16 March 2017 - 18 March 2017

Which way is West and is the West still best? What do President Trump, Brexit and the technological revolution mean for the future of the West?

Chair: Mr Peter Thiel

View event album here

Western societies and politics are divided to the point where political and economic systems risk breaking under the strain. Elements of the British political class and public have never been reconciled to being part of the European Union but there was always a solid majority for staying in Europe. That has now disappeared in an unexpected shift. There has always been an American billionaire bidding for presidential power to set Washington straight but now one has won the right to try. In each case we can find individual factors for the surprise results but the signs are that these events represent deeper trends. At the same time, China is rising to its full potential, where technology is picking up steam and showing signs of acceleration out of semiconductors into other areas. This conference asked what all this means for the West and what should we want the West to be.

Silicon Valley investor and Trump adviser, Peter Thiel, chaired a unique gathering of White House and British government advisers; politicians; technology and finance leaders. Politically there were post-liberalists, Libertarians and economic nationalists on the one hand, and globalists and multilateralists on the other. This particular conference was deliberately conceived as a conversation amongst citizens of democracies on the future of "the West" and on how useful that vague political concept remains in furthering the interests of citizens and governments. The aim was to understand each other better, stepping outside of polemical political debate, as much as to try to reach some elements of consensus on the West and its place in the world of today and tomorrow.

The conference exposed fundamentally different analyses of globalisation. 

"Anti-globalists" saw globalisation as a historical process that had once benefited the West but that now threatened it and needed to be arrested, or at least brought under greater control in terms of flows of people, goods, ideas and capital. From this perspective, globalisation was a deceptive term that allowed us to conceal from ourselves the failure of the West to win the battle of global leadership against an authoritarian regime like China, and to a lesser extent Russia, which had reverted to an earlier powerful form of Russian nationalism. Only the West, from the anti-globalist perspective, had bought into a globalisation that spanned trade, capital, information and people. China was enthusiastic on trade but less so on the rest.

Western Colonisation
Western colonisation of the East had evolved into westernisation; westernisation in turn had become the more neutral globalisation. Unchecked, globalisation could become "easternisation" – to paraphrase what was expressed at the conference, rather than a direct quote. The spread of values was a function of power, rather than primarily the reverse. Seen through this lens, Chinese purchases of London real estate was evidence of western decline, not a triumph of the attractive power of the West.

Building on this, globalisation was seen by some as a self-reinforcing mechanism that disrupted western societies and damaged families. Mega-cities, often the centre of a global industry, had become the super-nodes of globalisation, creating a concentration of the best paid jobs and other network effects. As a result, the major western cities were becoming increasingly unaffordable as places to bring up families. Responses ranged from accepting smaller homes, longer commutes or an exchange of career aspiration for better quality of life. The net result however was generally smaller families, which meant population decline and demographic challenges for the workforce.
Mega citiesThe mega-cities at the centre of globalisation were caricatured as internationalised "mating zones" for young professionals with better facilities for dog owners than child care. The estrangement between the city and the territories beyond its economic hinterland was deepening. There was a tension between the aspirations of mayors of these cities and the integration of nation states, as bounded territories with shared values and systems. 

Those who saw globalisation as a fundamentally positive process recognised these tensions but saw the best way to tackle them as further increasing global economic integration in order to maximise global growth. All economic shifts created winners and losers. Globalisation was a natural and to a large extent inevitable byproduct of human development. It had delivered many gains – higher standards of living and longer life expectancy for many millions, for example. Even resentful and depressed communities in provinces in western countries still enjoyed benefits that would have been inconceivable relatively recently. 

Problems and discontent only became acute when a lack of growth meant limited resources available for nation states to cushion the process of change, by providing safety nets to those who had lost out. The bottom line was that globalisation could be shaped and managed but it was a mistake to imagine we could stand for long against the power of the market.

There was also a sense that the East was still being shaped and adapted by the values of the West rather than vice versa. The Chinese market for high quality western goods, such as iPhones designed in California but made in China, continued to grow. Chinese innovation was growing but the West still determined global tastes, fashions and often values.

