In 2014, as part of a competitive tender process, the CCW Programme successfully bid for the opportunity to convene the triannual meetings of the Chief of the Defence Staff’s UK Strategy Forum. The aim of the Forum is to promote the development, education, and training of strategic thinkers across Defence. Employing a combination of creative thinking and evidence-based analysis, these events allow participants the opportunity to discuss strategic issues in depth in order to be better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The attendees reflect the character of CCW – bringing together policymakers, civil service, armed forces, academics as well as others from the private and public sectors. The diversity is to assist in enhancing the debate and ideas and to establish a porous network which will provide a novel and challenging feedback loop of ideas between military and non-military members of the Forum, ultimately enhancing policy-making across Whitehall.

The Programme hopes to draw on the experience of the UK Strategy Forum to offer this successful model to other countries around the globe. There has already been some interest from other European nations. It is also hoped that this tried-and-tested method could be used to stimulate debate among different countries, for example by bringing together the NATO member states in a joint Strategy Forum.

To date, CCW has convened the following Strategy Forum events:

Misuse and Abuse of Strategy in Government

10 October 2014 at Pembroke College, Oxford

Keynote Speaker: Herman Narula (CEO of Improbable)

Making the Most of our People

12 March 2015 in HMS President in London

Dr Eamonn Molloy (Fellow in Management Studies, University of Oxford)

Making Deterrence work in the 21st Century

15 July 2015 in Merton College, Oxford

Dr Scilla Elworthy (Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Founder, Oxford Research Group)

UK Defence: International by Design

Tuesday 2 February 2016 at Pembroke College, Oxford

Keynote speaker: Professor Janne Matlary (Professor of International Politics, University of Oslo; former State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Developing Skills for the Next Generation

Wednesday 15 June 2016 at the Royal College of Defence Studies, Belgrave Square, London

Keynote speaker:  Professor Peter Grindrod (Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford; former member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

Global Inequality and Insecurity – Strategic Considerations for the United Kingdom

1 December 2016 in Pembroke College, Oxford

Frances Stewart, Professor Emeritus in Development Economics, University of Oxford


The next Strategy Forum will take place on 15 March 2017 in Pembroke College, Oxford and will consider the theme of Russia.