Cumberland Lodge is renowned for hosting topical panel discussions on national or international issues relating to social cohesion.
Audience members at a Cumberland Lodge Dialogue in central London

Every year, these panel discussions bring together speakers and audience members of diverse backgrounds, generations and perspectives, to openly exchange views and ideas on pressing issues that affect us all.

Our panel discussions are chaired by skilled moderators, with open question-and-answer sessions to bring in further voices.

Our intergenerational Annual Debate takes place in the autumn, with a focus on issues affecting young people. Having been held at Cumberland Lodge for many years, as an Annual Lecture and more recently as an Annual Debate, this event moved to Goodenough College in London, in 2019, to attract a more diverse audience, including international students from all over the world. It is chaired by our Chair of Trustees, Baroness Prashar of Runnymede.

Recent topics

    Our 2020 Annual Debate examined Arts & the Union, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we went entirely online. We were joined by guest panellists Lucy Callen, Roisin McDonough, Briana Pegado and Professor Sue Williams.

    In 2019, we hosted two panel discussions:

    In October 2018, our Annual Debate explored What Should it Mean to be British?, with the BBC presenter Evan Davis moderating the discussion between Professor Anthony Heath, Magid Magid, Patricia O'Lynn and Anne Wafula Strike MBE.

    Audio-visual resources

    Panel discussions in this series are live-streamed online, with video and audio recordings shared afterwards on the Read, Watch, Listen section of our website and our SoundCloud channel. The audio recordings can be found on all major podcasting platforms.

    You will also find recordings of past lectures, keynote conference lectures, podcasts, seminars and interviews, on a wide range of topics relating to our charitable work.

    Past guest speakers

    Past speakers for the Cumberland Lodge Annual Lecture include:

    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, and former Visitor of Cumberland Lodge - 'Authority: Law and Religion', 2005