Another underlying division at the conference was between those who saw dilution and weakness in the mixing of cultures through immigration and those who identified this as a source of strength and renewal of western culture. Was true diversity different national geniuses developing in different places or were the mega-cities genuine melting pots that would produce the new combinations of talents, experiences and traditions that we will need for the future? Some celebrated mega-cities for their diversity. Others saw a risk that mega-cities were in the end places that demanded increasing conformity in thinking and acceptance of group norms.

There was close to consensus that despite the great strides in semiconductor-based technologies of the last fifty years, many other areas of technology had seen stagnation, for example we had gone from manned moon missions and commercial supersonic flight in 1970 to the continued suspension of these programmes today. Several arguments were put forward for this apparent failure of ambition and achievement by the West over the last fifty years: a loss of confidence in the West's responsibility to lead; an emphasis on rules, safety and conformity that stifled the risk taking and genuine danger essential to successful innovation; the linked failure of government bureaucracies to generate ground breaking research and development. It was argued that the last genuine inventions by government had been the early stage Internet at the American military research agency, DARPA, and drones by a CIA skunkworks programme. So far, the modern market had not driven innovation in the way that the terrible wars of the first half of the twentieth century had done (although it should be stressed that no one advocated a return to that). The problem was not lack of capital – venture capital represents a relatively small asset class – but lack of imagination and drive.

In contrast to the negative assessment of the rate of innovation of the last fifty years, there was confidence, nonetheless, that significant change to society from technology was now imminent. Generalised artificial intelligence was a long way off, if possible at all, but powerful machine learning had arrived and was becoming ubiquitous across a wide range of sectors. This would cause significant disruption of the white collar labour market with many lower-level clerical and research jobs replaced or reduced in volume by technology. This would probably happen even faster than disruption of the manual labour market.

Autonomous vehicle technology was fast maturing and largely commoditised. This would affect many areas of the economy and labour force. To focus on the most difficult application – cars driven by individuals on ever changing routes in areas of mixed automated and human traffic – was to miss the point. There would be many other applications – for example moving raw materials within company sites or at ports, where automation would be more straightforward and the impact on jobs more immediate. As well as cars, drones too of all kinds would soon be having a major impact on the economy and the kinds of work available, remaking the urban landscape of our cities in the process.

The big winners in the coming period looked to be those who were creative and agile in the deployment of intellect. Those who could employ empathy would also be likely to do reasonably well. The big losers looked to be firstly those who carry out repetitive research and filing tasks such as book keepers, legal secretaries and research assistants and those in manual or repetitive labour, for example drivers who make repeat runs from one depot or stop to another by a predetermined route.

The darkest future envisaged was the end of a 150-year-old bubble in the price of human labour. This would mean a return to medieval levels of inequality with most human labour next to worthless because of low demand and high availability. In contrast, technological and financial system moguls would continue to amass extraordinary wealth and power. As in the Middle Ages, the result would be alternating riot and repression, passivity and stagnation for the masses.

This was not inevitable, however, and economic incentives could be devised to remake the labour market. A more positive view of our technological future saw more economic recognition of empathy, for example with human beings in the health system deployed away from repetitive technical tasks like examination of cancer cell slides and X-rays and employed instead to provide much greater personal support for patients. Evidence was cited that this would lead to better outcomes in the treatment in particular of many chronic conditions, such as back pain, which carried heavy cumulative costs for the economy. It was also possible that the redeployment of human beings back into sales and customer care functions would give companies a powerful competitive edge. It was not at all certain that the deployment of "bots" and the like in customer interactions was the best use of machine learning and natural language processing technologies. Not everyone was convinced by this positive view of the future, with some fearing a future of "joke jobs" designed to keep people busy through counselling and crafting but of little real value to economy, society, or the individual.

For the technology community represented at the conference, Silicon Valley offered the best hope of a rejuvenation of western capitalism through its eco-system that was now beginning to enable the funding of high risk projects like private space flight. Silicon Valley was contrasted forcefully by some with Germany and its Mittelstand economy. Silicon Valley was "desperate but optimistic", whereas Germany was "comfortable but pessimistic". This said, California was also compared by people who lived there to "a failed state". Its public government was chaotic and, apart from the Valley, all other areas, including arguably the entertainment industry around Los Angeles, were in decline. The Bay Area had become a distributed mega-city, unaffordable for all but the very rich, and public services were poor. Whilst Germany's lack of innovation was criticised as above, its distributed industries and large number of liveable and prosperous small towns and cities were praised. The point was made too that Germany's greatest innovations were a new type of state after the war and the sustaining of that state after reunification.

One of the notable divisions at the conference was between those who saw China as a powerful alternative authoritarian model of capitalism that would challenge the West and surpass the might of the US and a minority who viewed China's plans as fundamentally unsustainable and likely to end in a collapsing population, shrinking economy and eventual end of the orderly one party state. 

China was seen as having benefitted from globalisation at the state level but China viewed globalisation as something that was happening to the rest of the world, not to China itself. Put differently, China bought into globalised trade but not the globalised movement of capital, information and people. 

Chinese policy was all about building an urban and industrialised Chinese market for the goods it produced. To this end, China's aim, agreed with the World Bank, was to develop 30 mega-cities. This would involve one of the largest movements of population in history with up to 600 million people affected. The Trump administration saw itself as having economic nationalism in common with China and it was possible that this might be the basis for better understanding. Trump wanted to agree what he saw as fairer trade terms with China, rather than free trade, which at present meant largely the flow of Chinese manufactured goods to US markets.

Poor cyber security and rampant Chinese cyber commercial espionage was seen by many Trump supporters as allowing China to take advantage of innovation in the West without having to tolerate a freer and less predictable society at home – in corporate terms the West could be seen as China's skunkworks facility. But given the parallel comments on the failure of bold innovation in the West over the last fifty years, there was not consensus on this. 

There was a risk in fact that authoritarian regimes like China might gain an edge over the West in the coming phase of technological innovation by being prepared to accept more risk to citizens in the early phases of that innovation. Comparisons were made with the early history of the car and aviation which had been highly lethal. Would the West be able to make the pace or would our concern for individual citizens' wellbeing block progress? If Shanghai were declared an autonomous vehicle city tomorrow, would we get to learn from that experience, or is the flow of information on innovation in fact one way only, due to Chinese cyber attacks and the Great Firewall of China on the one hand, and our own self-limiting codes of conduct on economic espionage on the other?
The anti-globalist argument was that western policies, since the days of Jimmy Carter, of including China and transferring technology had failed to transform the country as hoped. It had been able to reap economic benefits without admitting political change. This mattered a lot as China now began to build intelligence and military capabilities proportionate to its economic strength. From this standpoint, the F35 was a totemic failure – close to a trillion dollars spent on development of an aircraft that could arguably be rendered useless by swarms of cheap drones. China was seen as biding its time, downplaying ambitions but at the same time slowly building its power. 

The counter-argument was that China views itself as exceptional in the same way that the United States does, as one of the great powers of the world and as great powers have always viewed themselves. Evidence was cited of Chinese commitments to the status quo and to a rules based framework for international relations: China argues in favour of climate control agreements; is signed up to the WTO; and participates in other forms of international governance. China wants to work the system to its advantage, not to abolish it. Similarly, China cannot separate itself out from the global economic and financial system. It will continue to need massive export markets and large quantities of western goods will continue to be sold in China because of the power of western cultural influences and fashion. China needs us as much as we need it.

The question of universal human rights was one of the sharpest controversies of the conference. There was no appetite for revisiting the 1947 charter but there was strong disagreement on how powerful it remained in today's world. The charter was not stopping China from doing anything it wanted to do. Others noted though that even having China and other authoritarian regimes choosing to reference the concept of universal human rights was important and that the world would be worse off without the charter.

For some the evidence was unambiguous – the West had not recovered from the financial crisis of 2008 because this stemmed from a deeper malaise, a broken system. Seen from the East, the West had lost a necessary sense of survival. We had become too comfortable and too ready as a result to preoccupy ourselves with inward facing debates and causes. We were intent on completing the arrangement of our democratic garden in the face of the hurricane on the horizon.

For others, the continued development of the West and the empowerment of the individual remained a powerful beacon. Our model remained compelling. The importance of soft power was often overstated, it was true, and in the end hard power matters most, but the flow of immigrants to the West was not just an economic migration. People wanted to live their lives in relative security and freedom and most of all, under a rule of law. There was no evidence available that people would flock to China or Russia if the gates were opened. Our systems of laws and checks and balances remained ultimately resilient. We would bounce back.

