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Image of An Evening with Adyashanti

Special Events

An Evening with Adyashanti

Sun 20 Aug 2014, 19.00

Alternatives Events presents

An Evening with Adyashanti - Everlasting Truth

An American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings, his teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognise what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years,

Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology and he says:

“The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all. Truth exists not in books but is every book, is not captured in words but is every word, is not contained within any manner of creation but is every manner of creation.”

Adyashanti will take questions from the audience during the evening.

Adyashanti is the author of The Way of Liberation, Falling into Grace, True Meditation, and The End of Your World. Based in California, Adyashanti teaches throughout North America, Europe and Australia, offering satsangs, intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Tickets: SOLD OUT

Image of The Ancestors Trail

Special Events

The Ancestors Trail

Fri 29 Aug 2014, 19.00

The BHA, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the Central London Humanist Group presents

The Ancestors Trail Evening Lectures

To mark the start of our weekend’s entertainment we are hosting a series of evening lectures that you are welcome to attend, irrespective of whether you can join us for rest of the weekend's events.


7pm - Andrew Copson - Chief Executive British Humanist Association

Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 having coordinated BHA’s education and public affairs work for five years. Andrew writes about secularist issues for journals and newspapers and has appeared widely on television and radio representing the BHA. 

8pm - Professor Armand Leroi – Professor of Evolutionary Development Biology at Imperial college, author and broadcaster.

Armand Leroi is not your average Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. As a scientist, his expertise lies in tiny worms and why they grow to precisely the same size. But outside the lab he has written about human mutants, presented several TV shows and done (serious) research into the evolution of pop music. In 2004, Leroi adapted his book into a television series called Human Mutants for Channel 4. This became the first of a number of successful documentaries he has presented, covering fascinating subjects such as “What Darwin didn’t know” and “Aristotle’s Lagoon”, about the groundbreaking studies of the ancient Greek philosopher/naturalist.

9pm - Dr Yan Wong – Evolutionary Biologist, co-author of 'the Ancestor's Tale' and broadcaster for TV’s ‘Bang Goes the Theory’.

Dr Yan Wong’s work on modelling the evolutionary effects of self-recognition systems in plants led to him being a research contributor to the Ancestor’s Tale book. Yan is well-informed over an extensive set of scientific disciplines, including maths, chemistry and ecology. In 2009 Yan joined the presenting team of BBC1's prime-time series "Bang Goes the Theory" and demonstrated a wide and eclectic range of scientific ideas to members of the public.  He delights in the challenges of live science demonstrations and often incorporates live science demonstrations into his talks.

Our knowledge of our evolutionary history is advancing all the time and Yan will be updating us on the Ancestor’s Tale and also demonstrating how to use OneZoom, a piece of software that he has developed to highlight the diversity of life on Earth. 

BHA Members, children and students:           £12:00

Non BHA Members:                                         £17:00

The annual Ancestor’s Trail evolutionary pilgrimage takes place in Epping Forest and the Lea valley over this weekend.  Based on Richard Dawkin’s book, The Ancestor’s Tale, details of the free walks, youth hostel accommodation, talks and celebrations can be found on the Ancestors Trail website.

The centrepiece to the week-end is the walk and combined with entertainment in the evening and lectures the following morning, a stay at Cheshunt YHA over Saturday evening is the best way to fully relax and enjoy everything. Friday night accommodation is bookable separately at Cheshunt YHA should you want to join in early or need somewhere convenient to stay in the area. The YHA is next to Cheshunt railway station on the Liverpool Street line.

Image of Rhinegold LIVE: Charles Owen - Piano Recital

Special Events

Rhinegold LIVE: Charles Owen - Piano Recital

Tue 9 Sep 2014, 18:15

Rhinegold LIVE presents 

Charles Owen - Piano Recital

Charles Owen will perform a programme featuring works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Debussy, and including the London premiere of Nico Muhly’s Short Stuff.

As part of the Rhinegold LIVE concert series, Muhly’s “swirling, post-Minimalist score” (NY Times, 2009), will receive its first performance in London. 

The evening will begin with a complimentary drinks reception and the recital will be followed by an informal Q&A between Charles and the editor of International Piano magazine, Claire Jackson. 

6.15pm reception for 7.00pm concert 

Tickets: Free (but should be reserved online beforehand).

(Photo Credit:© Agness Lugovska)

Image of The Festival of Life


The Festival of Life

Sat 13 Sep 2014, 10:30

The Festival of Life presents

The 11th Annual Festival of Life

The Festival is a unique one-day event with over 50 free talks, demos and workshops and a wide variety of stalls inside the hall and in the park in adjacent Red Lion Square, covering:

Self-healing and Self-empowerment, Natural Parenting and Nature Cures, Healthy Vegan Organic Meals and Whole-foods, Permaculture and Environmentalism,  Musical, Poetic and Artistic Expression,  Simple and Non-consumerist Living, Creating Community and Networks, Celebration and Connection

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Doors open: 10.30am

Talks and Workshops: 11am-10pm
Stalls: 10.30am-6pm

Conscious Dance Party: 7pm-11.30pm

Ticket price for full event: 10.30am-11.30pm: £20 /£15 (concs) at the door.
Late ticket prices - from 6pm onwards
£10 /£5 at the door.
Accompanied under 16's free. Entrance to Red Lion Square - free.

