In 1956 His late Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh brought together innovative thinkers to study and debate the ‘Human Problems of Industrial Communities

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).

Commonwealth Study Conference

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.

Our Timeline


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

2009 & 2013

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

Commonwealth Study Conferences:

Canada 1962
Australia 1968
UK 1974
Canada 1980
India/Australia 1986
UK 1993
Canada 1998
Australia/NZ 2003
India/Malaysia 2007


CSCLeaders programme runs with 593 participants from 28 countries.


HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences charity is formed

Finding opportunity in a crisis

CSC Leaders

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.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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