What We Do

Cumberland Lodge has been challenging silo thinking and providing a safe space for ‘unsafe’ discussions since 1947.

We are a registered charity with the vision of more peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. Our founder, Amy Buller, envisioned a place where people would “examine the fundamental assumptions” behind important societal issues, and that remains at the heart of what we do.

We tackle social divisions by equipping and inspiring people to learn from one another and engage in constructive dialogue, including leaders and influencers, students and practitioners.

To encourage open debate and free speaking, many of our events are held under the Chatham House Rule. Find out what this means in practice, here.

Our facilities are available to hire for residential and non-residential conferences, meetings and special events, which helps to support our educational activities. Find out more about venue hire here.

Inspiring and connecting leaders and influencers

Cumberland Lodge breaks down boundaries to inclusive dialogue by bringing together leaders and influencers with different backgrounds and perspectives. We inspire leaders, influencers and future leaders to think critically and to engage with the causes of social divisions, through:

  • Cumberland Lodge Lecture - our flagship annual lecture on a social or ethical topic of national importance
  • Cumberland Conferences - an annual programme of inter-disciplinary, residential conferences delivered in a round-table format
  • Cumberland Seminars - small group seminars over dinner at the Lodge, to engage with policymakers and influencers
  • London Seminars - taking learning and recommendations from our Cumberland Conferences directly to policymakers and influencers in London
  • Visiting Fellowship programme to involve people of influence in our work, as ambassadors and advisors. Meet our Visiting Fellows here.

By bringing together opinion formers and influencers, parliamentarians and civil servants, senior academics, professionals, think tanks, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), community leaders and business leaders, we are proactively addressing some of the most pressing issues facing society today.

Find out  about our forthcoming conferences and events here.

Supporting and equipping students

Since its inception, Cumberland Lodge has been providing transformative experiences for people from all walks of life, from around the world.

We mentor and support students of all ages, from school children to doctoral students and early career researchers, and we will increasingly also work with professionals and community practitioners, to equip them with the understanding, skills and motivation to engage in constructive dialogue and work towards a more peaceful, tolerant and inclusive future. We also have a particular interest in supporting vulnerable students, for example through a new partnership with the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) charity.

We do this through:

Find out more about how we support students here.

An inclusive environment

Cumberland Lodge prides itself on being an inclusive, safe space for the peaceful exchange of conflicting views. Many of our events are 'fusion events' that bring together students, practitioners, leaders and influencers, to address the root causes and effects of social divisions.

We give people the opportunity to hear from leading thinkers and policy makers and to engage with people from different professional and academic backgrounds and different insights and experiences.

From a practical point of view, we go out of our way to make sure that our guests are as comfortable as possible and feel very much at home while they are with us. A copy of our Accessibility statement is available to download from this page.

Community outreach

We also organise free cultural and educational events for the wider community, including Cumberland Conversations, literary events run in partnership with the Windsor Festival, study retreats, art exhibitions and public lectures. Find out about our forthcoming events here.

Summary of activities

Our Annual Report 2015-16 and full financial statements for the year ending 31 August 2016 are available to download from this page.