Dates and times

From: 29 Apr 2019 - 5:00pm
To: 5 May 2019 - 1:30pm
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Leadership development
Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park

This Spring, Cumberland Lodge and the Aspen Institute are joining forces to launch a new and exclusive, residential seminar on leadership and civil society.

The week-long seminar is designed for senior leaders from business, government, civil service, the arts, NGOs, charities and academia. It will be held at Cumberland Lodge, with delegates and facilitators joining us from the US and across the UK and Europe.


The varied and challenging programme will critically examine the cultural components of civil society and the values that underpin them, by comparing and contrasting the British context with that of continental Europe and the United States.

Participants will engage in guided discussions that delve into overarching concerns for leaders, such as the future of democracy and the broader socio-political challenges that democracies face today. We will explore how leaders from every sector can work towards more cohesive societies.

Key questions will include:

  • What are the challenges facing civil and democratic societies?
  • What are the cultural components of civil society?
  • How do democratic institutions best renew themselves?
  • What are the values—and tensions among those values—undergirding civil society in the UK?
  • How do these values align with or differ from the values of continental Europe and the United States?
  • What is the future of democracy in the UK, in continental Europe, and in the United States?
  • Which qualities of leadership are required for the renewal of civil society and democratic institutions?

As part of the programme, participants will explore excerpts from classic and contemporary authors, with the guidance of trained moderators, in order to learn from one another and from some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Time to reflect and explore

Participants will also have time to enjoy the beautiful rooms, fine dining and glorious seclusion of this former royal residence in the heart of Windsor Great Park. You can find out more about our rooms and facilities here.

The schedule will include a guided tour of Windsor Castle, a seminar and dinner at The House of Lords in Westminster, and the opportunity to attend a Sunday morning service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in the grounds of Royal Lodge.

Cumberland Lodge is located remotely in extensive parkland close to Windsor, and with easy access to the major London airports and train lines. Find out more here.

Please book your place here.

Shared history and ethos

For almost 70 years, Aspen Institute Seminars have challenged leaders from every sector to think more deeply, listen more attentively, and to develop the critical habits of judgment that contribute to humane decisions and a life well lived. Based in the United States, Aspen Institute Seminars typically begin and end with questions rather than answers, because the most difficult leadership decisions depend upon a capacity to inquire, to step back and to reflect on a situation critically.

Rather than presenting a specific formula for success, Aspen Institute Seminars are conducted as text-based dialogues, in which highly-trained facilitators guide participants through an exploration of fundamental personal and institutional values and their contemporary organisational applications.

Where appropriate, these text-based dialogues supplement the development of concrete strategy outcomes, on the principle that such discussions are best conducted only once participants have clarified the overall values and mission of their organisation. Aspen programmes are highly interactive and require all participants to read the relevant material in advance and to be willing to participate fully in the roundtable seminars.

Cumberland Lodge shares a similar history and ethos to the Aspen Institute. Founded just a couple of years before The Aspen Institute, in 1947, with support from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the charity exists to empower people of all backgrounds, ages and perspectives, through dialogue and debate, to promote progress towards more peaceful, open and inclusive societies.

For many decades, we have been equipping and inspiring leaders and people of influence from all sections of civil society, as well as young people with leadership potential, to tackle the causes and effects of social division. The charity’s royal patronage continues today, through Queen Elizabeth II.

We specialise in bringing people together through expertly facilitated seminars, conferences, workshops, retreats and mentoring schemes, in an inclusive environment. Our aim is to inspire critical thinking and creative approaches to tackling social and ethical challenges, and to contribute towards policymaking and leadership development for the betterment of society.

Book now

The week-long seminar costs £8,450, which includes en suite accommodation in one of our historic bedrooms, all meals, group events, learning materials, and transportation to and from the closest airport or train station. Airfares are not included, so early flight booking is strongly recommended.

To find out more about the seminar, please contact Dr Jan-Jonathan Bock, Programme Director at Cumberland Lodge, at, or call Jan on 01784 497789.

Please book your place here.

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