No one from the West wanted to live in China or Russia. The West – countries governed by the rule of law – was still best for those present but there was consensus that we were going through a rocky patch if not necessarily, as some thought, an existential crisis. We need a new narrative that emphasises what is good about the West and around which we can rally and be confident.

Politicians need to be more transparent with people, and we need to be more honest with ourselves, that globalisation is a blind process that delivers winners and losers. We have to have a message for the losers as well as the winners in our societies. We have allowed ourselves to confuse ‘westernisation’ – which comfortingly means more people like us – with the more neutral and challenging ‘globalisation’.

For some, there was a need to be more unambiguous about the fact that we see the prosperity of China as essential to our own success. Others felt that China would respect us more if we had a stronger sense of self and that this was the priority. For "the West" to remain a useful and real concept we have to talk amongst ourselves before we cut deals with China and indeed with Russia. It was argued that China views Brexit as good news because it will weaken the ties between the US and Europe.

A large number of relatively low skilled jobs will soon be consigned to history. As concluded in a number of recent Ditchley events, governments need to help people to begin to prepare for that big shift now. This time it will be different. The shift will happen faster than ever before. We have to respond as if facing a national emergency. There will be new jobs but they will demand new and higher-level skills. There was close to consensus that universal basic income – the distribution of money by the government – is not the right answer. This was opposed both on economic grounds and on the need for people to derive dignity from meaningful work.

Preparing for the big shift fundamentally means education and re-education. Training people in a specific coding language is a bad idea because those jobs will soon be automated too. We need to train people for creativity, agility and resilience in the face of change. How to do this was hotly debated. Some spoke up for the Montessori system. Whatever the right basket of solutions, there was consensus that large parts of current western educational systems are not producing the agility and skills that people will need for the future in order to be successful. 

This is linked to a problem about how we value work and validate ourselves. Our definition of human productivity was formed during the last industrial revolution. We will need to rethink that definition for the next phase of our technological development when productivity could be much more about the quality of interaction between human beings and the spark of inspiration that sets off a largely automated process of design and manufacture.

That said, there was close to consensus that practical skills would also remain important – from art and craft through to welding. There would remain many opportunities for human labour where there was a high degree of variance and change – for example in the fitting together of pre-fabricated parts in a unique setting. 

Technology had got us into the challenges of globalisation, enabling the mass movement of people, goods, capital and ideas, across great distances at great speed. The answer to the problem though will be more innovation and more technology, not less. To generate this will take courage and perhaps an acceptance of greater risk to the individual and public through lower levels of regulation. If we fail on this, we face being eclipsed on innovation by societies that press forward on autonomous vehicles, drones and the like.

Better cyber security is going to be crucial for our technologically-dominated societies. This means much better attribution and law enforcement as well as technical solutions. It was argued that harsh punishments might be necessary to deter cyber criminals. Ultimately, cyber threats cannot be contained by technological means alone.

Technology has not allowed us to escape our need for hive-like environments in order to release our creativity and energy and this will continue to drive the growth of cities and conurbations. We need new technologies – fast suburban to urban transport; ever better teleworking capabilities – that will allow us to mitigate the effects of the concentration of the economy in the cities.

Government policy and incentives could and should have an impact on the distribution of new industries between cities. Local government policies could also make cities more affordable and liveable. Tokyo was presented as a good example of a very crowded city where the cost of living has gone down rather than up, although devaluation is a major element in this.

Cities, like our economies, are on course to become ever more unequal. We need to continue to work to make them places that inspire and support everyone, not just the rich and the tourist. This means better transport, architecture and services. There is a challenge though in local government if the city is increasingly the major component of the national economy. How do we make megacities support rather than divide the nation state?

In funding all this there are some fundamental challenges in the combination of genuinely multinational and potentially mobile corporations and the territorial bounds of the state. Either states need to find new ways to ensure international corporations pay fair rates of tax or the social responsibilities of companies need to be increased.

We need to continue this conversation between globalists and anti-globalists on the future of the West. Simple accusations of populism on the one hand, and of haughty, self-satisfied global citizens on the other, do not help us move forward. 

We achieved a genuine diversity of opinion at this conference but were not able to combine all the points of view we would have liked. We will use the themes explored here in a range of future events with US partners. We also need a fuller discussion with Europe; and then more globally, which means with China and Russia too. Finally, there were powerful female voices in the mix at this conference but far from enough of them.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


CHAIR: Mr Peter Thiel
Technology entrepreneur and investor; co-Founder, PayPal and Palantir; made the first outside investment in Facebook; funded companies such as LinkedIn and Yelp; Founder, Thiel Foundation.

