Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership

Offered in partnership with the Liu Institute for Global Issues, on behalf of the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program.

Take your organization’s sustainability initiatives to the next level and join us for the Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership. In partnership with the Liu Institute for Global Issues, on behalf of the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program, this summer institute is an intensive professional development program targeted to professionals in business, local and provincial governments, and universities and colleges who are committed to the development of sustainable practices and policies.

This week-long program provides you with an opportunity to engage in creative thinking about your role as a sustainability leader, and to develop the perspectives and practical tools needed to integrate sustainability as a core value in your organization. Learn to develop strategies, plans, and procedures that are mindful of public policy, stakeholder interest, and the interrelationship between people, planet, and profits.

Summer Institute Dates: July 20-24, 2015
Earlybird Discount: Register by June 5 to save $500

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The Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership offers a wide variety of perspectives and practical tools needed to integrate sustainability as a core value in your organization. Participants gain insight into perspectives and strategies that are mindful of public policy, stakeholder interest, and the triple-bottom-line.

Key Benefits:

  • Gain an integrated perspective on sustainability from industry, government and academic experts
  • Explore practical examples of sustainability projects through lectures, presentations and interactive field trips
  • Talk to the people who actually develop and run sustainability initiatives across a range of functional areas from managing green buildings to energy conservation
  • Network with participants from a variety of sectors and geographic locations to support the cross-pollination of ideas, practices and strategies
  • Reflect on your own commitment and leadership style in helping to move your personal and organizational sustainability agenda forward
  • Take part in a premier professional development program within the context of a retreat atmosphere, in order to support the possibility of deeper levels of change and understanding

Who Should Participate?

The Institute is designed to empower directors, managers, coordinators, consultants, and other change-agents in business, government, and universities and colleges who are committed to the development of sustainable practices and policies.

The Institute appeals to several types of professionals:

  • People currently working in sustainability strategy and operations who wish to increase their understanding and further develop their skill set
  • Those new to sustainability who have been tasked to help develop organization-wide sustainability initiatives
  • Individuals working in academic or support units who wish to implement sustainability principles within the organization
  • Consultants who wish to increase their knowledge of sustainability issues while refining their understanding of client needs.

Past institutes have brought together delegates from across the US and Canada, and from as far away as Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Columbia, Kenya, Korea, and Saudi Arabia, providing a diversity of cultural perspectives and an opportunity for participants to learn about sustainability efforts and attitudes from afar.

Details and Fees

Program Fees

Earlybird registrations received by June 5, 2015: $1,995 CAD
Registrations received after June 5, 2015: $2,495 CAD

An additional discount of $500 per registrant applies when two or more individuals register from the same organization. Call 604-822-1420 for details.

Fees are quoted in Canadian funds. Credit card transactions will be processed in Canadian dollars and are subject to current exchange rates.

Fees include full conference access, all study materials, as well as breakfast and lunch throughout the week. Fees do not include airfare/travel, accommodation, or evening meals. Delegates may wish to visit our Resources page to help plan their stay in Vancouver.


If you are coming from outside Vancouver, comfortable and affordable places to stay are available on the UBC Point Grey campus. Visit the UBC Conferences and Accommodation and the Green College websites for details.

Public Transit and Parking Information

If you will be taking transit, transit directions are available for the UBC Point Grey campus and UBC Robson Square. Summer institute participants are eligible to receive a special weekly daytime parking rate (regular rate $14/day) at any UBC parkade located on the Point Grey campus.

Travel Visas

Nationals of some countries may require a temporary resident visa (commonly known as a visitor visa) to travel to Canada. We encourage international registrants who require a visa to register for the course as soon as possible. Upon registration you will be provided with a Confirmation of Registration letter that can be used to support your tourist visa application. We encourage international registrants to make their visa applications early, as visa processing at some centres can take considerable time.


Proceedings for the Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership will be held in the CK Choi Building at 1855 West Mall, UBC Point Grey campus. To view this venue on a campus map, please visit UBC Wayfinding.

The C.K. Choi Building at UBC is widely recognized as one of the Lower Mainland's preeminent sustainable building projects. Developed as a demonstration green building, the building was designed and constructed without any adjustments to its original budget or schedule and has outperformed many of its original building targets. The American Institute of Architects recognized the building as one of its Top Ten Earth Day 2000 Green Buildings.

Note: Guided Field trips and evening social events may take place off-campus. Destinations will be accessible by public transport or transportation will be provided.

Format and Curriculum


Learning activities for the Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership include interactive presentations, panel sessions, case studies, group discussions, field excursions, and opportunities for social learning and networking. See our Curriculum section for more details about each learning format.


The UBC campus provides a unique learning opportunity that combines professional development within a retreat-like setting to help you more fully understand your commitment to sustainability while developing your leadership skills. The intention is to empower you to deliver meaningful change within your community or organization.

Interactive Seminars and Panel Presentations

Participatory seminars and panels are delivered by academic experts and industry professionals specialized in particular areas of sustainability. These sessions offer opportunities to learn about sustainability issues and best practices, while also engaging in discussions with subject-area experts.

Applied Case Studies

Case studies provide practical, real-life examples to contextualize theoretical concepts. Case studies will highlight challenges, strategies and best practices associated with implementing sustainability initiatives into organizational practices.

Guided Field Trips

Visits will be made to examine innovative sustainability initiatives, including a world-class green building and a student-driven model farm that offers a range of learning, research, and community programs on the site which exemplify new paradigms for sustainable communities.

IdeaLink: Guided Networking and Strategizing Session

This mid-week session allows participants the opportunity to address issues that are relevant to them and their organization. Delegates work collaboratively to strategize around particular themes, questions, and challenges.

