Chatham House summer school: What’s shaping the world?

Join Chatham House experts for a series of interactive discussions and Q&A sessions. The summer school is aimed at 16-to-18-year-olds and takes place online over five days.

Special event, Workshop
24 July 2023 TO 28 July 2023 — 4:00PM TO 5:30PM
Students attending a Chatham House event

Are you a 16-to-18-year-old student passionate about international affairs and interested in a career in policy research and think-tanks?

Our summer school is a fantastic opportunity to connect with world-leading experts on international affairs, boost your CV or university application, and gain an insight into careers in the sector.

The summer school explores some of the major themes Chatham House researchers work on. It gives you an opportunity to participate in the discussion, share your vision for the future and find out how our researchers develop positive solutions to global challenges.

There is no cost to participate in the summer school, but if you would like to help empower young people to change the world or add your voice to the debate, you can:

  1. Donate to our Annual Fund.

  2. Apply for or gift a student membership and save £30 when you use the discount code CH30OFF. 

  3. Or, if you are a parent wanting membership for the whole family, you can save 10% on an additional full membership for yourself by using the code SS10OFF.

Why attend?

  • Meet our researchers and hear about their career paths;

  • Expand your knowledge of key issues in international affairs;

  • Learn what a policy institute (or ‘think-tank’) is and what it is like to work in one;

  • Learn how to build critical skills to help you prepare for the best post-A level opportunities in universities, apprenticeships and the world of work; and

  • Find out how you can stay in touch with Chatham House and our activities.

How to register

To register please complete the Zoom registration form.

Who attends

Chatham House exterior with the iconic blue door and the blue plaque.

The venue

Chatham House is a trusted forum for debate and independent analysis. Our special events provide access to thought leaders who share their insight and ideas.

We are housed in our world-famous Grade II listed home in beautiful St James Square, London.


Monday 24 July

Welcome and introduction

Bronwen Maddox, Director and Chief Executive


What is driving the US-China contest?

The US and China, the world’s two biggest economies, are locked in a struggle for ascendency. China is seeking to reshape the world order in its own favour, while the US is seeking to maintain its leadership position. 

Many countries, including key US allies like the UK, are struggling to find their own balance between Washington and Beijing. What is driving this contest and what does it mean for the world.

Ben Bland, Director, Asia-Pacific Programme


What role does the UK want on the global stage?

On 31 January 2020 the UK left the EU. The UK may have more freedom to chart its foreign policy course, but does it have the capacity, and can it afford to do so?

Will the UK be able to navigate a path between the US and the EU – or will shared values and common challenges mean even greater cooperation with these historic allies? In short, what role does the UK want on the global stage, and is it achievable and realistic?

Olivia O’Sullivan, Director, UK in the World Programme




Tuesday 25 July

How can there be a lasting peace in Ukraine?

What are the prospects for a diplomatic resolution in the months ahead? How is the war reshaping the global security order? What are the dangers inherent in quick fixes and premature peace deals? What have been the lessons for multilateral responses to security crises and threats of armed conflict?

Orysia Lutsevych,
 Deputy Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme; Head of the Ukraine Forum
Ľubica Polláková, Assistant Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme


Wednesday 26 July

What does 2.4 degrees warmer mean for international relations?

What critical risks does current climate change pose for the international system and are current forms of diplomacy, trade and finance fit for purpose?

In this session, Laura and Glada talk through ‘cascading climate risks’ – the combination of human dynamics, climate change and environmental breakdown that we can expect to cross borders and require systemic change.

This includes addressing food insecurity, migration and managing disruption and demand in a rapidly changing energy and water situation. How can we a) better prepare for and b) better respond to these risks?

Glada Lahn, Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Society Programme
Laura Wellesley, Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Society Programme
Anum Farhan, Project Manager, Environment and Society Programme


Thursday 27 July

AI and Society: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

Around the world, governments and international bodies are recognizing that new norms and approaches are needed to mitigate risks of harm from AI technologies and foster their responsible development and deployment.

What is even happening? Where and how is AI being integrated into our daily lives? What are the major risks stemming from these technologies? What does it mean for international relations? And what would be the appropriate policy responses to these questions?

The Digital Society Initiative invites all participants to the summer school to engage with us and help us think through key, relevant questions around the responsible development and deployment of AI.

Yasmin Afina, Research Fellow, Digital Society Initiative
Alex Krasodomski, Senior Research Associate, Digital Society Initiative


Friday 28 July

Building critical skills

How should we think critically about international affairs? How  should we analyse the news?  What is working in a think tank actually like? How often do researchers engage with politicians and what do they do on a typical day? How can you successfully apply for an internship? What skills are needed and how do you make your application stand out from the crowd?

Tolu Oni,
Panel of Young Adviers
Alis Martin, Internships and Outreach Manager


Career insights from Chatham House

Is there a degree which prepares you for working at a think-tank? What does a day in the life of a think-tank intern look like? What does a think-tank researcher do?

Barbora Krasova, Intern, The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs


How to remain engaged with Chatham House

How can you stay in touch after completing the summer school?

Samuel Ajakaiye,
Panel of Young Advisers
Joseph Osayande, Coordinator, Individual Membership, External Relations
Alis Martin, Early Careers Manager
Romane Dideberg, Intern, Africa Programme
Beth Whittaker, Intern, International Security Programme
Lydia Isard, Intern, US and the American Programme


Thank you and prizes announced