Sir Michael Hintze AM  
Chief Executive Officer, CQS Management Ltd.

Mr Michel Brunet
Senior Counsel, Dentons Canada LLP; Member, Canadian Bar Association. Formerly: Dentons Canada LLP: Chair (2006-17); National Chief Executive Officer; Managing Partner, Montreal Office; Counsel to: GDF Suez, Trans Québec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc., Holcim (Canada) Inc., Zodiac Group; Adviser to: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, RBC Capital Markets, Quebec Securities Commission. A member of the Advisory Committee of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Denis Robert  
Director, Policy Research, Strategic Engagement and Foresight, Global Affairs Canada. Formerly: Canada's Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg (2012-16); Director, Haiti Task Force, Department of Foreign Affairs, Canada (2008-12); Chief of the Political Affairs Section, Canadian Mission to the EU, Brussels (2004-08).
Mr Ajay Royan  
Managing General Partner, Mithril Capital Management, San Francisco (2012-); Member, Science Advisory Board, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Member, President's Circle, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Formerly: Managing Director, Clarium (2003-12).
Professor Stephen Toope OC  
Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences; Director, Public Policy Forum, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Formerly: President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia (2006-14); President, Canadian Council on International Law; Chair, Research University Council of British Columbia; President, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2002-06); Dean, Faculty of Law, McGill University (1994-99).
Mr Douglas E. Turnbull  
Vice Chairman and Country Head, Canada, DBRS Limited, Toronto (2016-); Chairman of the Board, DBRS Ratings Mexico S.A. (2016-); Advisory Board member, Canadian Electricity Association (2016-); Advisory Board member, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (2016-); Board member, ORBIS Canada (2010-). Formerly: Deputy Chairman, TD Securities Inc.; co-Chair (Canada), Assembly of First Nations Joint Working Group on Resource Development (2014-15).

Mr Michael Brendan Dougherty  
Senior Correspondent, The Week; Founder of media startup, Unreal Media. Formerly: Politics Editor, Business Insider (2011-12); National Correspondent, American Conservative (2006-11); Philips Journalism Fellow (2009).

Mr Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry  
Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Paris (2015-); Columnist, TheWeek.com (2014-); Columnist, National Review Online (2015-).

Dr Martin Heipertz  
Head, European Policy Division, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin (2014-). Formerly: Adviser to European Peoples' Party lead candidate, Jean-Claude Juncker (2014); Private Secretary to State Secretary, Dr Thomas Steffen, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin (2012-14); Deputy Private Secretary to Federal Minister of Finance, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, German Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin (2010-11); Senior Officer, Board of Directors, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg (2009-10); Member of Policy Planning Staff, European Affairs Unit, Federal Ministry of Defence (2008-09).
Dr Norbert Röttgen MdB  
Member (CDU) of the German Bundestag (1994-).

Dr Subramanian Swamy PhD (Harvard)  
Member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house, Indian Parliament). Formerly: President, Janata Party (1990-2013); Chairman, Commission on Labour Standards and International Trade (1994-96); Minister of Commerce and Industry, and of Justice (1990-91).

