talk

Democracy in the 21st Century

Speaker Derek Bates will argue that we should be able to properly engage with our elected representatives using modern communication and internet technology, have a “live” influence on our futures and express our opinions – effectively crowd-sourcing innovative policy and direction.

Once Upon a Time

In this event our thought-provoking speaker, Peter Logan, will contradict the common sense view that there are thousands of myths and that they change continually over time. He sets out to demonstrate that not only is there just one myth, but also that there has always been only one myth, and it has been incredibly influential in the development of our society.

Alex Stein

Alexandra Stein will discuss cults and brainwashing, focusing on the leadership, structure, ideologies and processes involved. These attributes are common to a variety of dangerous relationships, from one-on-one cults to extremist political groups. There is an urgent need to teach young people about these phenomena at all levels of education. This talk will include suggestions about creating a culture of awareness in order to prevent recruitment to these systems and to increase accountability of the abuses that occur within them.

The Improbability Principle:

Coincidences happen, incredibly unlikely things occur, and the apparently miraculous comes about. The improbability principle says that such extraordinarily improbable events are commonplace. It shows that this is not a contradiction, but that we should expect identical lottery numbers to come up more than once, lightning to strike twice, and financial crashes to occur.

Shipwrecked with Vincent Deary

“To live is to feel oneself lost” writes Jose Ortega y Gasset “he who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look round for something to which to cling”. In attempting to steer a course through life, we often find ourselves off course or even shipwrecked. What do we cling to in these difficult straits, and what North Star can take us back on course?’

London Thinks - The Rise of UKIP

The Rise of UKIP: Where did it come from, and how far can it go in the general election? With just weeks to go until arguably the most unpredictable General Election in a generation, London Thinks invites you to a discussion in which we try to understand the UK Independence Party. We will be discussing the party’s origins, who its supporters are and just why its message has been so effective. Will the “UKIP earthquake” continue on to the general election, and what could that mean for the future of British politics?

Jane O'Grady

Sartre proclaimed how free we are – able to choose what to do, be and feel. But this freedom is not a liberation but a life-sentence – with hard labour. If we are to follow Sartre’s exacting strictures on avoiding bad faith, then we will always be scrupulously monitoring ourselves for authenticity, and it will be virtually impossible to be sincere – about our emotions, our sexuality, our love.

The Story

The Story is returning to Conway Hall for its sixth (!) year of inspiring talks and interesting stuff. Last year we had Alan Rusbridger on Snowden and the NSA leaks, Bryony Kimmings on creating awesome role models for kids, Gruff Rhys on American Interior, Iain & Jane on making the brilliant Nick Cave film 20,000 days on earth, and the unforgettable Stella Duffy on Fun Palaces.

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