If you do not wish to stay for the dance party, you may request a £5 refund 
if you leave before 6pm. This will allow space for others to join at this point.

Image of Sunday Sermon - Richard Hytner on Leading from the Shadows

Special Events

Sunday Sermon - Richard Hytner on Leading from the Shadows

Sun 14 Sept 2014, 11.15

The School of Life presents

Sunday Sermon - Richard Hytner on Leading from the Shadows

The key to success lies in getting to the top – right? Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, Richard Hytner doesn’t agree. Not everyone can be No. 1, and more importantly not everyone wants to be. This doesn’t mean that everyone else has failed. Not lusting to be the out and out leader? This doesn’t mean you lack ambition or that you cannot find success or fulfilment from other leadership roles. What Richard will show is that there is great strength in being a number two and that much can be achieved from what some dismiss as the side lines.

Join Richard Hytner in this Sunday Sermon celebrating the second-in-commands, the ‘consiglieri’: Merlin to King Arthur, Al Gore to Bill Clinton, Rasputin to the Russian Royal Family. These are the deputies, Vice-Presidents, Personal Assistants, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Department Heads, First Lieutenants and First Violins whose influence determines the fate of countries, companies and individual ventures all over the world.

We’ll learn how to lead from behind and what it is about being a number two that many of us, whatever our number, can apply to our work and personal lives. This talk will cover thoughts and ideas not shared before and developed especially for the School of Life.

Since 2008 The School of Life has presented strictly secular Sunday Sermons exploring the values we should live by today. We ask maverick cultural figures to give us their take on the virtues to cling to or the vices to be wary of in our complex world. Expect persuasive polemics, pop-song hymns and artist-made buns and biscuits.

Richard is deputy chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and adjunct associate professor of marketing at London Business School. He co-founded the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust to promote fan ownership of the club; is a trustee of Planting Promise, a sustainable educational enterprise in Sierra Leone; and a trustee of the British Heart Foundation. Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows was published by Profile Book on June 5th.

Tickets £15

11.15 Doors open 
11.30 Sermon starts
12.30 Refreshments served 
13.00 End

Image of New Scientist Live - Exposing climate change

Special Events

New Scientist Live - Exposing climate change

Wed 1 Oct 2014, 18:30

New Scientist Magazine presents

New Scientist Live - Exposing climate change

Friederike Otto, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Alice Bows-Larkin, Reader, University of Manchester

One of the irritating things about climate change is that its effects are often unpredictable and invisible. These factors only increase controversy. But scientists are working to expose its impacts: to understand whether the extreme weather events we're seeing are linked to increased carbon in the atmosphere and to identify what we need to do to starve off the dangerous consequences of climate change.

Doors to Conway Hall will open at 6pm, the talk will commence at 6:30pm.

Tickets £14/£12

Tickets will only be available in advance through Eventbrite (subject to availability).

Image of LONDON 2014 Interactive Humanitarian Conference


LONDON 2014 Interactive Humanitarian Conference

Sat 4 Oct 2014, 10:00

One People, One World presents 

LONDON 2014 Interactive Humanitarian Conference

This Interactive Conference will showcase for the very first time, humanitarian individuals, groups and organisations adopting a 'unified approach' to address the urgent global humanitarian challenges that we face today.

In the face of a 'series of global humanitarian crises' (Climate Change, Food Production Concerns, War, Poverty, Rapidly Increasing Population, Ongoing Global Economic Problems, Increasing Lifestyle Costs and Stresses, Job losses due to Technology Improvements,...) - how should we as a people respond?

If we are serious about wanting to see truly 'positive change in the world', then we need to join forces and adopt a 'unified approach' to address these major global concerns.

This will be a full participation conference with 'Interactive Sessions' (on the Main Floor and Online) where your ideas and positive engagement will be encouraged and most welcome. 

PLEASE NOTE: We will be FILMING the event for future campaigns and a possible documentary. During the day, you will also have the opportunity to participate in some one-to-one video interviews if you wish. Thank You.

Seat Reservations:

FREE and Donation.

10AM – 4.30PM

Image of Stop the First World War

Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 7 Oct 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

From Ivory Tower to Activist:

Persistent Dissent: Bertrand Russell's response to the War and Conscription.

Chris Bratcher

At the onset of WWI, Bertrand Russell was aged 42, an eminent don at Trinity College, Cambridge, regarded in awe for his ten years' labour on Principia. Culturally and by birth, he was a leading member of the liberal intelligentsia. His anticipation of the cataclysm started his lifelong reasoned and passionate dissent from the conventional varieties of Establishment England. The talk first covers his reasoned objections to the war and his analysis of the failures of diplomacy (and its meretricious course under Sir Edward Grey, the Liberal Foreign Secretary).

In his opposition to the war, Russell discovered new bedfellows: socialists and pacifists; and a world of censorship. His defiant championing of the No Conscription Fellowship in 1916, and his condemnation of the treatment of Conscientious Objectors, resulted in his imprisonment and the loss of his academic fellowship.

Chris Bratcher is a former Chair of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and has given talks, largely on ethical issues at Conway Hall over many years.  He has developed a special interest in Bertrand Russell arising from his academic discipline of philosophy, and from a lifelong involvement in Peace and the CND movements.

Ramsay MacDonald and World War One

John Grigg

Ramsay MacDonald resigned his leadership of the Labour Party over his opposition to the First World War allowing Arthur Henderson to take over the leadership.

The Labour Party was a federation Trades Unions, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and the Fabians. The ILP backed MacDonald, while the TUs supported the war. The ILP did not exactly suit MacDonald, Many were pacifists which MacDonald was not and some were Marxists or near-Marxists for whom war was the inevitable product of Capitalism. MacDonald believed the matter was more complex.

John Grigg, Treasurer of Labour Heritage and a researcher into local Labour History in West London and one time Labour Leader of Hounslow Council.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

Image of Stop the First World War

Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 14 Oct 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

Week 3:

British Labour Movement and the Outbreak of the First World War

Willie Thompson

An overview of the reactions, ranging from patriotic (or resigned) support for the government, to pacifism to, revolutionary opposition. to the First World War among  all the various elements of the labour movement; the Labour Party and the Independent Labour Party,  the socialist parties and the trade unions

Prof Willie Thompson (now retired), was for thirty years lecturer and subsequently professor of contemporary history at what became Glasgow Caledonian University. He was a member of the Communist Party from 1962 until its disbandment in 1991, and author of an unofficial history of the CP, published in 1992 and entitled The Good Old Cause. He currently lives in Sunderland.

A Movement Divided, The Labour Movement and the Great War

A Case Study The West Riding of Yorkshire

Prof Keith Laybourn

The important textile district of Yorkshire including Huddersfield and Bradford divisions also had a divided response to the First Wold War, while initially there was general support for the war, the focus of the talk is on the strength, nature and tactics of the oppositional forces.

Professor Keith Laybourn B.Sc, PGCE, MA, PhD, FRHistS, FHA, FHEA is one of Britain’s most distinguished labour historians. He is Diamond Jubilee Professor at the University of Huddersfield. His publications include A History of British Trade Unionism, c.1770-1990; The Evolution of the Welfare State; Britain on the Breadline: A Social and Political History of Britain, 1918-39; The General Strike Day by Day; and A Century of Labour: A History of the Labour Party, 1900-2000.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

Image of Stop the First World War

Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 21 Oct 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

Week 4:

Irish Labour and the First World War

On 8 August 1914 Jim Larkin wrote in the Irish Worker newspaper lamenting the fact that Ireland’s ‘best blood’ was pouring out of ‘every port in Munster, Leinster and Connaught’ to fight for the British Empire. ‘Take heed of what we say’, he urged, ‘for if you do England’s dirty work you will surely rue the day. Stop at home. Arm for Ireland. Fight for Ireland.’ complained that even staunch Irish Citizen Army men were enlisting. After John Redmond’s unconditional offer of support for Britain’s declaration of war, Ireland was not exempt from the patriotic wave that swept over the British Isles, and at the Rising in Easter Week 1916 there were actually more Irish workers fighting for the British on the Western Front than there were fighting against the British in Dublin, the bulk of the Irish labour movement remained opposed to the War. From the very beginning the conflict was seen as Ireland’s opportunity and importantly the British government found it impossible to introduce conscription in Ireland.

John Newsinger is professor of History at Bath Spa University. He is a member of the Socialist History Society and the London Socialist Historians Group. He has written extensively on the labour and trade union movement in Ireland, on aspects of imperialism and the left. His many books include Fenianism in Mid-Victorian Britain (1994); United Irishman: The Memoirs of James Hope (editor) (2000); British Counterinsurgency: from Palestine to Northern Ireland (2002); Rebel City: Larkin, Connolly and the Dublin Labour Movement (2004); The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire (2006) and Jim Larkin and the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913 (2013).

Radical Liberalism and the Outbreak of WW1

This lecture will focus on the role of working class Liberal MPs (the LibLabs) in the prewar peace and arbitration movements and on the role of the radical Liberals including Charles Trevelyan and Arthur Ponsonby), who at the outbreak of war established the British Neutrality Committee and will consider Trevelyan's resignation from the Government together with John Burns and John Morley, on the issue of the declaration of war against Germany.

Duncan Bowie, reviews editor and history columnist of Chartist and a lecturer at the University of Westminster.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

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