About the Commonwealth Leadership Development Conferences and the Regional Dialogues

"The objective is for members to look, listen and learn in the hope that the process will help them to improve the quality of their decision-making when they reach the peaks of their occupations." -HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The first Commonwealth Study Conference held in the UK in 1956 was, in the words of its founder HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh "an extraordinary experiment". It set out to provide an opportunity for people from all over the Commonwealth and all walks of life to leave behind their usual roles and, with a diverse group of people, examine the relationship between industry and the community around it. The purpose was not to produce high sounding resolutions and weighty conclusions but to challenge the participants' assumptions and prejudices; to give them the chance to examine real situations and the issues arising from the interaction of businesses, their employees and the communities in which they operated. The members were, at Prince Philip's insistence, to be "people who appeared likely to be in the next generations of leaders so that when the time came for them to take important decisions they would have the benefit of what they had discovered on the Study Conference to help them".

Although the first conference was conceived as a "one-off", its participants found it such a worthwhile experience that they determined to make it available to subsequent generations. Since 1956, conferences have been run at approximately six-year intervals, variously hosted in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. As well, a number of regional conferences, modeled on the proven success of the Commonwealth Leadership Development Conferences, have also been organized:

  • UK Interim Conferences
  • Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conferences
  • Emerging Pacific Leaders' Dialogues
  • Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders' Dialogues

In 2006, the Canadian Alumni published a History Book titled "Leadership in the Making - 50 Years of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences" and thanks to the many sponsors, copies were sent to all CSC Alumni.

To reflect the history, diversity, progression and unique shared experiential leadership development format, the Commonwealth Conferences and Dialogues share the distinction of recognition as:

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences | Emerging Leaders Dialogues” HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, President and Patron