287 specialists from government, business, trade unions, academia, and NGOs from the Commonwealth countries met for nine days. This was the beginning of a valuable tradition, which grew to accommodate almost 300 people at every conference and travelled to countries across the Commonwealth.
Inspired by the success of the early events, in 1963 a Trust was established to support UK programmes and the UK's involvement in programmes elsewhere. The Trust was called "H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences (U.K. Fund).
In 2012, the Trust developed a partnership with Common Purpose to organise Commonwealth-wide conferences, creating the CSCLeaders programme. This ran successfully from 2013 to 2019 on an annual basis and typically involved a week in the UK and a week elsewhere in the Commonwealth such as India or Kenya.
With the completion of the 2019 CSCLeaders programme, the Trust established HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences as a new charity. Normally referred to as CSC UK, it was set up to develop a new programme and to form closer links with other CSC organisations worldwide. Plans for a new programme are being developed with the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh hosted the first Commonwealth Study Conference
Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference began
Australia/NZ launched Emerging Pacific Leaders’ Dialogues
Australian Latin America Leadership programme
Caribbean- Canada Emerging Leaders Dialogues launched
Emerging Leaders Dialogue Asia in Malaysia
Launch of Global Leadership Series online in the context of the pandemic
Local events were set up by alumni across the UK
CSCLeaders programme runs with 593 participants from 28 countries.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences charity is formed
Bringing hundreds of passionate people from all over the world into one place has always been the foundation of what we do. There’s nothing quite like meeting someone in person to find out more about them, and we still believe it’s the best way of making connections that last.
However, the effects of the covid pandemic have meant this has not been possible in a traditional sense, and so we’ve brought many of our events online.
Being able to meet in person will always be important, but making part of our programme virtual will mean participants can meet more regularly and with less disruption to their busy schedules.