International student conference delegates in a break-out session at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park

At Cumberland Lodge we have a unique way of equipping and inspiring people to engage in constructive dialogue and debate on the causes and effects of social divisions.

We specialise in breaking down boundaries to inclusive dialogue, by embracing 'difficult conversations' and working with people from all sectors, academic disciplines, generations, faiths, perspectives and political affiliations.

Our facilitators support the people we work with to 'disagree well', through the open exchange of views in an inclusive environment.

Our annual series and educational programmes are designed to:

  • Inspire and connect leaders and people of influence to think critically about pressing social and ethical issues and to explore practical, policy-focused opportunities for change
  • Support and equip students and young people with the skills and motivation to promote social progress in their life and work.

Whenever possible, we bring together leaders and influencers with students and young people, to facilitate an intergenerational exchange of views and mutual learning. This 'fusion' approach has been at the heart of our work since our establishment in 1947.

Influencing policy

We have a unique, trifold approach to disseminating key learning points from our roundtable Cumberland Conferences to policymakers, parliamentarians and people of influence, with a view to influencing policy at the highest level.

Our conferences are followed up with smaller, more policy-focused Cumberland Consultations, where specialists in the field delve more deeply into the best practice and creative insights highlighted by our conferences.

This process of refinement and more nuanced debate allows us to ultimately take actionable findings and practical recommendations directly to Westminster, through our Westminster Seminars.

Where possible, our post-conference reports are also shared with relevant All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) and committees in Westminster, to aid decision-making and further influence policy.

Leaders and influencers at a Cumberland Lodge conference

Public engagement

Learning outcomes, creative ideas and practical recommendations from our annual series and educational programme are disseminated to the wider public in briefing documents, post-conference reports and printed publications, as well as through guest blogs, podcasts and other audio-visual materials. 

These resources can be found on our Learning Resources & Publications webpages, in our regular e-newsletters, or by following us on social media.

Cumberland Lodge Scholar speaking at a conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park

Open exchange of views

Attendance at some of our events is by invitation only, because physical space is limited and we need to ensure a balanced and diverse representation of backgrounds and perspectives. This diversity is important for enhancing the quality of dialogue and debate, but we actively welcome all enquiries about attending.

Some of the sessions in our event programmes are held under the Chatham House Rule, to encourage openness and free speech.