The Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership (SISL) is an intensive one-week professional development program designed for those taking a leadership role in establishing policy, creating plans and implementing sustainability projects in businesses, colleges, universities, and across all levels of government.
This award-winning program provides you the opportunity to engage in creative thinking about your role as a sustainability leader and the actions your organization can take to move the sustainability agenda forward.
The 2013 Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership is no longer open for registration. The next Summer Institute in Sustainability is tentatively scheduled for July 7-11, 2014. Please bookmark this page and join our email subscription list to receive program updates by email. The information below outlines the 2013 program to give you an indication of the format and topics that may be covered in future institutes.
UBC Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership 2013
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.
Note: Participation in the Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership may be applied toward the UBC Award of Achievement in Sustainability Management (35 hours).
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:
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.
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.
Earlybird registrations received by May 16, 2014: $1,995 CAD
Registrations received after May 16, 2014: $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.
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.
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.
Experiential Guided Field Trips
On-site visits will be made to examine specific sustainability initiatives, both at UBC and in the wider Vancouver community.
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 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
For your reference, the 2013 schedule is provided below. The 2014 Institute will reflect similar themes and speakers; a tentative schedule will be provided in early Spring. Please note that sessions are subject to change based on speaker availability.
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.
Please see the list below of speakers that participated in our 2013 Institute.
Registration for the 2014 Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership will open in early Spring 2014. At that time, you will have the option to register online, by phone, mail, fax, or in-person at our Robson Square or Point Grey campuses. Eligible UBC staff may use the Tuition Fee Benefit to offset the Institute costs.
“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
“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
Download a PDF of the 2013 Summer Institute in Sustainability Leadership flyer.
The Summer Institute in Sustainability was honoured with a 2009 'Outstanding Programming Award' by the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) and a 2010 'Innovative Programming Award' from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE).