Influence and Trust: Tales from the frontline of international relations, a lecture by Baroness Ashton on the occasion of the British Council's 80th Anniversary

80th Anniversary Lecture by Baroness Ashton

To mark the 80th Anniversary of the British Council, an international panel and 10,000 people around the world were asked to choose their 80 moments and trends across global politics, culture, science and education. 

In 2014, the British Council marks its 80th Anniversary. This is an opportunity to look back and consider key changes that have taken place during the period of the organisation’s existence and which have shaped the way we live or had a big impact on individuals, communities and countries and the relations between them.

To help us do this, we invited a group of people around the world, all of them eminent in their field, to nominate the individuals, events, trends and inventions of the past 80 years which have been most significant. We asked them to propose three in each of three categories: arts, culture and sport; education, science and technology; and politics, society and human rights.

Combining their generous and thoughtful responses into a randomised list, we then invited members of the public – a thousand people in each of ten countries (Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, UK, USA) – to vote on which they thought were the most significant. 

The resulting ranking, presented here, is no more than a snapshot of a period in time. But we hope it will be thought-provoking; we hope that people, in the UK and around the world, will come together and start a conversation about their own most significant moments.