Annual Lecture

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 leaders and thinkers, drawn from politics, Whitehall, business, finance, and the tech and creative industries. Until 2020 some three hundred guests gathered at Ditchley for the lecture, and since 2020 it has successfully been delivered in a virtual or hybrid format.   

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. 

Next Annual Lecture:

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

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

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.

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

LV: The Future of Multilateralism: Lessons from Finance
Delivered by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England
July 2019

LVI: The Privilege of Service
Delivered by The Right Honourable Michael Gove MP
July 2020

LVII: Rivals without, enemies within: standing up for democracy in the 21st century
Delivered by The Honorable Malcolm Turnbull AC
July 2021

LVIII: After Ukraine, What Lessons Now for Western Leadership?
Delivered by The Right Honourable Tony Blair
July 2022

LIX: A world transformed and the role of intelligence
Delivered by U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William J Burns
July 2023