Annual lectures

The Annual Lecture is an opportunity for Ditchley to crystallise one or more of its major themes, to gather its network and to draw in new talent.

The lecture is delivered by a distinguished individual from public life, with speakers in recent years including former US Secretary of State the Honorable John F Kerry, António Guterres, now UN Secretary General, and former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu.

The lecture is attended by some three hundred guests; leaders and thinkers, drawn from politics, Whitehall, business, finance, and the tech and creative industries. 

The first event to formalise the establishment of the Ditchley Foundation was a lecture given by the Provost, Harry Hodson, in 1962.  Since that date, a lecture has - with the exceptions of 1977, 1979 and 2001 - been held annually, usually in early July. 

Past Transcripts

I : Inaugural Lecture: The Anatomy of Anglo-American Relations
Delivered by Mr H V Hodson
27 April 1962


II : The Dimensions of the Atlantic Alliance
Delivered by General Lauris Norstad
18 October 1963


III : Friends and Relations
Delivered by Mr Arnold Heeney QC
19 June 1964


IV : The Roots of British Foreign Policy
Delivered by Lord Caccia
5 November 1965


V : International Monetary Systems: An American perspective
Delivered by Hon Douglas Dillon
8 July 1966


VI : The English-Speaking People in a Changing World
Delivered by Sir Robert Menzies
28 July 1967


VII : An International Weather Forecast
Delivered by Sir Alec Douglas-Home
19 July 1968


VIII : The Americans and Europe: rhetoric and reality
Delivered by Hon McGeorge Bundy
18 July 1969


IX : The Evolving Commonwealth
Delivered by The Rt Hon Malcolm MacDonald
25 September 1970


X : Environment: A Global Perspective
Delivered by the Hon Russell E Train
23 July 1971


XI : The Concept of Universal Man
Delivered by Lord Clark of Saltwood
28 July 1972


XII : Europe and the Americans
Delivered by Dr Joseph Luns
21 September 1973


XIII : One Earth: the problems and opportunities on a very interdependent planet
Delivered by Father Theodore Hesburgh
September 1974


XIV : Politics and the Environment
Delivered by Lord Ashby
18 July 1975


XV : America's Imports Revalued: the Tributaries of American Culture
Delivered by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
23 July 1976


No Annual Lecture
1977


XVI : France, the European Community and the Western Alliance:
The Outlook after the French General Elections

Delivered by M. Maurice Schumann
21 July 1978


No Annual Lecture
1979


XVII : On the Usefulness of Biological Science
Delivered by Dr Lewis Thomas
11 July 1980


XVIII : The Economic Challenges of the '80s
Delivered by Dr Otmar Emminger
17 July 1981


XIX : God in Search of Us
Delivered by Cardinal Basil Hume
16 July 1982


XX : The Atlantic Alliance: Tasks for Tomorrow
Delivered by The Hon Cyrus R Vance
15 July 1983


XXI : Philosophy and Public Policy
Delivered by Dame Mary Warnock
20 July 1984


XXII : The ECU and its contribution to the stability of the international monetary system
Delivered by M Valery Giscard D'Estaing
12 July 1985


XXIII : Japan's Role from the Global Perspective
Delivered by Ambassador Yoshio Okawara
July 1986


XXIV : English Anchor - American Sail: Two Centuries of the American Constitution
Delivered by Professor Benno Schmidt
17 July 1987


XXV : Paradise after the Fall: in Search of Contemporary Australia
Delivered by Dame Leonie Kramer
15 July 1988


XXVI : The French Revolution and the Development of Western Democracy
Delivered by Mr François Furet
30 June 1989


XXVII : Towards a New Concert of Europe
Delivered by Lord Carrington
July 1990


XXVIII : After the Persian Gulf: American Politics and Policy in the 1990s
Delivered by the Hon Thomas S Foley
5 July 1991


XXIX : Europe in the ‘90s
Delivered by Dr Kurt Biedenkopf
10 July 1992


XXX : Cold War, Chill Peace
Delivered by Professor Sir Michael Howard
July 1993


XXXI : The Russia in Europe’s Future: Engagement, not containment
Delivered by HE The Hon Thomas R Pickering
July 1994


XXXII : Inter-governmental co-operation and integration in the European Union
Delivered by Professor Guiliano Amato
July 1995


XXXIII : Has diplomacy a future?
Delivered by The Rt Hon Douglas Hurd CH CBE MP
July 1996


XXXIV : The United Nations, regionalism and the future of international peace and security
Delivered by Ambassador William Richardson
July 1997


XXXV : Intervention
Delivered by HE Kofi Annan
26 June 1998


XXXVI : Who Needs Art?
Delivered by Sir Richard Eyre
July 1999


XXXVII : The human consequences of the information revolution
Delivered by Hon James H. Billington
July 2000


No Annual Lecture was held, due to maintenance work on the Mansion.
2001


XXXVIII : Refugees in a globalized world
Delivered by HE Ruud Lubbers
July 2002


XXXIX : Judging Today
Delivered by The Rt Hon The Lord Bingham of Cornhill
July 2003


XL : America and Europe: what is the role of soft power?
Delivered by The Honorable Joseph Nye
July 2004


XLI : Britain's role: Has Dean Acheson's question been answered yet?
Delivered by The Rt Hon The Lord Patten of Barnes
July 2005


XLII : Balancing Society and Market:  Public Policy and Growth for Africa
Delivered by the Honourable Trevor A Manuel MP
July 2006


XLIII : The Challenges of a Dynamically Changing World
Delivered by the Honorable Brent Scowcroft
July 2007


XLIV :  The Next Half-Century: a Scientist's Hopes and Fears
Delivered by Lord Rees of Ludlow
July 2008


XLV : Europe's global role - what next steps?
Delivered by Dr Javier Solana
July 2009


XLVI : Obama, America, and the World:  A Promise at Risk
Delivered by The Honorable Strobe Talbott
July 2010


XLVII : The changing face of government
Delivered by The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG, CH
July 2011


XLVIII: Changing Turkish foreign policy in a changing world?
Delivered by Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu
July 2012


XLIX: 'After "The decade of war"'
Delivered by The Rt Hon. David Miliband
July 2013 


L: 'The post-Ukraine world order'
Delivered by Professor Michael Ignatieff
July 2014


LI: 'Global conflicts and human displacement: 21st Century challenges'
Delivered by UN High Commissioner António Guterres
July 2015


LII: The Court and the World
Delivered by The Honorable Stephen Breyer
July 2016


LIII: In Defense of Globalism
Delivered by The Honorable John F. Kerry
July 2017


LIV: Playing Globalisation by the Rules
Delivered by EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
July 2018