Photo of a large and diverse group of people forming a forward-facing arrow

As part of our work to inspire leaders, influencers and future leaders to think critically and to engage with the causes of social divisions, we host up to four Cumberland Seminars per year, over dinner at Cumberland Lodge.

These invitation-only seminars are aimed at public and senior figures from a range of different sectors and disciplines, including policymakers, heads of organisations, business leaders, parliamentarians, social commentators and academics.

Some of our PhD scholars are also invited to attend each event, as part of their ongoing mentoring programme and they help to provide a cross-generational approach to the discussions.

Typically, up to 20 guests gather in the early evening, to hear from a high-profile guest speaker on a social or ethical issue of national or international importance that relates to our charitable objectives. In 2017 our seminars are focusing on the theme of social cohesion, and in 2018 we will be exploring aspects of 'freedom', as part of our wider 'Freedom' series.

After an opening presentation from the guest speaker, participants take part in small group discussions over dinner, before reconvening for a final plenary session to share ideas and draw out collective learning and action points.

Recent seminars

Recent topics have included:

Inequalities and Social Cohesion - 28 March 2017

- Julia Unwin, former Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A short podcast was recorded with Julia ahead of the seminar. It can be found here.

Prevent: Fit for Purpose? - 4 May 2016

- David Anderson QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in the UK

Are Things Getting Better? - 28 January 2016

- Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority

Coming up next

Our next Cumberland Seminar will take place on Tuesday 10 October 2017, with Lord Adonis as our guest speaker. It will tackle the topic of 'Education and Social Cohesion' and you can find out more about the event here.

Look out for further details of another seminar coming up in November 2017.