Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


Alison met and collaborated with CISL in Durban at COP 17. She has lectured for them and supervised two CISL students.

The CISL Mission

"Our mission is to deepen leaders’ understanding of the social, environmental and economic context in which they operate and help them to respond in ways that benefit their organisations and society as a whole."

Who are they?

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is an institution within the School of Technology of the University of Cambridge and is dedicated to working with leaders from business, government and civil society on the critical global challenges of the 21st century. CISL contributes to the University’s mission and leadership position in the field of sustainability via a mix of executive programmes and leadership groups, informed by world-class thinking and research from the University of Cambridge and other partners.

Dr Alison Cooke was involved as a supervisor for this institution from 2010-2013.

What do they do?

"CISL’s expertise lies in convening groups of leaders to help them understand and respond to the most significant challenges facing their organisations and the world today. We do this in different ways to suit the preferences of these leaders and their organisations."

Executive education

CISL’s executive education programmes provide leaders with insight and understanding into global problems such as climate change, water scarcity and food security. Over 6,000 senior executives have undertaken these programmes in Cambridge, Brussels, Cape Town, Melbourne and Atlanta, or in-company for customised programmes. CISL’s Master’s level accredited programmes offer participants the time to reflect on these issues and to test new ideas back in the workplace.

Leaders groups

CISL’s leadership groups help senior practitioners identify opportunities and overcome barriers to bringing about sustainability, within their organisations, industries and the wider policy and political environment. They set the standard for sustainable business worldwide, within three themes: Climate, Natural Capital and Finance.


CISL’s alumni Network of leaders (the Cambridge Sustainability Network) brings together many of the most influential leaders in the world who share an interest in and a commitment to creating a sustainable future. The Network provides a source of resources and networking opportunities.

Where are they?

They operate from offices in Cambridge, Brussels and Cape Town. See this link for more details.

More Info

For more information, please click here.