Audience at our Cumberland Lodge Dialogue at Goodenough College, London, in autumn 2019

Every year we host a series of Cumberland Lodge Dialogues - topical panel discussions on issues of national or global importance that relate to social cohesion.

This series includes our annual Cumberland Lodge Dialogue in central London, during the autumn, which brings our signature method of provoking candid discussion and debate to a wider audience.

Featuring diverse, intergenerational panels of high-profile contributors, our Dialogues mark a departure from the more traditional annual lecture format.

Cumberland Lodge Dialogues bring together speakers and audience members of different backgrounds, generations and perspectives to openly exchange their views and experiences, with the input of a skilled moderator.

We encourage audience interaction via social media, as well as live engagement through our question-and-answer sessions.

Recent topics

This series was launched hot on the heels of our 70th anniversary, in October 2018, with a discussion in central London on What Should it Mean to be British?, with the BBC presenter Evan Davis moderating the discussion. Our panellists explored what it is that binds Britain together as a nation, particularly at a time when attitudes towards identity and belonging are creating new lines of division. 

Our inaugural guest panellists were:

  • Anthony Heath, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford
  • Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield
  • Patricia O’Lynn, PhD candidate and Cumberland Lodge Scholar
  • Anne Wafula Strike MBE, British paralympian wheelchair racer

In 2019, we held two Cumberland Lodge Dialogues: one at Cumberland Lodge, on Defending Democracy: Checks & Balances under the Rule of Law; and our central London discussion at Goodenough College, on Challenges for Democracy in the Digital Age.

Our guest panellists and moderators included:

  • Neal Katyal – Former Acting Solicitor-General of the USA
  • Lord (David) Anderson KBE QC – Cross-bench life peer, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (UK), and EU, human rights and public law barrister
  • Dr Katharine Dommett – Senior Lecturer in the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield
  • The Rt Hon the Lord Howell of Guildford  Life peer; author of Look Where We're Going: Escaping the Prism of Past Politics
  • Marnie Howlett  PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Politicsl Science (LSE), and international student member of Goodenough College
  • Jessica Simor QC – Barrister at Matrix Chambers, and one of the country's leading specialists in public/regulatory, EU and human rights law
  • The Rt Hon the Baroness Prashar of Runnymede  Cross-bench life peer, and Chair of Trustees at Cumberland Lodge 

Audio-visual resources

Panel discussions in this series are recorded and filmed, with videos available to watch live or on-demand via the 'Read, Watch, Listen' pages of our website.

Audio recordings can be found on our SoundCloud channel, along with recordings of previous annual lectures, keynote conference lectures, podcasts, seminars and interviews, on a wide range of topics relating to our charitable work.

Former guest speakers

Between 2005 and 2017, we held an Annual Lecture at Cumberland Lodge, as part of our annual programme. Guest speakers included:

The Rt Hon Lord Finkelstein, Associate Editor and formerly Executive Editor, The Times - ‘The Arrow of History’, 2017

The RT Hon the Lord Hoffmann, former Lord of Appeal Ordinary - ‘The Power of Constitutional Fictions', 2015

Professor Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, Chair of NHS England - 'The Technological Revolution in Healthcare – Capturing the benefits for the NHS' in 2014

Dame Suzi Leather, former Chair of the Charity Commission - 'The five modern evils: what is the role for charity today?', 2013

Matthew Parris, columnist, broadcaster and former MP - 'The Moral Responsibility of the Media', 2012

HRH The Princess Royal - 'The Legacy of 2012 – Reflections on the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games and the Paralympics', for our Diamond Jubilee Lecture, 2012

The Rt Hon Lady (Shami) Chakrabarti, former Director of Liberty, now Shadow Attorney General - 'Common Values: In Defence of the Human Rights Act', 2011

Sir Richard Gardner FRS, Royal Society Edward Penley Abraham Research Professor, University of Oxford - 'Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine – Prospects and Challenges', 2010

Sir John Tusa, former Managing Director of the Barbican Centre - 'The Arts: A Suitable Case for Treatment?' 2009

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, British Army - 'The Military Today: A ‘Force for Good’ or a contradiction in terms?' 2008

Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge - 'Leadership and Change in a University', 2007

The Rt Hon Lord (Douglas) Hurd of Westall, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs - 'Is there such a thing as an International Community?', 2006

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal, Visitor of Cumberland Lodge - 'Authority: Law and Religion', 2005