Friday, 20 December 2013

Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange

(Offered by the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) in our London Docklands Campus, 20 credit points at Masters-level, can be part of a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership).

Economic and environmental crises are often in the news, yet social innovation is growing at pace.

Collaborative consumption systems like Airbnb, digital currencies like Bitcoin, local currencies like the Bristol Pound, gifting systems like, and sharing systems like TimeBanks UK, suggest that there could be a new paradigm emerging for how we organise our economic lives in ways that could restore community and the environment. 

The aim of this Certificate of Achievement is for you to understand why and how to create, scale and evaluate digitally-enabled systems of “sustainable exchange”.

Sustainable exchange includes systems for giving, sharing, renting, exchanging, and funding, with or without official money.

We understand that this is the world’s first Masters-level course on digital currencies and the sharing economy, and it is already receiving international press coverage.

The course is taught as a four-day block on the edge of the London Docklands financial centre, with structured online interaction beforehand, and an assessment to study for and write afterwards.
Join us at our London campus
Various online materials are supplied pre and post residential via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).The course involves walking tours in the Docklands on monetary history, visits to relevant initiatives, and guest lectures from leaders in the field.  
Tutors will include Professor Jem Bendell (IFLAS), April Rinne (Collaborative Lab), Adam Werbach (Yerdle), John Rogers (author, People Money), Leander Bindewald (NEF and IFLAS), Brett Scott (author, Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance), Chris Cook (UCL), Will Ruddick (BanglaPesa and IFLAS), Susannah Martin Belmonte (EuroCat) (all TBC) and Matthew Slater (Community Forge).
The first offering is in 2014, but places are limited so apply early to avoid a delay of 6 months for the following iteration. Course fees are £1,111.
If this module is taken standalone, there are no specific entry requirements for this module but you must demonstrate that you are able to study at the appropriate level. 

To apply for the course click here.  If you would like to take this course as part of the new Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership, click here. If you would like to apply for a scholarship then the deadline is January 30th 2014 and details on that are here.

We are currently accepting donations in digital currencies and national currencies to be able to award scholarships for this course. If you would like to support this initiative, please contact Professor Jem Bendell:

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • Critically evaluate the historical evolution of different exchange systems.
  • Critically analyse the variety of sustainable exchange systems and the potential and pitfalls of digitally-enabled sustainable exchange systems
  • Effectively communicate the rationale for sustainable exchange systems to a variety of stakeholders, with a critical understanding of claims made about them
  • Describe and advise on the key factors for designing, developing and managing successful sustainable exchange systems
  • Critically analyse the potential and current impact of any sustainable exchange initiative for its ability to promote sustainable production and consumption

Indicative Module Content:
  • The history of exchange and monetary systems, according to anthropology and contrarian economics.
  • The current monetary systems and its implications for sustainable development
  • The variety of sustainable exchange systems, both new and old, for giving, sharing, renting, exchanging, and funding, with or without official money.
  • The potential and pitfalls of digitally enabled sustainable exchange systems
  • The key factors for designing, developing and managing successful sustainable exchange systems.
  • Evaluation systems for sustainable exchange initiatives.
  • Communication challenges and techniques for sustainable exchange.
  • Practice-based inquiries into sustainable exchange.
For a short TEDx talk introducing this topic, see Professor Bendell’s The Money Myth:

Indicative Bibliography
  • Bendell, J and T. Greco (2013) ‘Currencies of Transition’, in McIntosh (2013) The Necessary Transition, Greenleaf Publishing, UK.
  • Botsman, R and R. Rogers (2010) Beyond Zipcar: Collaborative Consumption, Harvard Business Review, October 2010.
  • Gold, L (2004) The sharing economy: solidarity networks transforming globalisation, Ashgate Pub Ltd, UK.
  • Graeber, D (2011) Debt: The First 5000 Years. Melville House Books.
  • Greco, Jr., Thomas H. (2009) The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2009.
  • Eisenstein, C (2012) Sacred Economics. Evolver Editions, USA.
  • Lietaer, B., M. Kennedy and J. Rogers (2012) People Money: The Promise of Regional Currencies, Triarchy Press.
  • Schroeder, R.F.H., Y. Miyazaki1 and M. Fare (2011) “Community Currency Research: An analysis of the literature”, International Journal of Community Currency Research, Volume 15 (2011) Section A 31-41.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Become a sustainable leadership scholar with a funded place for the Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership

The Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) is accepting applications for the new Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership; aimed at experienced professionals seeking an academic context to explore how to increase their impact. 

