The Ditchley Foundation is located at Ditchley House in Oxford, England. The Wychwood Forest hunting grounds are located on the enormous estate and lend a great deal of interesting historical information to this area. Some people develop an interest in the Foundation, as well as the Ditchley House and estate because of an initial curiosity concerning the Wychwood Forest hunting grounds.
The older Ditchley House was burned down in a fire, and the current estate home was constructed in 1722, designed by James Gibbs for the Earl of Lichfield, George Lee. Accounts of the history are ones of prestige and elegance. Ronald and Nancy Tree purchased the estate home in 1933, at which time Nancy Tree, was known as a famous decorator who kept her name Nancy Lancaster for business purposes. The décor of the estate was well noted as her finest work. This helped to evolve her global reputation and spoke to the world that she was possibly the finest decorator around the globe. Churchill was reported to have stayed at the Ditchley House, tucked away from 1940 to 1942 for his safety.
In 1958, the Ditchley Foundation was created with the intent of being housed within the Ditchley home. It was first imagined and then created by Sir David Mills with the intent of bringing prominent people together from all over the globe to share their insights and expertise on world issues. It was to be a very quiet organisation with no obvious promotion or newspaper coverage. It seems to be an organisation with many secrets. Today, it is an institution that is known around the world but only in peripheral ways.
Lectures by famously qualified people are at the core of the institute's agenda. The Foundation is profoundly interested in global problems and global agenda. There are now a series of conferences planned for the future, since the 2008 conference entitled the Media and Democracy was deemed a success.
On December 4, 2008, certain media people and media academics from around the world were invited to a conference on the media and democracy. This has been one of the more "open" moments of the Ditchley Foundation, where a summation of the conference meetings was put together by its director, Sir Jeremy Greenstock. His work has been published and shared with others to involve the world more fully in the need for the media to remain active within the reporting boundaries of global democratic evolution and policies. The Ditchley Foundation has begun to expand its own boundaries since its 1958 inception and promises to present many interesting topics within the framework of each conference.
Sir Jeremy Greenstock concluded that there are many problems that the media face today. One problem has become the Internet and its ways of presenting and sharing information. People are more personally involved through self-pursuit rather than involving themselves with media presentation. Another problem is one of advertising or lack thereof. With the formal media shifting and fading into the background, advertisers are no longer as interested in investing their money with the media.
The pros and cons of the challenges surrounding the media were bantered around. Some people were optimistic due to innovation and new technology being woven into the media world. These people saw the times as an opportunity. There were those who pessimistically saw the future as being dead for the traditional media. They believed the traditional media would not survive fundamental transition and change.
Uniformly, all in attendance believed that greater education on behalf of the readers and viewers was a necessary component of media success. They saw that this was vital to the future survival of all aspects of the media. This was their most recent, and also their last conference to date. It appears as though the Ditchley Foundation is undergoing an evolution of greater expansion into the world of all who pursue intellectual information concerning global issues. Many informative conferences are promised in the near future.