skip to content

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

22 April 2024 - In response to the challenges faced by society and those in positions of leadership, CISL convened a multi-sectoral Global Leadership Summit in February 2024.

It brought together leaders from a broad range of sectors internationally for open, challenging and necessary dialogue.

Through discussions ranging across geopolitics, global governance, domestic politics, economics, finance and technology, the Summit sought to answer the question: what leadership is needed now, and from whom? This report provides a summary of the main insights from the Summit (conducted under the Chatham House Rule), all of which offer hope for the way forward.

Download the report

Read the report recommendations

The context

Responsible, effective leadership is never easy. But the challenges facing today’s leaders are of a different order than generations past. Crises no longer present themselves in isolation, but as part of an interconnected and hugely complex web of crises.

As well as lacking clear pathways to a sustainable future, leaders face a barrage of market, political and media pressures, together with high geopolitical and social instability and exponential tech-driven change.

There will be no quick or easy fixes. Global Leadership in the Age of Turbulence report considers this background and explores the tough and courageous decisions needed from leaders to inspire and empower action at scale.

While the stakes could not be higher, with such leadership at the helm, achieving monumental change remains very much possible. 

Citing this report:

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). (2024). Global Leadership in the Age of Turbulence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.


Over the coming year, CISL will be launching new insights and events series focused on global leadership and international collaboration. To stay up to date with the latest thinking sign up to updates.



Published: April 2024

Authors and acknowledgements

Authors: Lindsay Hooper, Eliot Whittington, James Cole, Professor Richard Calland, Professor Shruti Kapila, Adele Williams, Dr Nina Seega, Ursula Woodburn, Sibusiso Nkomo, Charlie Thompson, Oliver Balch.

Acknowledgements: Chandran Nair, Steve Howard, Bianca Pitt, Jon Alexander, Sandrine Dixson–Declѐve, Lord Jonny Oates, Martin Schaefer, Lucy Shea, Paul Gilding, Dr Kirsten Dunlop, Dominic Vergine, Professor Deborah Prentice, Dame Polly Courtice, Sir David King, Jon Alexander, Dr Matthew Agarwala, Phumzile Van Damme, Rongrong Huo, Stefan Raubenheimer, Anja Wehler-Schöck, Malcom Grey, Bernice Lee OBE, Michael Sheren, Professor Rob Miller, Professor Helen Thompson, Professor Bill Hurst, Dr Stephen Cave, Jie Zhou, Laura Cochrane-Davies, Bianca Drotleff, Maisie Ormrod, Tom Yorke, Han Hutton, Katie Fuller, Nicole Gray, Adam Mortaro, Camilla Pederiva, Dr Louise Drake, Ben Kellard, Beverley Cornaby, Zoe Kalus, Mona El Zoghbi, Fleur Ovenden, Chris Loades.



The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL or any of its individual business partners or clients.


Copyright © 2024 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Some rights reserved. The material featured in this publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)