Mr Yo Osumi  
Minister Counsellor/Head of Political Section, Embassy of Japan to the United Kingdom. A member of The Ditchley Foundation Programme Committee.
Professor Christopher Coker
Professor of International Relations and Head of Department, London School of Economics (LSE); Adjunct Professor, Norwegian Staff College; regular lecturer: Royal College of Defence Studies, London; NATO Defence College, Rome; Centre for International Security, Geneva; National Institute for Defence Studies, Tokyo; member, LSE IDEAS Advisory Board; member, Academic Board, Czech Diplomatic Academy. Formerly: Editor, The Atlantic Quarterly and The European Security Analyst.
Ms Miranda Curtis
Independent Director, Liberty Global Inc. (USA) (2010-) and Marks & Spencer plc (UK) (2011-); Trustee, Institute for Government (UK) (2009-); Chair, Camfed (UK and Africa) (2010-). Formerly: Chairman, Waterstones Ltd (UK) (2011-16); President, Liberty Global Japan (2005-10); President, Liberty Media International (USA) (1999-2005); Independent Director, Jupiter Telecoms Ltd (J:COM), Japan (1993-2010); Multithematiques SA (France) (1995-2001).
Sir Martin Donnelly KCB, CMG  
Permanent Secretary, Department for International Trade (2016-), Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2010-16), Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2010). Formerly: Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Ofcom, HM Treasury (1997-2010); French Treasury (1995-96); Cabinet of Vice President of the European Commission (1989-93).
Mr David Frost CMG  
Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the Foreign Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (2016-). Formerly: Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association (2014-16); HM Diplomatic Service (1987-13): Director for Europe, Trade and International Affairs, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2010-13, on loan from FCO); Director for Strategy and Policy Planning, FCO (2008-10); Ambassador to Denmark (2006-08); Director, European Union, FCO.
Mr Charles Grant CMG  
Co-Founder and Director, Centre for European Reform (1996-); Member, International Council, Terra Nova; Advisory Board Member: Moscow School of Political Studies; Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies, Istanbul. Formerly: Board Member and Trustee, British Council (2002-08); Defence Editor and Brussels Correspondent, The Economist. Chairman of the Programme Committee (2012-), a Member of the Council of Management and a Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.
The Lord Hannay of Chiswick GCMG, CH  
Independent Member, House of Lords (2001-); Member, International Relations Committee. Formerly: Member, EU Select Committee, House of Lords (2002-06, 2008-14); Chairman, United Nations Association of the UK (2006-10); Member, UN Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2003-04); British Government Special Representative for Cyprus (1996-2003); HM Diplomatic Service (1959-95): Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN (1990-95); Permanent Representative to the European Community (1985-90). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
The Rt Hon Lord Hill of Oareford CBE PC  
Life Peer, House of Lords. Formerly: European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (2014-16); Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (2013-14); Undersecretary of State for Schools (2010-13). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation. 
The Hon Bernard Jenkin MP  
Member of Parliament (Conservative), Harwich and North Essex (2010-); North Essex (1997-2010), Colchester North (1992-97); Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (2015); Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission (2015-). Formerly: Deputy Chairman, Conservative Party (2005-06); Shadow Minister (Energy & Climate Change) (2005); Shadow Secretary of State for Regions (2003-05); Shadow Secretary of State for Defence (2001-03); Shadow Minister for Transport (1998-2001).
Dr Annalisa Jenkins MBBS, FRCP  
Chief Executive Officer, Dimension Therapeutics.
Ms Samantha Job MVO  
Foreign & Security Policy Counsellor, British Embassy, Washington, D.C. Formerly: joint Head, North Africa Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), London; UK Mission to the United Nations, New York.
Mr Mark Leonard  
Co-Founder and Director, The European Council on Foreign Relations, London (2007-). Formerly: Director of Foreign Policy, Centre for European Reform, London (2005-06); Visiting Scholar, Chinese Academy for Social Sciences, Beijing (2006); Director, Foreign Policy Centre (1999-2005); Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund, Washington, DC (2004).
Ms Bronwen Maddox  
Director, The Institute for Government (2016-). Formerly: Editor and CEO, Prospect Magazine (2010-16); Chief Foreign Commentator (2006-10), Foreign Editor (1999-2006), U.S. Editor (1996-99), The Times; Leader Writer, Financial Times; Director, Kleinwort Benson Securities (1991-96). A Member of the Council of Management and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Paddy McGuinness CMG OBE  
Deputy National Security Adviser, The Cabinet Office (2014-).
Mr Peter McQuibban  
Senior Advisor to co-Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies (2011-).
Dr Ziya Meral  
Resident Fellow, Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research, British Army; Director, Centre on Religion and Global Affairs, London, Accra, Beirut.
Mr Douglas Murray  
Author and journalist, London (regular contributor to: Spectator, Sunday Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and others); Associate Editor, Spectator magazine; Associate Director, Henry Jackson Society; author, 'The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam' (to be published by Bloomsbury in May 2017).
Mrs Elizabeth Padmore  
