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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


We create high impact leaders of tomorrow. 

We work with global businesses to deliver customised and open programmes that help individuals and teams deliver results at the scale and pace required by their organisations and society. Whether you need a high-level learning design partner to support with needs analysis, or to integrate best practice into your existing L&D delivery, we have the passion, expertise and rigour to help you be successful. From strategic board interventions to multi-year programmes that blend online, face-to-face and experiential learning, our programmes help companies lead for a sustainable future.


How we support organisations

Delivering Board programmes to enable leadership from the top

We work with Boards to increase capacity and organisational response with tailored programmes that are designed to deliver business outcomes. This can include capability building and provocation sessions that stimulate new thinking. 


We ran a half-day briefing for the Board of the British Army to help them to understand how the threat of climate change will manifest itself in relation to its operations. The engagement focused on driving consensus, ambition and commitment across the Board to inform a strategic response to climate change for the organisation. Read more about this programme.

Developing purpose-led organisations

At the heart of our work is enabling businesses to align their purpose with the achievement of positive outcomes for society. We help companies to address how to identify and integrate purpose into strategy, culture and decision-making. Often the focus is on engaging multiple cohorts of senior leaders across business units and geographies, developing their capability to lead ambitious change in line with business purpose.  


For a global mining company, we are engaging 100s of leaders across the business to help them to understand their contribution to the business’s strategy in order to create long term value for all stakeholders. Our engagement is focused on equipping them with the capabilities to innovate and influence change across complex systems. Read more about this programme.

Co-designing learning programmes

We help organisations enhance their leadership development programmes. We work collaboratively with internal learning and development teams, internal client stakeholders, external providers and subject matter experts to deliver the optimal learning outcomes for clients. 


We are working with supporting an alliance of partners to design a learning intervention for the top 200 leaders at a  global pharmaceutical firm. This work, led by the ’s L&D team, aims to equip learners with the curiosity to engage with the external context, the confidence to examine the business from different perspectives and the personal leadership capability to drive change.  

Strengthening collaboration and co-creation skills

We develop leaders who can catalyse collaboration, not just within their own organisation but with other organisations, to lead systemic change by co-creating solutions and identifying targeted interventions.


Our programme for senior women leaders in the United Arab Emirates was specifically focused on building their capabilities to serve as effective ambassadors for the organisation and to build powerful collaborations with external stakeholders. 

Analysing leadership development needs and programme evaluation

We conduct needs analysis, programme evaluations and advise on the types of approach that will most effectively deliver the leadership that is required.  


For a global bank we have undertaken a comprehensive learning needs analysis to identify the knowledge and capabilities that are needed at all levels to deliver on their responsible business strategy. This included recommending specific interventions to meet each need, including opportunities to integrate into existing leadership programmes and interventions by third parties.

Leadership coaching and support for personal leadership

We deepen the benefits of group programmes with reflective work with individuals to enable them to enhance their self-awareness and leadership effectiveness. This enables leaders to combine ‘big picture’ thinking about the whole system with clarity of personal purpose and enhanced leadership practice. It enables leaders to optimise their personal influence and impact to achieve ambitious change.  Our group programmes include one-on-one executive coaching, peer-coaching, reflective assignments and development of personal practice frameworks or personal leadership action plans. 


We are working with the next generation of a family office to help them build their storytelling repertoire so that they can effectively talk with other family members about sustainability and how being proactive can deliver commercial value for their business 


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