billion people will live in urban environments. As places of residence, employment, economic activity, leisure centres and travel destinations cities epitomise our progress, prosperity, and vulnerability and are the front runners in developing the solutions to our modern problems. Climate change, water and resource security, air quality, access to key services and good jobs and resilient infrastructure present risks and opportunities that today’s leaders are called to explore.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, includes ten ambitious targets. All constituencies, including industry, government, insurers and asset owners, will need to understand their impacts, exposures and contributions, while working to deliver solutions and benefits to their clients, stakeholders and communities. Aligning interests and incentives across business, government, finance and communities will be crucial to creating an environment for sustainable growth in a changing context.

Cambridge has the multidisciplinary expertise, and the right partners in industry, government and finance institutions, to explore complex city systems in ways that unlock real change. It has strengths across health, economics, environment, development, history, technology and infrastructure, as well as dedicated means of interacting with business, government and financial institutions.

We work closely with leading companies from the real estate sector, insurance and finance providers, and deliver city-related leadership programmes for national and regional governments from China.

Our two-year part-time Master of Studies in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) is structured around emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges within the built environment. Designed for those involved in the commissioning, design, construction and management of projects in the built environment, IDBE is supported by the Departments of Architecture and Engineering. 

Visit our Cities Knowledge Hub for relevant case studies, publications and reports.


Other CISL courses

In addition to our customised programmes for senior leaders, we run open programmes and graduate study courses. These include:

  • The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme: International seminars for senior executives in mainstream leadership roles. Designed to equip participants with the inspiration, understanding and confidence to translate complex sustainability trends into strategic business decisions.
  • Sustainability Practitioners Programme: Developing the leadership skills of middle to senior sustainability managers who seek to influence change. This programme provides leadership skills to help build an integrated approach to sustainability across multiple functions within your organisation.
  • Flexible e-learning courses: Available entirely online, anywhere in the world. Our part-time sustainability courses empower individuals and organisations to lead, either with a self-paced course (Sustainability Essentials for Business) or learning with others in a tutor-assisted part-time course (Business Sustainability Management).
  • Our part-time graduate study courses for business professionals and managers are designed to enhance an individual’s ability to lead and influence change for sustainability, whilst also gaining an academic award from the University of Cambridge. 

to discuss your requirements, and find out more about our education programmes.


Our education programmes in the Middle East are designed to support and empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical challenges. 

Download our executive education brochure.

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