The course begins in 2014, and requires two visits to the Lake District, UK, of one week each, and then a module of independent study.  

Through sponsorship by the Robert Kennedy College, there are scholarships for two students to have their £3,333 fees paid. The scholarships are made through a competitive award and are only open to UK or EU nationals only. 

The scholarship provides the opportunity to study in the heart
of the Lake District National Park during two residential weeks.
To apply, complete the following steps before January 30th 2014:

- Write an article of between 700-1200 words that is published on a relevant online website (either through a publisher, an internationally recognised newspaper or a relevant organisation, but not behind a paywall). The article must be on one or more of the topics of the programme: sustainable leadership, experiential learning, the sharing economy or community currency. The article must mention at some point why courses like the PGC in Sustainable Leadership, or its modules (such as the module “Sustainable Exchange”) are important, and link to the course website: The article must be published between December 9th 2013 and January 30th 2014.  The article must indicate that you are the author.

- Tweet the article title and web-link, including the following text within the tweet: See #IFLAS course

-  Consider uploading the article as part of a discussion on the IFLAS Sustainable Leaders Linked In group (accessible via the menu icon at

- Send an email with your CV, a link to the article, and less than 200 words explaining why you want to take the course and why you need your fees to be paid. Email  (do not contact individual judges).

Applicants will be informed of the decision before March 1st 2014. 

Before applying, look at the programme description. Other courses may be more relevant to you, such as our suite of MBAs offered with the Robert Kennedy College, including the largest specialist sustainability MBA, delivered online, with a block residential in the Lake District. 

The Judges
  • Leander Bindewald, New Economics Foundation
  • Richard Little, Impact International
  • Philippa Chapman, Institute for Leadership and Sustainability
  • David Connor, 3BL Media and Just Means
  • Professor David Costa, Robert Kennedy College
  • Dr Audrey Sleight, University of Cumbria
  • Professor Jem Bendell, Institute for Leadership and Sustainability
Please note that individual judges cannot vote for someone they work with, live with or are related to. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Exploring Sustainability - the Inaugural Professorial Lecture by IFLAS director Prof Jem Bendell

IFLAS director Jem Bendell will give his Inaugural Professorial Lecture at Keswick's Words by the Water literary festival on March 14, 2014.

Prof Jem Bendell, director of IFLAS

Prof Bendell has been invited to deliver the prestigious annual Derwentwater Lecture, organised in association with the Keswick Fair World Alliance, and supported by Impact International and the Cumberland Building Society.

The Lecture

How do we know what to do in a world we perceive as unfair, difficult and threatened, yet simultaneously beautiful, inspiring and unfolding?
What can we learn from old and new, local and global, the personal and professional?
What if we are guided by love, not fear?
What if we are more honest with ourselves and each other about what’s not working, and what we really wish for?

Derwentwater forms the magnificent backdrop to the lecture. Photo: Stuart Holmes

A Professor of Sustainability Leadership, and Founding Director of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), Jem Bendell has worked on business and sustainable development for almost 20 years, in business, government and civil society, as well as academia. 

In 2012, the World Economic Forum appointed him a Young Global Leader, in recognition of his work on cross-sector alliances for sustainable development. 

In his academic work he traversed political science, sociology, development studies and management studies, as he saw how ‘disciplines’ restrict creativity and relevance in a world that urgently needs breakthrough ideas for our common good.

In his Inaugural Lecture, Professor Bendell will share insights from this intellectual journey on the causes and solutions to social and environmental degradation. 

He will present insights from his forthcoming book, Healing Capitalism

In particular he will describe how his worldwide, multi-sectoral and trans-disciplinary exploration of the causes and solutions to unsustainability led him to focus on innovations in ways of exchanging and sharing without money. 

A consultant to the United Nations since 1996, in 2013 he co-organised the first UN conference on complementary currencies. 

He is now a leading commentator on that topic, discussing it on Al Jazeera, for the Guardian, and with his TEDx the most-watched online talk on complementary currencies. 

He is developing a research and educational programme on these topics at the institute he founded at the University of Cumbria in the UK.

