Our renowned conference series forms the backbone of our annual programme, which empowers people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division.
We convene four, high-profile residential conferences per year, bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives to engage in open and candid conversations in an inclusive environment.
These are part of our themed annual series of conferences, panel debates and retreats, which run from September to August in line with the academic year. Our 2019-20 series is on the theme of Inclusion & Opportunity.
Recent Cumberland Conferences have covered topics ranging from extremism, hate crime, modern slavery and violence against women, to the impacts of 'difficult histories' on identities and belonging, the changing world of work, race and identity in Britain today, and ethnic inequalities at work.
Challenging silo thinking
By convening multi-sector, interdisciplinary conferences, we aim to break down silo thinking and incubate fresh ideas that promote progress towards more peaceful, open and inclusive societies.
Our conference delegates include students and academics, parliamentarians and policymakers, community leaders and practitioners, faith leaders, professionals, third sector representatives, heads of organisations, business leaders, journalists, parliamentarians, and more.
Young people are actively involved in all our conferences, to encourage intergenerational exchange and mutual learning, and to help nurture the change-makers and leaders of the future.
Speaker-delegates engage with one another through presentations, round-table discussions, question-and-answer sessions, breakout sessions, and other group activities, as well as over meals and in the evenings.
We provide comfortable, overnight accommodation and meals, and full conference attendance is supported by our charitable funds. We also offer a limited number of bursaries for travel expenses to and from Cumberland Lodge, to help postgraduate students with limited financial means to attend.
Open exchange of views
Some of the sessions within our conferences are held under the Chatham House Rule, to help facilitate open and honest debate and discussion. Participants are free to use the information they gather, but the identities and affiliations of the speakers or participants will not be revealed outside of the room.
Wherever possible, we share discussions and learning from our conferences with the wider public, through blogs, recordings, videos, transcripts or copies of presentations, on our Read, Watch, Listen webpages and via our social media channels.
Some of our conferences incorporate a free, public lecture with the opportunity for audience members to pose questions to the guest speaker.
Specific guidance for speakers and contributors can be downloaded in pdf format from this webpage.