SHDP runs a number of types of event depending on the topic, audience, speakers, and outcomes desired. Examples of SHDP events include:
- One-day roundtable conferences for 50-60 people
- Conferences of up to 200 people from one to several days
- Academic seminars
- Lectures in various venues
- Dinners with keynote speakers
- Briefings for the media
The SHDP director was the founder of the Rustat Conferences based at Jesus College, Cambridge. The topics covered by the conferences and reports between 2009-17 include: Cyber Security, Food Security, Inequality, Infrastructure, the Financial Crisis, Big Data, Blockchain and Bitcoin, the Future of Research-based Universities, the North-South divide, Ageing in the UK, and the Future of Work.