The Pontignano Conference
The Pontignano Conference is one of the most important annual events in the UK-Italy bilateral relationship, each year aiming to bring together influential delegates from the worlds of education and academia, technology and innovation, culture and society, business and finance, politics, foreign and security policy, government and media.
The Pontignano conference was founded by the British Council and St Antony’s College Oxford in 1993. It brings together current and future leaders from the UK and Italy to address common challenges and develop networks and close relationships. Organised by the British Embassy in Italy, the British Council and Siena University, the conference has developed a network that includes Ministers, Prime Ministers, Presidents and leaders from the business and academic worlds.
The conference is designed in such a way as to provide a structured yet informal opportunity for conversation, debate and relationship-building over the course of two days in the quiet and beautiful setting of an old monastery outside of Siena. Most of the proceedings take place under Chatham House Rule – in other words, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
A core part of what we do are the workshop sessions on Day 2, which are moderated by leading Italian and British figures in each field and which are highly participative, round-table occasions. The programme includes Plenary sessions with key representatives from both countries.