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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


Course start dates

  • 4 September 2024




Online, tutor-assisted


8 weeks online, 8–10 hours per week


View course price

CISL's courses are delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. This link will take you to the GetSmarter Website.



About the course

CISL's online course Governance for a Sustainable Future equips you with the knowledge of good governance principles and frameworks that can be applied to align your business with a sustainable future.

It aims to demonstrate on the essential role of good corporate governance in creating effective strategies underpinned by informed decision-making. It invites you to examine various real-world case studies, and to analyse the current unsustainable challenges caused by failing governance practices. You will investigate how resulting impacts and risks can affect business outcomes and negate any short-term successes. 

Through this course, you will gain the skills to respond to regulatory and stakeholder pressures faced by global organisations and learn to drive transformative change. You will understand governance as a system accountable for enacting the corporation's purpose. Frameworks you will engage with include ISO 37 000, CISL’s business transformation framework, and CISL's leadership for a sustainable future framework. Understanding these frameworks will enable you to outline what is needed to adopt a purpose-driven approach to business that positions stakeholders at the centre of decision-making.

The Governance for a Sustainable Future 8-week online course begins by delving into the failings of business-as-usual governance. It requires you to engage with the fundamental question of business' role in driving towards a sustainable future and examine why good governance is critical to achieving this. It requires you to investigate the challenges associated with pursuing sustainability, risk management, and reporting strategies in siloes. You will learn to examine your business context, identifying what current practices and strategies limit your business' alignment with a sustainable future and opportunities for transformative change. Finally, you will develop a leadership action plan to enhance your business's efficiency and ensure a sustainable relationship with the environmental and social systems that your business relies on. You will collaborate with your fellow students to strengthen this plan.


Who should take this course?

Businesses are under increasing pressure from stakeholders and consumers to fulfil their responsibility to positively contribute to the health of the environmental and social systems they impact and depend on. With voluntary and mandatory reporting requirements increasing the responsibilities of global businesses, this course empowers professionals from all areas of the business – including the Board, finance, legal and marketing – to rise to new challenges and become catalysts for change. Those in functional, management and executive positions will learn to influence how your business makes decisions and take a proactive approach to meet the demands of a changing operating landscape.


Why is this course important?

This course is essential because good governance can unleash transformative change by setting ambitious direction and creating a framework and strategy to achieve it. With a focus on the culture required to support transformation, good governance will help to ensure sustainability-aligned decision-making is the norm across the business.

Gain valuable and relevant skills, and walk away with:

  • An understanding of why good governance is essential for successful organisations and a sustainable world.
  • Knowledge of how purpose-driven governance aligns decisions with a sustainable future.
  • The tools needed to develop good governance practices within your sphere of influence.
  • A leadership action plan to integrate good governance principles in your work and organisation.


Find out more about our tutor-guided online course, Governance for a Sustainable Future.


Learn to lead in a changing world

This short online course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter.

Join over 24,000 students globally who have already benefited from the opportunity to:

  • Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from a top-tier university, entirely online and in your own time.  
  • Enjoy a personalised, people-mediated online learning experience that consistently achieves over 90 per cent course certification rate.
  • Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones.


Learn how to integrate governance and sustainability

Module 1: The role of governance in a rapidly changing context

Module 2: Unsustainable governance under pressure

Module 3: Challenges of current ESG strategies, risk management and reporting frameworks

Module 4: Transitioning to an interconnected view of governance for business and society

Module 5: Integrating good governance and sustainability into the core of business

Module 6: Governance leadership and collaboration

Module 7: Developing an action plan to enact the purpose of your organisation

Module 8: Collaborating for a sustainable future


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Delivered in Collaboration with GetSmarter

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is collaborating with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc., to provide an interactive and supported online learning experience.

Enter your information below to learn more about the Cambridge Governance for a Sustainable Future online short course, including receiving the course prospectus from GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc.


Get more information


CISL’s online courses are delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. These links will take you to the Get Smarter website.