ESG Leaders

Who have been/are the great corporate ESG leaders?

Why and what made them do it?

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The challenge we face in navigating to new, sustainable ways of living and working isn’t only a technical one, but a human one.

Of course, as humans, it is natural to seek to protect our own interests and those of our families and communities. Organisations will seek to protect their own interests and those of the stakeholders on whom they depend. Although instincts may default to protectionism, seeking to defend and protect the status quo and seeing salvation in boundaries, walls and channels, it is increasingly clear that these offer no long-term defence against inevitable system shocks and transformations. COVID has brought into sharp focus the systemic and interconnected nature of our existence and survival. Our collective destinies are tied together in the long term with the opportunity to thrive if we succeed in addressing climate change, protecting nature and creating inclusive societies.

In short, the key question for leaders across society is how to catalyse a global paradigm shift within the next decade?

We need leaders and leadership that are able to take a long- term perspective, working across short, medium and long-term time horizons, to get us from where we are now, to this new paradigm. Leaders who are purposeful and visionary and have the ability to engage with people and technology and create a road map through complexity and ambiguity to deliver an economy that works for all. Who can pioneer new ways of creating financial value that ultimately deliver long-term wellbeing for people and planet.

  • Does this demand a new kind of leadership or simply traditional ‘good leadership’ applied to new challenges?
  • What kind of leadership will be needed to deliver this transformation?
  • What dimensions of leadership will need even greater emphasis than was needed in the past?

This is an extract of the January 2022 blog post by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Director of Leadership Programmes, Gillian Secrett.

Who should attend

  • Governing body , Board and nomination committee members
  • CEOs and executives
  • Company secretaries
  • Governance officers
  • Sustainability officers
  • Executive education practitioners
  • Training officers
  • HR practitioners

What you will learn

forewarned is forearmed

This webinar is intended to equip attendees with the abilities to explain the traits required of leaders for sustainable development and understand the obstacles for such leaders in today’s global context.

Join this webinar to learn how to:

  • Explain the traits required of leaders for sustainable development
  • Understand the obstacles for such leaders in today’s global context

Useful reading will follow

Kindly sponsored by:

About The ESG Africa Conference 

This conference promises to be an inspiring and informative event for anyone interested in sustainability and responsible investment in Africa. Featuring prominent speakers from across the continent, the conference will explore the latest trends and best practices in environmental, social, and governance (ESG), as well as the challenges and opportunities facing African economies in the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions, network with industry leaders, and learn about cutting-edge ESG strategies. With its focus on promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth, the ESG Africa Conference is a must-attend event for anyone committed to making a positive impact in Africa and beyond.

Expert Guests

Alex Hetherington

Sustainability strategist | ESG investor |Climate scenario analyst
TCFD reporter | Third Line Group | Carbon Calculated | TonneZero

Member of the Advisory Committee

Alex Hetherington is a seasoned corporate sustainability professional with 25-years’ experience in carbon accounting, climate scenario analysis and investor insight into market-related climate risks and opportunities. He has worked with clients in Africa, USA, UK, Europe, Middle East and Australia.


Originally trained as a journalist, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Politics from the University of Cape Town (1993), Alex took a MSc in Environmental Management from Imperial College, London (2004), and recently completed a CPA in Sustainable Finance and Investment from Columbia University in the city of New York (2021).

Having established himself as an early pioneer in corporate sustainability strategy, Alex co-founded Carbon
Calculated, a carbon management and climate change consultancy, which has worked with over thirty companies and brands across multiple geographies. He currently consults on investor understanding of climate risk and response.

Jane Diplock

Professional international company director

Member of the Governing Council

Jane Diplock AO is an international professional director. She has has extensive governance experience on Boards of listed, unlisted, not for profit and private companies. She has significant regulatory, standard setting, digitisation and sustainability experience. Formerly, Jane was Chair of IOSCO, International Organisation of Securities Commissions for 7 years and Chairman of New Zealand Securities Commission for 9 years.


Jane’s qualifications include:

  • BA(Hons), Dip Ed, LLB (Sydney University)
  • Dip Int. Law, Int. Economics, Int. Relations (ANU)
  • Chevening Fellow (LSE)

Currently Jane fulfils the following positions:

Former Roles include:

  • Member Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) (Retired)
  • Deputy Chair and Lead Independent Director, International Integrated Reporting Council Board ( Retired)
  • Member International Advisory Board of SEBI the Indian Securities Market Regulator (Retired)
  • Member International Advisory Committee CSRC China (Retired)


Specialties: Her experience over the past 10 years has focussed on governance and standard setting at global and national levels, capital markets, sustainability and digitisation. She has particular focus and experience in Asia through her roles on Singapore Exchange Limited and Advisory Boards in China India on capital markets.

Mark Drewell

CEO of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative

Mark Drewell is a thought leader and practitioner of global systemic change. He is the CEO of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, a worldwide partnership of companies and business schools taking action to develop the next generation of globally responsible leaders and Chairman of the Swedish-based World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child Foundation.

His is a past board member of San Francisco headquartered 14 000-member International Association of Business Communicators; senior associate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of South Africa’s Centre for Corporate Citizenship and Chairman of Africa’s largest indigenous environmental NGO, the Endangered Wildlife Trust. 

Born in the UK, he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University then started his business career in mining finance in the City of London.

Wendy Poulton

Risk, strategy and people integrator

Wendy is currently the director of Strategic Mindsets a company specialising in strategy and risk consulting and coaching. Before that she was General Manager Organisational Strategy at Eskom and her main area of technical expertise is in the energy field where she has worked for more than 30 years. Wendy has held various roles in Eskom in R&D, environment, sustainable development, climate change, safety and strategy and risk.

Wendy is a Secretary General of the South African National Energy Association and the Secretariat of the Energy and Green Economy Working Group of the South African BRICS Business Council.

Wendy holds an MSc from the University of Pretoria, has completed the Management Advancement Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand Business School and the Global Executive Development Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. In addition, she has a Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from Oxford University Said Business School and is a qualified coach.

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