Optional Networking

Optional evening activities give participants an opportunity to network with other Institute delegates, and to explore The University of British Columbia and the city of Vancouver.

Week at a Glance


Click here for a printable version of the schedule  


Institute speakers come from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, all with extensive experience developing and managing sustainability initiatives. Sessions are designed to be interactive, allowing participants to engage speakers with questions and comments.

Institute Facilitator

Invited Speakers

  • Alex Boston, Principle, Boston Consulting; former Director, Climate and Energy, HB Lanarc Golder
  • Larry Berglund, Author & Consultant, Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Véronik Campbell, Academic Program Manager, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
  • Ann Duffy, President, The Ann Duffy Group
  • Mike HarcourtFormer Mayor of Vancouver and Premier of British Columbia
  • Mark Holland, Vice-President of Development, New Monaco Enterprise Corporation
  • Brian Nattrass, Author; Sustainability advisor to leading corporations and government agencies.
  • Mary, Nattrass, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Sustainability Partners Inc.
  • Bob Purdy, Director, External Relations and Corporate Development, Fraser Basin Council
  • Moura Quayle, Professor, UBC Sauder School of Business
  • William Rees, Ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning
  • John Robinson, Associate Provost, Sustainability, UBC; UBC Professor, IRES & Geography
  • Staffan Rydin, CEO, The Integral Business Leadership Group
  • Esther Speck, Sustainable Business Advisor; Former Sustainability Director, Mountain Equipment Coop.
  • Coro Strandberg, Principal, Strandberg Consulting
  • Victoria Wakefield, Purchasing Manager, UBC Student Housing, Hospitality and Food Services
  • Steve Williams, President, Constructive Public Engagement; former Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, SAP
How to Register

Online Registration

Register online via our secure server using your Visa or MasterCard. To guarantee registration, please ensure that your credit card can accept this charge. Please note that you will be required to create an online profile in our registration system before your registration can be processed. You may need to quote course code SI200S15A.

Other Ways to Register

If you'd prefer not to register online, you may register via phone, fax, mail or in-person. You may need to quote course code SI200S15A.

Registration for UBC Staff

Eligible UBC staff may use the Tuition Fee Benefit to offset the Institute costs. Please visit the UBC Finance Tuition Fee Benefit web page for information on eligibility and instructions on how to use your tuition fee benefit to enjoy UBC Continuing Studies courses.

Staff must submit their Tuition Fee Benefit before registering for the program; those who register for a course prior to submitting their Tuition Fee Benefit will not be reimbursed when the approved Tuition Fee Benefit is received. It is recommended you apply for a Tuition Fee Benefit well in advance of the course start date.

Confirmation Letters

After processing your registration, we will send you an email confirmation letter with course details. If you have not received your email confirmation letter within three business days of registering please contact us.

Cancellation Policies

Special cancellation policies apply for summer intensive programs. For details, please see the UBC Continuing Studies Policies page.

Special Offers and Events

As our way of saying thank you for joining us this summer, UBC Continuing Studies is organizing a number of special events and offers exclusively for Summer Institute participants.

UBC alumni who take a UBC Continuing Studies Summer Institute are eligible for additional exclusive alumni offers and events.

Past Participant Feedback

“The Institute facilitation was superb. Dagmar displayed a great combination of attributes: knowledge and passion for the subject matter, strong process and facilitation skills, and wonderful and respectful interpersonal skills.”
John Foster, Manager, Community Social Development, City of Richmond
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

“I’ve been involved in sustainability education and environmental citizenship for six years and this week has been amazingly valuable! If I could summarize the week, it’s been all about connecting the dots. Eye-opening! Informative! Inspiring!”
Larry White, Academic Chair, Seneca College
King City, Ontario, Canada

“This Institute exceeded expectations on every level. The program content offers integrated, interdisciplinary strategies and understandings. I am leaving with a comprehensive arsenal of frameworks, strategies, principles and vision.”
Alasdair MacKinnon, Director of Energy Management and Sustainability, Surrey School District
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

“An engaging, educational, inspiring course with excellent content and second-to-none speakers. A must for all involved in the sustainability field – and for those who are not!”
Nikie Lloyd, Executive Assistant, Deloitte
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

"I needed a booster shot and got it in double dose! Every speaker gave me something to bring back to my organization. I plan on passing on links and connections to my colleagues.
Dominique Laroche, Faculty Associate & Director of Facilities, Arizona State University
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

"The week was inspiring, energizing and motivating. Best practices and real-life examples from speakers and program participants was invaluable. I now have a stronger, more solid foundation in my set of tools to deploy to try and make a difference."
Anne Louise Aboud, Management Consultant
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Highlights included the diversity of participants, the professionalism of the support staff, the quality of the presenters, and the opportunities to share experiences."
Travis Sinckler, Senior Environment Officer, Government of Barbados
Bridgetown, Barbados

“The speakers were excellent, the materials helpful, the venue lovely, the food delicious, the networking efficacious, and the collegiality enviable."
Stuart Noble-Goodman, Dean, School of Business, University of Redlands
Redlands, California, USA

“Thank you so much for organizing such a complex and insightful program. The phenomenal conversations, mind-opening topics and inspirational peer-group all contributed to the best professional development experience I have ever had."
Lisa Dockman, Program Lead, Outreach and Engagement, Office of Sustainability, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

“The diverse backgrounds and experience of the speakers was amazing. The SISL is a unique opportunity to interact with colleagues and subject matter experts on advancing sustainability. You have given me a lot to think about - I can't wait to act on what I've learned."
Alyssa Carson, Environmental Programs and Compliance Specialist, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada