Rethinking Freedom at Leeds Civic Hall


Upcoming Speakers:


Wendy Earle
Saturday 28 April: Tetley Talk Spring 2018 - Can Art Survive The Culture Wars?

Dr Wendy Earle writes on the arts and culture for spiked and is convenor of the Institute of Ideas Arts and Society Forum, which promotes open and open-ended discussion of the arts and culture and of the place of arts and culture in society. She works at Birkbeck, University of London, to promote knowledge exchange and public engagement with research in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Previously she worked in educational publishing and at the British Film Institute.


Previous Speakers:


James Woudhuysen
Saturday 2 December: Tetley Talks 2017 - Fascism: "The Mobilization of Passions"

James Woudhuysen is a visiting professor of forecasting and innovation at London South Bank University. He has written for the Economist and The Times, and contributes regularly to Blueprint magazine and to spiked. He is co-author of Energise! A future for energy innovation (Beautiful Books, 2009) and editor of Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation (Shanghai Jia Tong University Press, 2012). For more than 40 years, James has also written and lectured about 19th- and 20th-century history and politics, with a particular interest in the First and Second World Wars. Visit his website at:


Penny Lewis Saturday 25 November: Tetley Talks 2017 - Futurism: "To Sing the Love of Danger"

Penny Lewis is a lecturer in Architecture & Urban Planning and the Wuhan Joint Degree Programme Leader at the University of Dundee. She is also a founding member of the Foundation for Architecture & Education (AE Foundation), and she writes for newspapers and architectural publications. Her work includes; Challenging Contextualism (2004) and Curious Rationalism (2006). She is co-author of In Defence of the Dome (1999), and contributed a chapter to Future of the Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated (2008).


Philip Cunliffe Saturday 18 November: Tetley Talks 2017 - Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution

Philip Cunliffe is Senior Lecturer in International Conflict at the University of Kent. He completed his doctorate in war studies at King’s College London and, before joining the Kent, Philip taught in the defence studies and war studies departments of King’s College London. In 2008 Philip was appointed to provide reports on Western Balkan politics for the Economist Intelligence Unit. He contributes regularly to the international media and has broadcast on local radio stations as well as BBC Radio 4, Al Jazeera, Russia Today and Press TV. He blogs at and tweets @thephilippics.


Ann Furedi
Thursday 19 October 2017: What is the Moral Case for Abortion?

Ann Furedi has been CEO of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) since 2003; which is the UK’s leading abortion service. Before then she was director of policy and press for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the UK’s regulator of embryo research and assisted conception. Ann has written extensively in defence of women’s autonomy of reproductive choice, and is the author of The Moral Case for Abortion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). She is also a board member of the American research charity, IBIS Reproductive Health and chair of the governing body for Mid Kent FE College.


Georgia Testa
Thursday 19 October 2017: What is the Moral Case for Abortion?

Georgia Testa is a lecturer in Medical Ethics in the School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science at the University of Leeds. Her main teaching responsibility is for the medical ethics provision in the School of Medicine, and on Biomedical Ethics for the Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre. Georgia’s current and past teaching for Philosophy includes Introduction to Ethics; Environmental Ethics; War, Terror and Justice; and The Ethics of Life and Death. She is a Trustee of the Institute of Medical Ethics as well as the Chair of their Education Committee, and case studies editor for the journal Research Ethics.


Michael Thomson
Thursday 19 October 2017: What is the Moral Case for Abortion?

Michael Thomson is Professor of Law at the University of Leeds. He is a graduate of the Universities of Southampton (LLB) and Birmingham (PhD Law), and joined the School of Law in July 2013, having previously held a Chair in Law at Keele University. His interests span the fields of health law, children’s rights, and legal theory with a particular focus on legal embodiment. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Reproducing Narrative Gender, Reproduction, and Law (Dartmouth, 1998) and, with S McGuinness, ‘Medicine and abortion law: complicating the reforming profession’ (Medical Law Review, 23.2, 2015).


Alastair Donald
Wednesday 31 May 2017: What's the Future of Democratic Politics?

Alastair Donald is the associate director of the Institute of Ideas, and coordinates planning and programming across projects including Battle of Ideas and Battle of Ideas Europe, and is co-founder of the IoI’s residential school Living Freedom which allows 18-25-year-olds to explore the meaning and ideals of freedom in the twenty-first century. Alastair is the co-editor of the books The Lure of the City: from slums to suburbs (2011) and The Future of Community: reports of a death greatly exaggerated (2008). He has written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Independent, City Metric, Architectural Review and Blueprint.


Stephen Coleman
Wednesday 31 May 2017: What's the Future of Democratic Politics? 

Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds, Honorary Professor in Political Science at the University of Copenhagen and Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. His main research interests are: methods of political engagement; uses of digital media in representative democracies; intersections between popular culture and formal politics; political efficacy; citizenship education; political aesthetics, performance and rhetoric; literary and dramatic representations of politics; and forms of deliberation and decision-making. Stephen has written widely on democracy, public engagement and the media, including How Voters Feel (CUP, 2013).


Michael Meadowcroft
Wednesday 31 May 2017: What's the Future of Democratic Politics? 

Michael Meadowcroft has been active in Liberal politics for over fifty years. He has been a Leeds City Councillor, a West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Councillor, and was MP for Leeds West, 1983-87. Over the past twenty years he has been mainly concerned with new and emerging democracies, and has led or been a member of some fifty missions to thirty-five countries. His academic thesis was on Leeds City government and he has lectured extensively on Leeds local history. Michael writes regularly and is the author of The Politics of Electoral Reform (Fourth Ed., 2016). Visit his website.


Phil MullanPhil Mullan
11 May 2017: Can We Manufacture An Economic Renaissance?

Phil Mullan combines business management with research and writing, primarily on economic matters. He is the author of Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance(Policy Press, 2017), and The Imaginary Time Bomb: Why an Ageing Population is not a Social Problem (IB Tauris, 2000). In business, he is a director of Epping Consulting, having completed eight years in senior management roles with Easynet Global Services, an international communications services company. Previously he had been chief executive of the internet services and training company Cybercafé Ltd. Read Phil’s blog.


Prof Andrew BrownAndrew Brown
11 May 2017: Can We Manufacture An Economic Renaissance?

Andrew Brown is Professor of Economics and Political Economy and Divisional Director of Research at the University of Leeds Business School. HIs research advances explanations of key developments in economy and society. He has published on theories of value and growth, financialisation, the euro, job quality and satisfaction, well-being, infrastructure economics, and ICT. He also stresses the research importance of methodology and philosophy, and leads large-scale interdisciplinary research across economists, engineers, mathematicians, environmental scientists and social scientists within the ‘Financialisation, Economy, Society and Sustainable Development’ project. He works closely with policy makers, and has advised HM Treasury on infrastructure economics.


Dr Mark DavisMark Davis
11 May 2017: Can We Manufacture An Economic Renaissance?

Mark Davis is Associate Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Bauman Institute at the University of Leeds. A sociologist of economic life, he is primarily interested in the relationships between money, markets and morality. Mark is also a consultant to UK centre-left think tanks, chiefly Finance Innovation Lab, New Economics Foundation, and Compass, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He edited Liquid Sociology: Metaphor in Zygmunt Bauman’s Writings on Modernity (Routledge, 2013); and has authored numerous reports, most recently with T Braunholtz-Speight on Financial Innovation Today: Towards Economic Resilience (Bauman Institute, 2016).


Josie Appleton
12 April 2017: Rise of the Busybody State

Josie Appleton is convenor of the Manifesto Club; she oversees the club’s campaigns and publications, and coordinates the membership programme. She heads up the Campaign Against Vetting, and is author of its series of reports (starting with The Case Against Vetting in October 2006). She also founded and edits the Thinkpieces series, and chairs Manifesto Club salons. As a journalist and writer, she writes on the freedom issues of the day for a number of publications, and is the author of Officious: Rise of the Busybody State (2016).


Adam Crawford
12 April 2017: Rise of the Busybody State

Adam Crawford is Professor of Criminology, University of Leeds, and Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute. He is Director of the N8 Policing Research Partnership, a collaboration between universities and policing partners in the north of England. With Professor Shapland (Sheffield) he is exploring the use of restorative justice in policing. He is Co-Investigator on an AHRC project: ‘The future prospects of urban parks: The life, times and social order of Victorian public parks as places of social mixing’. Recent books include Legitimacy and Compliance in Criminal Justice (2013) and International and Comparative Criminal Justice and Urban Governance (2011).


Andrew CalcuttAndrew Calcutt
26 November 2016: Tetley Talks 2016 - Pop Culture and the Erosion of Adulthood

Andrew Calcutt is Principal Lecturer in Journalism at the University of East London. He is the co-author of Journalism Studies: A Critical Introduction (Routledge, 2011), and the author of Arrested Development: Pop Culture and the Erosion of Adulthood (Continuum 1998, reprint Bloomsbury Academic, 2016). He also edits East Rising, the news-led, regional website 'staffed' by UEL students.


Angus KennedyAngus Kennedy
19 November 2016: Tetley Talks 2016 - Is Art Good For Us?

Angus Kennedy is convenor of the Institute of Ideas’ educational initiative The Academy which he established in 2011 as a modest attempt to demonstrate what university should be like and so rarely is. He is interested in and writes on the philosophy of freedom and is the author of Being Cultured: In Defence of Discrimination (Societas, 2014). See fuller biography here.


Joanna Williams
11 October 2016: Does a 'Culture of Conformity' Threaten Academic Freedom?

Dr Joanna Williams is the director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent. She has published articles in a number of academic journals, and is the education editor of spiked as well as a regular contributor to the Times Higher Education and the Guardian Higher Education Network blogs. Joanna is the author of Consuming Higher Education: Why Learning Can’t Be Bought (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), and Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


Dr Nick EmmelNick Emmel
11 October 2016: Does a 'Culture of Conformity' Threaten Academic Freedom?

Dr Nick Emmel is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Leeds. He is a realist methodologist and critical sociologist who always questions preconceived and common sense notions and names causes. Nick's research-led teaching addresses health inequalities and inequities in an international context. He is the author of Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research(London: Sage, 2013).


Claire FoxClaire Fox
20 July 2016: Brexit: What Next For The UK?

Claire Fox is the Director of the Institute of Ideas, which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. She convenes the annual Battle of Ideas festival of debate held in London each autumn. Claire is a panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and is regularly invited to comment on TV and radio programmes such as Question Time and Any Questions?. She is a columnist for the Times Educational Supplement and the Municipal Journal, and she is the author of "I Find That Offensive!" (Biteback Publishing, 2016).


Dr Jim ButcherJim Butcher
15 June 2016: Traveling for a Change? The Merits of Ethical Tourism

Dr Jim Butcher is a Reader in the Geography of Tourism at Canterbury Christ Church University, and the author or three books and numerous papers and articles on tourism and culture, most recently Volunteer Tourism: The Lifestyle Politics of International Development (Routledge, 2015) with Pete Smith. He has written for THESspiked and has appeared on TV and radio commenting on the tourism industry and its critics. Jim is a defender of mass tourism and a critic of the inflated claims made for eco-alternatives. He is a member of the American Association of Geographers and the Royal Geographical Society.


Dr Davina StanfordDavina Stanford
15 June 2016: Traveling for a Change? The Merits of Ethical Tourism

Dr Davina Stanford is a Senior Lecturer at the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism & Hospitality at Leeds Beckett University.  Her research interests include responsible tourist behaviour, destination management and responsible tourism transport in protected areas.  She has several years’ consultancy experience in destination management including work International organisations such as UNEP and UNWTO; National organisations such as VisitEngland; and local destination organisations, charities and landscape partnerships. Davina is Course Leader for the Responsible Tourism Management MSc at Leeds Beckett University.


Dr Simon WoodwardSimon Woodward
15 June 2016: Traveling for a Change? The Merits of Ethical Tourism

Dr Simon Woodward is Principal Lecturer in the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality at Leeds Beckett University. Simon's current interests include community involvement in protecting and managing heritage; the role of historic university buildings as tourist attractions and student engagement with World Heritage values. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Leeds Beckett University and his consultancy work, Simon Chairs the ICOMOS-UK Cultural Tourism Committee, sits on the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee and is a Trustee of the Landscape Research Centre, a charity promoting public engagement with the archaeology of North Yorkshire.


Dr Kate BrownKate Brown
5 May 2016: Who Benefits From The 'Vulnerability Zeitgeist'?

Dr Kate Brown lives in East Leeds and is a Lecturer in Social Policy and Crime at the University of York. Before studying for her PhD she worked in the third sector for around ten years supporting vulnerable groups such as young women who sold sex, young drug users and families affected by domestic violence. Her book Vulnerability and Young People: Care and Social Control in Policy and Practicewas published by The Policy Press in 2015. Kate is also Chair of Trustees for Basis Yorkshire, a sex work and sexual exploitation support charity.


Dr Ken McLaughlinKen McLaughlin
5 May 2016: Who Benefits From The 'Vulnerability Zeitgeist'?

Dr Ken McLaughlin co-ordinates modules on sociology and mental health atManchester Metropolitan University and is concerned with the way in which societal problems are increasingly viewed through a therapeutic gaze. His book Social Work Politics and Society: From radicalism to orthodoxy highlighted the authoritarian consequences of the ‘therapeutic turn’ in contemporary political life, with particular focus on social policy development and social work practice. His work has appeared in a number of professional journals including the British Journal of Social Work and Critical Social Policy and in the online current affairs magazine spiked.


Dr Ruth PatrickRuth Patrick
4 April 2016: What Welfare State Do We Want?

Dr Ruth Patrick is based in the Department of Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Leeds, where she did her degree in Social Policy as a mature student. She then completed a PhD, which explored the lived experiences of welfare reform. Before her studies, Ruth worked in London for the Fabian Society and the IPPR; organising conferences and events, and conducting research on issues including Inheritance Tax reform and housing affordability. Between her undergraduate degree and her PhD, she also worked for Shelter providing housing advice to offenders in prison.


Dr Andrew DunnAndrew Dunn
4 April 2016: What Welfare State Do We Want?

Andrew Dunn is a senior lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Lincoln. He is the author of Rethinking unemployment and the work ethic: beyond the 'quasi-Titmuss' paradigm (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), which offers a critique of mainstream social policy writing about unemployment. His latest article, in the journal 'Social Policy and Society' (forthcoming, 2017), argues against the use of relative definitions of poverty.


Luke Gittos
2 March 2016: Is 'Rape Culture' a Dangerous Myth?

Luke Gittos is a solicitor practising criminal law. He has extensive experience in defending allegations of rape and sexual violence. He is also the legal editor forSpiked-online, where he writes regularly about legal developments in this field and about defendant's rights generally. He regularly participates in debates on legal issues on television and radio. His first book, Why Rape Culture Is A Dangerous Myth: from Steubenville to Ched Evans, was published by Societas in September 2015.


Dr Kate BrownKate Brown
2 March 2016: Is 'Rape Cultue' a Dangerous Myth?

Dr Kate Brown lives in East Leeds and is a Lecturer in Social Policy and Crime at the University of York. Before studying for her PhD she worked in the third sector for around ten years supporting vulnerable groups such as young women who sold sex, young drug users and families affected by domestic violence. Her book Vulnerability and Young People: Care and Social Control in Policy and Practicewas published by The Policy Press in 2015. Kate is also Chair of Trustees for Basis Yorkshire, a sex work and sexual exploitation support charity.


Hannah Bows
2 March 2016: Is 'Rape Culture a Dangerous Myth?

Hannah Bows is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) atDurham University examining rape and serious sexual assault against people aged 60 and over. More broadly, her research interests have focused on violence against women and she has assisted and led on a number of projects in this area. She teaches a number of modules at undergraduate level including criminal law and gender violence modules.


Tim BlackTim Black
5 December 2015: Heidegger and the Rejection of Modernity - part of the 'Civilization and its Discontents' series of talks at The Tetley

Tim Black is the books and essays editor of spiked. He is responsible for the spiked review of books, for which he’s written the reviews: Why they’re scared of Heidegger and Hating modernity, hating the Jews: a reckoning with Heidegger


Dr Ellie LeeEllie Lee
28 November 2015: Spencer and the Organic Society - part of the 'Civilization and its Discontents' series of talks at The Tetley

Ellie Lee is Reader of Social Policy at the University of Kent. Her research and teaching draws on sociological concepts such as ‘risk consciousness’ and ‘medicalisation’ to analyse the evolution of family policy and health policy. She is the author of Abortion, Motherhood and Mental Health: Medicalizing Reproduction in the US and Britain (Aldine Transaction, 2003) and co-author of Parenting Culture Studies (Palgrave, 2014). She is the Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, and regularly discusses her research in the media and other public forums.


Mike FitzpatrickMichael Fitzpatrick
14 November 2015: Freud and the Repressive Society - part of the 'Civilization and its Discontents' series of talks at The Tetley

Michael Fitzpatrick worked as a general practitioner in East London for 25 years. He writes on a wide range of health and social issues for a range of medical and mainstream publications, and is the author of: The Tyranny of Health: Doctors and the Regulation of Lifestyle(2000), MMR and Autism(2004), and Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion(2008).


Adrian HartAdrian Hart
5 October 2015: Multiculturalism and its Discontents

Adrian Hart is a teacher turned filmmaker living in Brighton. From 1997 his filmmaking prioritises the participation of children and for 10 years he worked on video projects in schools collaborating with various London arts organisations, including the films Safe, the 2002 winner of LWTs 'Whose London?' competition, and Only Human, made in 2006 as an educational resource for Essex primary schools. Adrian is also the author of That’s Racist! How the Regulation of Speech and Thought Divides Us All (Societas, 2015). He also wrote the Manifesto Club reports The Myth of Racist Kids (2009) and Leave Those Kids Alone(2010). 


Paul ThomasPaul Thomas
5 October 2015: Multiculturalism and its Discontents

Paul Thomas is Professor of Youth & Policy and Director of Researchat the University of Huddersfield. He is a professionally qualified youth and community worker, and previously worked as a regional manager for a national voluntary youth work organisation, and as a regional youth policy and campaigns officer for the Commission for Racial Equality. Paul has had numerous articles published in peer-review journals, and is the author of Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s 2012 Phillip Abrams Memorial Prize, andResponding to the Threat of Violent Extremism – Failing to Prevent (Bloomsbury, 2012).


Yunas SamadYunas Samad
5 October 2015: Multiculturalism and its Discontents

Yunas Samad is Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Bradford. His main areas of interest are: South Asia and the Diaspora; Transnational Identity Politics Diaspora, Race, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism; Religion and Nationalism; Ethnicity and Nationalism. He is author of numerous reports and books including Muslims and Community Cohesion in Bradford - Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report (York, 2010),Pakistan-US Conundrum: Jihadis, Military and the People – the struggle for control(Hurst & Co, 2011), and co-editor with Kasturi Sen of Islam in the European Union: Transnationalism, Youth and the War on Terror (OUP 2007).


Rachel HolmesRachel Holmes
14 July 2015: Eleanor Marx: A Life

Rachel Holmes is a cultural historian whose work combines meticulous biographical research with an ability to bring the lives and times of her 19th-century subjects vividly to life. She is the author of The Hottentot Venus: The life and death of Saartjie Baartman (Bloomsbury), and The Secret Life of Dr James Barry (Viking & Tempus). In 2014, Rachel co-edited the much-discussed Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago). She was co-commissioning editor of Sixty Six Books: 21st Century Writers Speak to the King James Bible (Oberon, 2011). And she is curator of the new Impossible Conversations talks series at the Donmar Warehouse.


Professor Bill DurodieBill Durodié
27 April 2015: Radicalisation & Security

Bill Durodié is Professor and Chair of International Relations in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, University of Bath. He was formerly Professor in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University based in Victoria, British Columbia, where he was Program Head for the Conflict Analysis and Management programs. He previously held positions at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, in the Department of Defence Management and Security Analysis at Cranfield University, part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham, and in the War Studies Group of King's College London.


Professor Ian CramIan Cram
27 April 2015: Radicalisation & Security

Ian Cram is Professor of Comparative Law, University of Leeds. He currently serves on the Board of Editors of the International Comparative Law Quarterly, and previously acted as General Editor for the new edition of Borrie & Lowe The Law of Contempt that was published in 2010. Ian also recently appeared as an expert witness on constitutional reform at the House of Commons, and has written three monographs, including Terror and the War on Dissent - Freedom of Expression in the Age of Al-Qaeda (Springer, 2009), as well as numerous articles in leading international law/politics journals.


Kate WickerKate Wicker
27 April 2015: Radicalisation & Security

Kate Wicker is a PHD researcher in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Her research interests lie in the role of experts and evidence in public policymaking, particularly in contexts where knowledge is uncertain and contested. Kate's PhD analyses how expertise is expressed, conferred and denied among ‘radicalisation’ experts in the UK. Kate also teaches on crime-related undergraduate modules. She has recently carried out policy-led projects in the Scottish Government's Justice Analytical Services and with Leeds University Union. Before starting her PhD, she worked at York St John University and the Economic and Social Research Council.​


Geoff DibbGeoff Dibb
21 March 2015: Tea & Cake with Oscar Wilde: A Vagabond in Leeds

Geoff Dibb is a retired civil engineer and planner living in Wakefield, and the author of Oscar Wilde - Vagabond with a Mission: The Story of Oscar Wilde’s Lecture Tours of Britain and Ireland (2013). He first became interested in Oscar Wilde’s lectures when he read a letter Wilde had written when visiting Leeds. He researched Wilde’s lectures for 30 years, and has written many papers for the Oscar Wilde Society journal, The Wildean. In his presentation Geoff will describe Wilde’s lecture tours, particularly focussing on his visits to Leeds, other towns in the West Riding and across Yorkshire. 


Timandra HarknessTimandra Harkness
9 March 2015: Big Data: Big Hope or Hype?

Timandra Harkness is a writer, comedian and radio presenter. She is the resident reporter on BBC Radio 4’s The Human Zoo, and she also presented the Radio 4 documentaries Data, Data Everywhere and The Singularity. She has written for the Daily Telegraph, WIRED, BBC Focus, Spiked-online, Men’s Health, and The Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, and she is writing a book on Big Data for Bloomsbury’s Sigma popular science imprint, due out in 2016.  Timandra is currently touring BrainSex, a solo comedy show about brain science and gender which got 4 star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Mark Birkin
9 March 2015: Big Data: Big Hope or Hype?

Mark Birkin is Professor of Spatial Analysis and Policy, Director of Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, and Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre. His major interests are in simulating social and demographic change within cities and regions, and in understanding the impact of these changes on the need for services like housing, roads and hospitals. He is co-editor of the journal Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, a member of the editorial board of GeoInformatics and GeoStatistics, and on the programme committee for the European Social Simulation Association and GeoComputation. He is currently leading the university’s ESRC research project into Big Data.


Graeme TiffanyGraeme Tiffany
9 March 2015: Big Data: Big Hope or Hype?

Graeme Tiffany is an independent education consultant with a background in youth and community work and street social work. His work includes training, lecturing, research and project management. Graeme is a pioneer of ‘Community Philosophy’, which uses philosophical tools to support community participation in decision-making. As a part-time PhD student in the philosophy of education, Graeme is researching ‘uncertainties’ in education. As such, he is interested in the role of data systems, their effect on the practice of educators and social workers and implications for democracy. Follow his activities and read his blog here.


David ChandlerDavid Chandler
17 November 2014: Resilience: The Governance of Complexity

David Chandler is Professor of International Relations and Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and editor of the journal Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses. He is also editor of the Routledge book series Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding and a new series Advances in Democratic Theory. His most recent books include Resilience: The Governance of Complexity (2014) and Freedom vs. Necessity in International Relations: Human-Centred Approaches to Security and Development (2013). Visit his website.


Katy WrightKaty Wright
17 November 2014: Resilience: The Governance of Complexity

Katy Wright is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Bauman Institute, University of Leeds.  Currently, she is critically exploring theories of community resilience through qualitative empirical work in South Wales, involving the development of an alternative approach to understanding resilience. Previously, Katy has worked on research projects covering topics including human rights in post-conflict societies; health and social care; and disability and employment; and she has a particular interest in the themes of community, engagement and risk/vulnerability.


Mark Davis
17 November 2014: Resilience: The Governance of Complexity

Mark Davis is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds, Founding Director of the Bauman Institute and Director Building Sustainable Societies. He is interested in the capture and translation of the social world into economic interests, specifically how individual freedom is reduced to market choice and how this can be reconciled with the challenge of creating fairer, more resilient, and more sustainable societies. He is author of the forthcoming Consumer Culture and Society: A Critical Introduction, and editor of Liquid Sociology: Metaphor in the Writings of Zygmunt Bauman’s Sociology (2013). Mark was elected a Fellow of the RSA in 2010.


Dave Clements
8 October 2014: Hunger in the UK? The Food Banks Phenomenon

Dave Clements is a public servant with over a decade’s experience working in strategic management, project and communications roles in local government. He convenes the Social Policy Forum at the Institute of Ideas and blogs for the Huffington Post. He is also the author of Social Care for Free Citizens (Manifesto Club, 2010), and co-editor of The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated (Pluto, 2008).


Anne DanksAnne Danks
8 October 2014: Hunger in the UK? The Food Banks Phenomenon

Anne Danks was born and raised in Scotland, where she studied French and German at St. Andrews’ University. Having begun her career  teaching in some challenging secondary schools, she now pursues a passion for social justice through her work with The Trussell Trust, particularly through helping communities set up and develop sustainable foodbank projects. She is also part way through an M.A. in Justice, providing her with an opportunity to rigorously examine and dismantle common assumptions about poverty and its causes.


Richard Bridge
8 October 2014: Hunger in the UK? The Food Banks Phenomenon

After working in the private sector as Finance Director of a medium-sized company in South Leeds for 17 years, Richard switched career. He has since worked as an outreach adviser for a number of Citizens Advice Bureaux since 2006 and currently supervises the Children’s Centre advice project in Leeds for Better Leeds Communities. Richard recently graduated in Social Policy from the University of Leeds, and is author of the report ‘The institutionalisation of emergency food provision: a danger to the social safety net?’ (University of Leeds, August 2014).


Justine Brian
8 October 2014: Hunger in the UK? The Food Banks Phenomenon

Justine Brian is the National Coordinator for the Institute of Ideas sixth-form Debating Matters competition. She is an occasional writer on food issues and has produced a number of debates at the Battle of Ideas festival of debate on food-related


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