Resilient Communities

Join us at Cumberland Lodge in the heart of Windsor Great Park, on 27 and 28 February 2020, for a cross-sector, roundtable conference on 'Resilient Communities’.

We examine how to foster social cohesion in ways that make communities more resilient to disruptive events and developments, and help fractured communities to reconfigure more effectively in their aftermath.

This conference is hosted in partnership with The Young Foundation, a leading independent centre for that aims to help communities thrive, through research, community-led innovation, and social innovation, ventures and investment.


We are undoubtedly living in a time of acute uncertainty. Communities are responding to a decade of ‘austerity’ policies and divisions and anxieties resulting from the 2016 EU referendum, and all the while, facing pressing global challenges such as climate change.

Arguably, every generation has had to respond to its own challenges, disruptive developments and extreme events. Social cohesion and a sense of shared belonging come under pressure from both long-term shifts or short-term ruptures, at all levels, from the international to the hyper-local. 

Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland lasted for decades, whilst disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire happened within a day but have ramifications that will continue for years, or even generations. Tensions can arise between different parts of a community (as happened following the sex abuse in Rotherham), or between communities and those who hold power (for example, in the aftermath of the closure of a major employers, as seen in mining and industrial towns across the country).

Key questions

Resilient Communities seeks to explore pressing questions such as:

  • How can social cohesion be fostered to create communities which are more robust and resilient to such disruptive events?
  • How can fractured communities be brought back together and reconfigured in their wake?
  • How can different actors – state, civil society, local people and others – collaborate and respond to conflict and decline, whilst promoting positive trajectories for the future?

This two-day residential conference explores thought-provoking, challenging and innovative examples that can pave the way for more inclusive forms of community life, and opportunities for shared commitments, in the wake of events or developments that fracture and divide local populations.

Who is it for and why should I come?

We warmly welcome all registrations of interest in attending, but attendance will be by invitation only, to ensure broad and balanced representation. If you would like to be part of this conference, please follow the 'Make Enquiry' button on this webpage, or email Emily Gow at, to let us know how and why you would like to contribute.

Through collaborative, cross-disciplinary sessions, you will have a unique chance to explore these issues with a diverse delegation of academics, policymakers, young people and future leaders, business representatives, civil society and community practitioners.

In 2020, we will be presenting the key themes of discussion and cross-sector recommendations from this conference in a Cumberland Lodge Report on ’Resilient Communities’, to be launched in central London and published online and in print


This is the second conference in our 2019-20 series, Inclusion & Opportunity

Participatory sessions will explore the following issues, with opportunities for group discussion and breakout sessions throughout, and time and space for reflection and networking in-between.

  • Collaborative local citizenship
  • Arts and culture
  • Faith communities
  • Sports and community integration
  • Business and corporations
  • Education and schools


We are pleased to announce that the speakers for this conference include:

  • Jonathan Baggaley - Chief Executive of the PSHE Association
  • Helen Carroll - Director of Community Strategy & Activation at The Co-Operative Group
  • Professor Dennis Hayes - Professor of Education at the University of Derby 
  • Mark Gordon - Director of Communications and Partnerships at Power to Change
  • Farah Elahi - Community Engagement Manager at Greater London Authority
  • Pauline Hadaway - Arts and Heritage Consultant
  • Rebecca Holt - Executive Director & Deputy CEO at Battersea Arts Centre 
  • Professor Mihaela Kelemen - Chair in Business and Society at Nottingham University Business School
  • Neil McInroy - CEO of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)
  • Farah Mohammoud - Social Entrepreneur
  • Elizabeth Oldfield - Director at THEOS
  • Gitanjali Patel - Founder of Shadow Heroes 
  • Canon Dr Angus Ritchie - Executive Director at The Centre for Theology & Community
  • Julie Siddiqi - Co-founder of The Big Iftar
  • Clare Wightman - CEO of Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire

Our keynote address will be delivered by Nick Pearson, CEO of ParkrunUK.

Conference costs

Attendance at this conference is supported by our charitable funds, to facilitate a diverse spectrum of participation, involving people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives.

This includes overnight accommodation at Cumberland Lodge on 27 February 2020, and all meals during your stay.

PhD student travel bursaries

We are pleased to be able to offer five bursaries for this conference, to support PhD students working in relevant fields with the costs of travelling to and from Cumberland Lodge.

To apply, please download the application form on this webpage and send it to Emily Gow at by 12pm on Monday 20 January.

Event Type: 

Dates and times

From: 27 Feb 2020 - 10:00am
To: 28 Feb 2020 - 4:00pm