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Colloquium Colloquium Colloquium

What is the Colloquium?

CCS Colloquium is a two-day (three nights) residential program and forum for in-depth discussion centred on a chosen theme. The Colloquium provides participants an opportunity to disentangle themselves from the distractions of everyday life to reflect on issues of fundamental and enduring importance. Our hope is that participants will go on to share their advanced understandings and to develop innovative ideas and approaches for the advancement of liberalism today.

Unlike a traditional conference in which some lecture and others listen, participants at the Colloquium explore a specified theme together by discussing texts they have read in advance. Their shared inquiry is guided by a discussion leader who offers probing questions and helps to keep things moving, but who does not lecture or advocate for any specific interpretation of the texts. The purpose of the discussions is not to convey doctrine or to drive home certain pre-conceived conclusions but to challenge participants to examine, refine, and develop their own ideas by engaging with others interested in the same issues.

The discussions at the Colloquium are relaxed but maintain an air of formality. Participants are encouraged to listen attentively to one another's thoughts and concerns and to ask questions related to the text as a way of deepening their understanding of the issue and of each other.

Participants are also required to follow certain rules: they must speak one at a time, have the text in their minds and on the table in front of them, and are expected to support their assertions with reasoned argument and evidence from the text. During the formal discussions, participants are also required to keep their references to things that have been read in common or that are common knowledge. No technical jargon or specialised background knowledge is admitted. The purpose of these restrictions is to ensure that "reason is the only authority" and that everyone can think for themselves and judge what is being discussed. Social time and breaks, besides providing opportunities to network and have fun, also allow participants to continue to debate and discuss the issues raised in the formal conversations.

How does it Work?

CCS will select 20 participants from various backgrounds such as think tanks, academia, media, corporates, government and NGOs.

Some of the participants will be invited directly by CCS without application while others will be selected from a pool of interested applicants on a competitive basis.

We will distribute the Colloquium Reader, a selection of articles or chapters by various authors, to the participants two months in advance. Participants are required to read and reflect on these texts carefully before the Colloquium as they serve as the foundation for the shared inquiry discussions. Participants are responsible for the content of the discussions, thus the quality of the program depends entirely on their thorough preparation.

Six discussion leaders will be chosen from among the participants to facilitate each session of the Colloquium.

Eligibility: Professionals with domain knowledge, experience or interest on the chosen theme of the Colloquium from corporate, think tanks, development sector, government, academia or the media are eligible. Participants can get nominated by their organisations or apply directly. Candidates will be required to participate for the entire duration of the seminar.

Upcoming programs:

Past programs: