Future Leaders

The UK Green Building Council’s Future Leaders programme brings together early-stage professionals from across industry to take part in a unique programme of leadership and innovation.

Our action-focused programme provides a forum for tomorrow’s leaders to grapple with the most critical issues that the sector will face in the future, and challenge participants to work collaboratively to address these.

Applications for the Future Leaders programme are currently closed. If you're interested in taking part in the  cohort due to launch autumn 2018, please complete a registration of interest form below.

Register your interest in Future Leaders

Details of the Programme

To find out more about the benefits of the programme, for both you and your organisation, please see the programme prospectus and programme overview, but you can find an outline below.

Our action-oriented programme for early career professionals working in the built environment:

  • Provides a vehicle for future leaders to grapple with the critical issues that the sector will face
  • Facilitates the development of innovative business models through collaboration
  • Equips future leaders with the leadership skills required for a green economy

To find out more view the video below: 

View the programme overview video

Key themes covered across this programme include:

  • Personal leadership
  • Innovation
  • Business model development
  • Storytelling

The programme runs across a 9 month period and is focused around five key learning events:

  • Two-day residential programme
  • Three innovation labs
  • Final project presentation

The programme is delivered in three main streams:

  • Innovation Teams: Teams of four or five people working to develop a sustainable business model, with each business model being developed through three innovation labs plus guided learning and group work
  • Peer Coaching: A powerful form of peer coaching, delivered via buddy coaching over eight sessions covering leadership topics such as finding creative flow, creating change, creative leadership, decision making etc.
  • Personal Leadership Plan: A bespoke personal leadership plan that sets goals against a series of traits and skills, to be followed over the programme and beyond.

By the end of the programme, Future Leaders' will have formalised their personal leadership plan and presented their business model for comment and critique from our industry leaders:

Future Leaders 2016: Innovation Project Summaries

But the process does not end there: groups from previous cohorts have gone on to develop their concepts further and have secured external funding to take them to the next level. It is by building up this momentum through the programme that we seek to foster the next generation of business leaders.

At the end of the nine months, Future Leaders graduates are invited to join the alumni network - a growing group of like-minded individuals that come together periodically to engage on some of the industry's hot topics and toughest challenges.

The programme comprises 40 CPD hours plus approximately 72 guided learning hours (equivalent to one full working day per month).

Benefits for the Individual

By becoming a UK-GBC Future Leader you will:

  • Fast-track your leadership journey and equip yourself with the skills to lead business in a changing world.
  • Understand the process of innovation, the tools to innovate, and how to best create the conditions for innovation
  • Form innovation teams with peers and learn how to develop business models for transformative change
  • Form lasting links to a powerful community of peers through the Future Leaders Alumni Network ensuring your own leadership journey is well supported beyond the programme
  • Benefit from formalised links with the UK-GBC Leaders’ Network - an exclusive group of senior business executives from across the sector

Benefits for the Organisation

By nominating a Future Leader from your business you can:

  • Develop motivated and passionate leaders who understand the value of sustainability for business

  • Facilitate development of free-thinking individuals with fresh perspectives and ideas, inspired by interaction with peers

  • Equip your future leaders with the tools to make an impact and the drive to champion innovation

  • Instigate an innovation culture within your organisation

Who should take part?

The Future Leaders programme is designed specifically for early-stage professionals (5-15 years experience) working in the built environment. Future Leaders can come from any background from within the built environment sector, and are selected by their enthusiasm to learn, an openness to new ways of thinking, and a desire to challenge current ways of working. It is not by any means a prerequisite to have sustainability in your job title – in fact the diversity of perspectives is crucial to the programme’s success.  

View the list of previous Future Leaders

Programme CollaboratorSwitch On Worldwide

The Future Leaders programme has been developed in collaboration with our delivery partner Switch On Worldwide. Switch On is leadership consultancy - born from a disruptive innovation agency - dedicated to equipping leaders with everything they need to find and seize opportunities for continuous business breakthroughs that create value and drive impact within the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous, Networked and Stressed (VUCANS) world.


Current programme dates 

  • 25-27 January 2017: Residential
  • 25 April 2017: Innovation Lab 1
  • 20 June 2017: Innovation Lab 2
  • 4 July 2017: The Leadership Edge (with the UK-GBC Leaders' Network)
  • 19 September 2017: Innovation Lab 3 & Project Presentations


£3499 UK-GBC members / £4999 non-members

We can offer a bursary place to not-for-profit organisations or SMEs that work at a city-scale. In order to be considered for this place, your organisation must be a UK-GBC member - see our membership section for more details on how to sign up.

    Apply for Future Leaders

    Applications for the 2017 cohort of our successful Future Leaders programme are now closed.

    If you are interested in taking part or putting someone forward for the the 2018 cohort, please complete a registration of interest form below:

    Register your interest in the programme

    The Application Process

    • All applications must receive support from a senior leader in their organisation. Usually, this comes in the form of a nomination, but if you are interested in being considered for the programme, you can seek this support yourself.
    • Once all applications are received, they are put before a review panel for assessment and a decision will be made within 4 weeks of applications closing. As part of the application process, you may be asked to participate in a short telephone interview.
    • We only accept one applicant per organisation.  If you have more than one Future Leader you think would be suitable, please do submit multiple applicants for consideration, although be aware that only one can be accepted. (It may be possible that these delegates could be accepted onto an additional programme should we receive enough high quality applications, though we can make guarantee of this).

    This course has been the most significant thing I have ever done professionally. The course has challenged, inspired, thought provoked and even scared me more than anything I have ever done before. I will always be incredibly grateful to the UKGBC for creating this programme and to my fellow future leaders on the programme who have just been unbelievable in committing everything of themselves to the course. The easy thing would have been to turn up and go through the motions but no one did, they opened themselves up totally to new ways of thinking and communicating and as a consequence have had a profound affect on my thinking that I will look to replicate and build on, not only professionally but personally too.
    Paul Burns, Gentoo and 2015 UK-GBC Future Leader

    Strategic Partners

  • Want to learn and network with others?

    Attend a course or event

    Our wide range of learning and development courses and events allows members to learn, influence and network with like-minded sustainability professionals from across the built environment industry.

    View the calendar