Board Member, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; Chairman, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Governing Body Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford; Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce; Director, Youth Business International; Director, Enablis Global Board. Formerly: Member, Council and Executive Committee, Chatham House; Vice Chairman, Forum UK; Partner and Global Director, Policy and Corporate Affairs, Accenture (1995-2006). A Governor and a Member of the Council of Management and of the 
Finance & General Purposes Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.
Mr Charles Songhurst  
Founding Partner, Katana Capital, Mountain View, CA; Director, Songhurst Group. Formerly: Corporate Strategy, focussing on partnering and M&A, Microsoft Inc.; analyst, McKinsey & Co., London.
Mr Philip Stephens
Associate Editor and Chief Political Commentator, Financial Times. Formerly: Financial Times: Economics Editor, Political Editor and Editor, UK Edition; Correspondent, Reuters, London and Brussels. A Governor and Vice-Chair of the Council of Management, The Ditchley Foundation.
Sir Peter Westmacott GCMG, LVO  
Distinguished Ambassadorial Fellow, Atlantic Council; Vice Chairman, Tellus Matrix Group; Advisory Director, Campbell Lutyens. Formerly: Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service (1972-2016); Ambassador to the United States (2012-16); Ambassador to France (2007-12); Ambassador to Turkey (2002-06); Deputy Undersecretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2000-01); Director Americas (1997-2000); Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales (1990-93).
The Hon Robert Wills  
Founder, Coefficient Capital, London (2016-). 
Ms Caroline Wilson CMG  
Director (Europe), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2016-). Formerly: HM Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao (2012-16); Minister Counsellor (Economic), British Embassy Moscow (2008-12); European Secretariat of the Cabinet Office (2006-07); Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (2004-06); First Secretary (Antici), UK Permanent Representation to the EU; British Embassy Beijing (1996-2000); Barrister-at-law (1993) and Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Mrs Xenia Wickett  
Head, U.S and the Americas Programme, and Dean, The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House (2011-); Commissioner, the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission (2016-). Formerly: Executive Director, PeaceNexus Foundation, Switzerland (2009-11); Executive Director for Research, and Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University (2005-09); Director for South Asia, National Security Council, The White House; U.S. Department of State: Bureau of South Asia, Bureau of Nonproliferation, Homeland Security Group (2001-05). A Member of the Programme Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Michael Anton
Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications, National Security Council, The White House (2017-). Formerly: Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (President George W. Bush administration); Deputy Foreign Policy Adviser, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign; speechwriter for Rupert Murdoch, Fox News; Managing Director, BlackRock; Director of Executive Communications, Citigroup.
Professor George Borjas
Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Research Fellow, IZA; author: 'Immigration Economics' (Harvard University Press, 2014), 'Labor Economics' (McGraw-Hill, 7th ed., 2016), 'We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative' (W. W. Norton, 2016); Fellow, Econometric Society; Fellow, Society of Labor Economists.
Professor Tyler Cowen
Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics, George Mason University; Director, Mercatus Center; author: 'The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream', 'Average is Over', 'The Great Stagnation' and others; blogger, www.marginalrevolution.com.
Mr Cary Fontana
Ph.D. candidate in political science, University of Oregon (2012-); Fulbright-Schuman Researcher (2016-17), University of  Edinburgh and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Formerly: Water and Sanitation Agent, Peace Corps, Mali (2010-12).
Mr Julius Krein  
Editor, American Affairs.
Ms Tara L. Lemméy  
CEO & Founder, LENS Ventures; Founder, AirNext, Alpha Bravo; Inventor, 20+ issued patents; co-author, 'America's Moment', as member of Rework America, Markle Economic Future Initiative; Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Faculty member, Innovation, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Formerly: Founder & CEO, multiple technology startups; Technology co-Chair, Markle National Security Task Force post 9/11; Embassy of the Future Commission, Center for Strategic and International Studies; President, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Dr Michael Pillsbury  
Director, Center for Chinese Strategy, Hudson Institute; author, 'The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower'. Formerly: Assistant Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Planning (Reagan Administration); Special Assistant for Asia, Net Assessment Office of the Secretary of Defence (Bush Administration).
Mr Trae Stephens  
Partner, Founders Fund. Formerly: Palantir Technologies; adjunct faculty member, Georgetown University; computational linguist, United States Intelligence community; staffer, office of then Congressman Rob Portman; Political Affairs Office, Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. 
Mr Eric Weinstein PhD  
Economist and mathematician. Managing Director, Thiel Capital; Visiting Research Fellow, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford; Principal, Natron Group, New York.