Centre for Responsible Leadership

The Centre for Responsible Leadership at Imperial College Business School helps businesses redefine their approach to leadership.

Drawing on academic theory and business practice, the centre focuses on generating meaningful change in businesses and organisations through evidence-based research that addresses the key economic, social, environmental and technological challenges facing organisations today. We help businesses and organisations to identify practices that will improve their approach to leadership and boost overall performance.

Why do we need responsible leadership?

Over the first quarter of the 21st century, our world has become increasingly global, complex, and digital. It is also facing unprecedented and novel threats, such as the COVID pandemic and, increasingly, climate peril. In addition, we are confronted with threats we have seen before, but that are re-emerging in new forms, such as the recent escalation in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, invasion of Ukraine and the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, or various disinformation campaigns that undermine consensus about what is true, or even the meaning of truth. As we advance through 2024, energy costs are soaring, supply chains are vulnerable, and markets are faltering.

Leading effectively through these turbulent times requires truly responsible leaders and for these principles of leadership to be incorporated into their business models. Leaders need to respond to challenges such as mitigating environmental damage, economic and geopolitical realignment, and provide opportunities to increase equality, diversity and inclusiveness in their employment practices. It is critical that organisations leverage opportunities made available by digital transformation, and create a sense of social purpose beyond profit.

What is responsible leadership?

The Centre for Responsible Leadership defines responsible leaders as those who:

  • Have a strong and abiding moral centre, an expansive circle of moral regard, and skill at managing the moral complexities of contemporary professional life;
  • Are truly self-aware about who they are and the ways in which they can contribute positively to the teams and organizations they lead;
  • Have those whom they serve at the heart of their focus, rather than themselves;
  • Encourage, truly listen to, and integrate diverse perspectives from multiple stakeholders;
  • Make decisions with the long term in mind, prioritising sustainability and the future viability and thriving of the planet

Responsible: The Podcast

Professor Celia Moore invites leaders to share insights from their experience of transforming organisations and making societal impact


Imperial Many Minds podcast

Professor Celia Moore and alumnus Avni Vij discuss how flexible working can work for women, and discuss how gender expectations still prevalent in the workplace affect their success.

Partnership with Citi

Imperial College London will be partnering with Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) on this important initiative. Content and results will be used across Citi and its wider stakeholder community, as well as being made available to leaders in financial services and across industry and governments. Imperial College Business School will also offer relevant Executive Education programmes. 


"We are delighted to be collaborating with Imperial College Business School on this exciting and vitally important initiative. Our experience of the financial crisis has provided us with valuable lessons for how firms can survive a major crisis by adopting a more ethical approach to leadership. It also helps contribute to the broader ESG agenda, which is of increasing importance for all organisations. We look forward to sharing our insights and drawing on Imperial’s research excellence to come up with solutions for our global network of clients and partners who are seeking to transform leadership within their organisations."
Naveed Sultan
Chairman, Institutional Clients Group, Citi