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Trust is the new oil

Wilton Park CEO Tom Cargill, writes on the importance of generating trust and building networks.

In an increasingly uncertain world, trust is the new oil. Generating trust, alongside the shared confidence, values and networks which underpin it, is core to the work of Wilton Park on trade, security, development and diplomacy.

Building on the reforms and initiatives of last year, Wilton Park enters 2022 expanding and deepening our contribution to generating the trust and confidence we need to overcome the major foreign policy challenges of our age – whether related to promoting global trade and development, nurturing technologies of the future, forging deeper peace & security partnerships around the world, or defending the fundamental freedoms and rights embodied in the Rules Based International System.


Globally present

The core of Wilton Park – strong networks, secure dialogue and sound diplomacy – will never change. How and where we deliver it will continue to evolve alongside technology and circumstances. Wilton Park has worked closely with bodies such as Public Health England to pioneer best practice in curating events which minimise the risk of COVID transmission.

We anticipate growing demand for our services through 2022, whether virtual, hybrid, or in person. In particular we plan to host more events in locations around the world, and perhaps as importantly, in different locations right around the UK.


New priorities

Our regional priorities are evolving, informed by last year’s Integrated Review. Engaging with American partners on bilateral, minilateral and multilateral issues is a growing priority, alongside building stronger links with European networks, and deepening relationships across the Indo-Pacific. This is in addition to our strong track record supporting peace, development and dialogue across the Middle East and Africa.

Our thematic priorities are also increasingly focused. Global health of course remains a core issue, as does climate change, building on considerable achievements in recent years. Growing streams of activity are addressing the future of development, as well as of diplomacy.

Wilton Park continues to convene important, if less public, diplomatic processes to help countries and regions resolve conflict, and build peace and security.

Last, but perhaps most importantly; we will be deepening our role as a global centre advancing debate on the values underpinning the Rules Based International System in the 21st century – whether related to trade, technology, Space or other established or emerging frontiers.

A changing Wilton Park

Supporting all of this, the architecture of Wilton Park will continue to evolve.

Our Friends of Wilton Park, and Youth Ambassador networks, launched last year, will develop their programme of activities to more effectively leverage and diversify our powerful global networks of expertise. The new All Party Parliamentary Group for Wilton Park will strengthen our engagement with and support to UK Parliamentarians.

We are launching a new network of Associate Programme Directors to complement our core team, and a new information management system will provide greater flexibility and user access to our networks past, present and future.

Join our networks of influence

In sum; 2022 will represent another step change in the pace and range of activities of Wilton Park, in support of our mission to mobilise and inspire global networks of influence to address our biggest challenges.

If we are not already working with you or your organisation, please do get in touch and join us and colleagues around the world in pursuing this mission, for UK and global benefit.

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