The Evening

  • 4pm - Arrivals
  • 4.15pm - 5.15pm: Inaugural Professorial and Derwentwater Lecture. On the theme “Exploring Sustainability” (introduction by the University and organisers of the Derwentwater Lecture)
  • 5.30pm - 7pm: Drinks reception, the Circle Gallery, with the University of Cumbria Honorary Fellows as guests of honour (by invitation only)

Tickets and Travel

The Theatre by the Lake, Keswick. Photo: Steve Barber

The lecture takes place at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, at 4pm on Friday, March 14, 2014.

A small number of tickets are available for staff and partners of the University. Minibuses will be travelling to and from Ambleside on the day. For information, email

Other festival talks on the day can be attended at 11am, 12.45pm, 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 8pm. 

More information on buying a ticket for those talks or the Inaugural Lecture will be available on the festival website.

Monday, 28 October 2013

IFLAS open lecture series: Jonathan Robinson - 'Enabling Social Enterprise'

Jonathan Robinson is a social entrepreneur, writer and anthropologist. He is co-founder of The Hub, the place for people with world-changing ideas.

The Hub sought to borrow from the best of a members club, a business incubator, an innovation agency and a think-tank to create a very different kind of institution.

Jonathan Robinson, founder of The Hub

Hubs can be found all over the world, in places as diverse as London, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Mumbai. 

Hundreds of new social enterprises have been created by providing creative and purposeful shared working spaces.

At the University of Cumbria’s campus in Ambleside, a new Cumbria Business Growth Hub & Rural Growth Network is being developed, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme. 

As government agencies and others seek to promote entrepreneurship, often through the creation of such working spaces, what can we learn from what has been successful worldwide in enabling social enterprise?

Jonathan’s free open lecture is the fourteenth public event organised by the new Institute for Leadership and Sustainability ( Register by emailing

The lecture takes place at the Charlotte Mason Building on the University of Cumbria's Ambleside Campus from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, November 12. 

Future events can be viewed on the Institute’s events page.

Friday, 4 October 2013

IFLAS open lecture series: Kresse Wesling - 'Impact Entrepreneurship, Accidentally Fashionable'

Kresse Wesling, co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, will deliver a lecture entitled 'Impact Entrepreneurship, Accidentally Fashionable' as part of the IFLAS open lecture series.
Kresse is an environmental entrepreneur. Love of the environment has infiltrated all aspects of her life. 
The evolution of her career has been about an ever-increasing commitment to planet and people. She builds businesses that both make money and have a positive impact on the environment. 
Her work was recently recognized when she won 2007's Shell Entrepreneurial Woman of the Future Award.
In 2002, Kresse founded Bio-Supplies, an environmental packaging alternatives company. In 2004 she launched this business in the UK. 
Two years later, she started Babaloo, a company that produces a host of ethical and environmental products for parents and babies. 
In 2007 Kresse launched her third business, Elvis and Kresse, which turns industrial waste into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to charities and organisations related to the waste. 
Elvis and Kresse's first line is made from decommissioned fire hose. Half of the profits from this line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.
  • The lecture takes place at the Charlotte Mason Building on the University of Cumbria's Ambleside Campus from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, October 15.
For details of more lectures in the series, visit the IFLAS events page.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Adventures in Sustainability – beginning IFLAS

London is home to many organisations promoting environmental conservation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as a campus of the University of Cumbria. 

Therefore the team of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) travelled to London to celebrate our foundation. 

Our host was the Royal Geographical Society, chosen for its role in the history of adventure and exploration, which are key themes for IFLAS’s approach to leadership and sustainability. A diverse audience of around 300 executives from business, government, academia and the voluntary sector heard a range of speeches that called on us to meet the challenge of sustainability with a new spirit of adventure. 

Our host, RGS Vice President Paul Rose, explained how the Institute approaches “sustainability” as a goal that requires a major change in our way of life. He introduced Ed Gillespie, co-founder of communications advisors Futerra, who shared insights from his travel around the world without flying. Then our senior lecturer Dr Kate Rawles described her adventure in cycling across the USA, talking to locals about climate change. 

Best-selling author of books on wild swimming, Daniel Start, then discussed the value of wilderness in bringing us perspective. 

Professor Jem Bendell addresses delegates
at the Royal Geographical Society

The co-founder of the dance band Faithless then took to the stage to talk about the inner adventure of becoming more honest about our understandings and feelings, as the starting point for action on sustainability. 

