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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

CISL Conversations 

Hear from global professionals tackling real-world sustainability challenges across business, policy and finance. CISL Conversations brings you thought leadership from across industries, sectors, and continents. We explore best practices, systemic risks, strategic insights, and the latest research.

Our Non-Executive Board Director Programme offers a unique opportunity for directors to explore social and environmental challenges with local and global authorities. You can apply here for a final place in our Melbourne cohort (26-27 February 2023).

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Our goal? To help you unlock transformative change for people, nature and climate and deliver a better future.

CISL Conversations launches with our exclusive mini-series: The Future of Boards.


Introducing the Series

As a companion piece to CISL’s blog series on Board Leadership and Governance, Professor Richard Calland – who leads our work with boards – introduces a series of interviews exploring a full range of current issues and challenges with board directors and experts in the arena of board leadership and governance. 



Commercial resilience in a time of crisis

In the first podcast, going live 19 January, Richard speaks with Maria Hjorth, who sits on the boards of six companies in Denmark. She has clear views on the changing role of boards at this moment of global crisis, sharing our view that it is vital for the future commercial resilience of companies that their boards step up and provide strong leadership on how to resolve the acute dilemmas that the CEO and executive management face. 

Listen on: Amazon Music | Google Podcasts | RadioPublic | Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts coming soon 


Business as usual is dead: rethinking boardroom leadership

In the second podcast, going live 23 January, CISL Fellow and former President of the Board of Alstrom Power Philippe Joubert shares his experience of sitting on boards across the globe, in the context of his regular message – that Business as Usual is Dead – a shift in paradigm that has profound implications for how boards think about their legal duties and organise themselves to provide the leadership needed.

Listen on: Amazon Music | Google Podcasts | RadioPublic | Spotify | Stitcher | Apple Podcasts coming soon 



Why are regulations a boardroom issue?

In the third podcast, going live 30 January, CISL Fellow Dr Victoria Hurth – whose expertise spans marketing and sustainability but who is passionate about the binding role that governance plays in linking organizational purpose with commercial strategy – explains how the ISO37000 standard was developed (she played a leading role) and what it means for board directors who are serious about raising their game in the light of the mounting global poly-crisis confronting humanity.



Diversifying your board for a VUCA world

In the fourth podcast, going live 6 February, Patrick O’Sullivan, the former chair of South African multinational insurance house Old Mutual, discusses the role that the Chair plays, as well as the complex subject of diversity in the composition of the board, and how significant it is for any board that wants to be able to understand, grasp and navigate the VUCA world in which business must now operate.


Subscribe on: Amazon Music | RadioPublic | Spotify | RSS Feed | Stitcher | Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and other platforms coming soon.

The Future of Boards


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL or The University of Cambridge.