The founder of IFLAS, Professor Jem Bendell, then discussed the need for the sustainability professionals to be bolder in their change strategies, so that they relate to the scale of the problems faced.

Lord Hastings concluded the proceedings with congratulations to the University for its bold move to combine leadership and sustainability with a critical yet positive agenda. A video of highlights is available at the top of this page.

The event attracted a range of media attention. Kate, Ed and Jem appeared on the American sustainability show, Sea Change radio. For the Guardian, Daniel wrote about the importance of wilderness in leadership development, Jem wrote about the importance of a spirit of adventure in responding to climate change, and Kate shared more insights from her cycling trip.

Although the Institute was only launched in May 2013, it already runs the world’s largest specialist sustainability MBA programme, with the Robert Kennedy College, attracting students from over 100 countries ( IFLAS has also developed a specialism in sustainable economic innovation, hosting two sold out short courses on complementary currencies, co-writing a World Economic Forum report on the “sharing economy,” co-organising the United Nations first ever conference on complementary currencies, and publishing peer reviewed academic content (“Currencies of Transition” by Bendell and Greco, 2013).

This year, the Institute’s director Professor Jem Bendell has delivered keynote talks on the future of currency in Switzerland (at the UN), Netherlands, China, and the Philippines, and soon in Russia and Australia. He also presented at the head office of BT on experiential learning for leadership development

In September the global management development firm Impact International and IFLAS launched their partnership at the Royal Society of Arts, attended by senior managers in De Beers, Red Cross, and Thomson Reuters, amongst others.

The partnership will roll out a portfolio of short courses in 2014, and a new joint offering for leadership development by engaging stakeholders. More information on that partnership is available at

Also in 2014 IFLAS launches a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership, which targets professionals with some experience in this field, who want to benefit from the University’s 100 year prowess in experiential learning at the Ambleside Campus, to help guide their future vocation.

Active engagement with sustainability professionals is important for us at IFLAS, and we seek this in person via an Open Lecture series with senior executives, and online via our LinkedIn group (with over 600 members).

Monday, 2 September 2013

UN official's open lecture on sustainability of enterprise & investment. Tuesday 1 October 2013, Ambleside

How do countries compare in the ethical and environmental practices of their largest firms? How are stock markets responding to the challenge of climate change, corruption, poverty and human rights abuses? What is the United Nations’ view on the future of voluntary corporate responsibility efforts? How can governments help? What kind of international leadership is needed?

In the first IFLAS open lecture of the academic year, we host a senior United Nations official to address these questions. Dr Anthony Miller is Economic Affairs Officer with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is UNCTAD’s focal point on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and a coordinator of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for signatory stock exchanges to encourage responsible investment Dr Miller served as an expert in the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility and is a regular participant in the ICC and the OECD working groups on CSR. His on-going work includes research projects on corporate governance disclosure in emerging markets, the CSR practices of transnational corporations, and the responsible investment practices of institutional investors. Prior to joining UNCTAD, Dr Miller was an executive in the automotive industry with postings in India, Singapore and China. An American citizen based in Geneva, Dr Miller holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK. He will become the co-chair of the new Advisory Board for the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria. His most recent reports can be found at

The open lecture is on October 1st from 5pm to 7pm,. at the Charlotte Mason Building, Rydal Road, Ambleside. Attendees of the open lecture will include the Institute’s international students that study the MBA in Leadership and Sustainability, offered in partnership with the Robert Kennedy College. Forthcoming open lectures include James Gifford, Founder Director of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (22nd October) and Jonathan Robinson, Founder of The Hub, a global network of social enterprise offices and incubators (12th November). The full programme of open lectures will be announced later this month, and will all be between 5pm and 7pm at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside Campus in the Lake District on: 15th & 22nd October and 12th & 26th November.

There is no charge for these lectures. Register via

Friday, 2 August 2013

Womensphere Europe Summit 2013: Creating the Future -- Europe & The World

At a conference on women’s leadership, IFLAS Director, Professor Jem Bendell, spoke about the role of education in enabling the critical thinking that is necessary for leadership. He explored the relevance of the approach of Charlotte Mason, who founded our Lake District campus in 1892. In the talk he challenges participants to question their assumptions in order to drive change, rather than just "succeed" within existing systems that are damaging people and planet. He reveals one famous activist was home schooled, and what his mother thinks of education.