Special Events

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Image of The People’s Panel

Talks & Lectures

The People’s Panel

Mon 30 Mar 2015, 19:00

The Young Foundation presents

The People’s Panel

Join us for the culmination of The People's Accelerator: The People's Panel.

An evening hosted by The Young Foundation, Conway Hall Ethical Society, People's Republic and Sunday Assembly's Sanderson Jones. General Secretary of the Cooperative Party, Karin Christiansen, will introduce the pitches by talking about the opportunities that alternative finance models present for social initiatives.

The event is the first of its kind - a live crowdfunding festival supporting six social justice organisations to raise the support they need to grow.

Each one has been taking part in The People's Accelerator at The Young Foundation for the past four months. The organisations are:

The Reasons Why Foundation
STEAM University
InSync Music
Connect Justice

The aim of The People’s Panel is to put the growth of important social projects in the hands of the society itself. Each organisation will present their work. They will be working to convince you, the audience, to add your support to their cause – through giving time, money or simply loud cheers of encouragement.

You can view all their crowdfunding pages here.

What is The People's Accelerator?

The People’s Accelerator supports campaigners from across the UK to build structured, high-impact and financially robust civil movements which can grow to tackle the root causes of inequality. Alongside Citizens UK and The Centre for Justice Innovation, we recruited six projects with the momentum and commitment to make this happen.

From November 2014 - March 2015 we have supported these groups to develop their ideas, build the capacity of their teams, refine their visions and accelerate their growth through targeted funding and support.

Now it's your turn to help them grow.

Join us from 7 - 9pm to see what our civil movements have started and to join in their journey.

Entry: Free.

Image of Going Solo (more or less)

Film & Theatre

Going Solo (more or less)

Tue 31 Mar 2015, 19:45

The Conway Collective presents:

Going Solo (more or less)

An evening of performance, film and storytelling. Featuring works by Sean Bruno, Jessica Burn and more.

Admission: pay what you can.

Image of London Thinks: How to Topple a Dictator

Special Events

London Thinks: How to Topple a Dictator

Wed 8 Apr 2015, 19:30

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

London Thinks: How to Topple a Dictator

Tipped for a Nobel Peace Prize and hailed as a world-changer by everyone from the World Economic Forum to Wired magazine, fifteen years ago Srdja Popovic was more interested in punk rock than political protest.

In conversation with Nick Cohen he will explain how he became one of the leaders of Otpor! — the movement which overthrew dictator Slobodan Milosevic — and has since gone on to train the pro-democracy activists behind the Arab Spring, Occupy, and many other movements. Drawing on his new book, Blueprint for Revolution, he will tell the stories of ‘ordinary revolutionaries’ he has been inspired by along the way, many of whom  have created social change by avoiding violence and opting for something far more powerful: a sense of humour. 

Tickets: £15 (£5 concessions and Conway Hall Ethical Society members).

(Image credit: Oliver Mark)

Image of An Introduction to Beekeeping

Talks & Lectures

An Introduction to Beekeeping

Sat 11 Apr 2015, 2.00pm

Urban & Community Beekeeping presents

An Introduction to Beekeeping

Everything you've always wanted to know about beekeeping but were afraid to ask!

The Conway Hall beekeepers are running a half day course for newbie beekeepers.

We'll cover:

  • The practicalities of beekeeping.
  • Build a hive.
  • Put on a bee suit.
  • Light a smoker.
  • Open a hive and see a colony of bees.
  • Taste some honey.

Tickets: £40 (including honey!) 

2.00 - 5.00pm 

Book early to avoid disappointment, as places are limited. 

Image of Santayana as Social and Cultural Philosopher

Talks & Lectures

Santayana as Social and Cultural Philosopher

Sun 12 Apr 2015, 11:00

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Tom Rubens

The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) has been an undeservedly neglected figure in British academia for many decades. This neglect is in marked contrast to the considerable attention he received in the first half of the 20th century. Santayana's range as a philosopher is wide, covering ontology, epistemology, ethics, the arts and sciences, religion, political and social issues. Also, his language possesses classic clarity. So, a revival of interest in him is long overdue - as is, indeed, a talk on him to the Conway Hall Ethical Society. His views on the excesses of industrialism and on the perennial need for virtue-politics are among the things which remain highly relevant in today’s society. This talk is designed to help bring a great philosopher back to the fore.

Tom Rubens is a semi-retired teacher of English and Philosophy. He has worked as a university and college lecturer, and as a private tutor, and is still active in the latter field. Linked to his teaching work is his writing activity: he has produced eight books on philosophy (seven published so far) and has also published poetry. A novel is due to appear later this year. 

He has been a member of Conway Hall Ethical Society since the 1980s, and has been active at Conway Hall in a number of ways: serving a brief period as editor of the Ethical Record: delivering a large number of Sunday morning lectures; and doing archive work on material in the Society's journals from the 1870s onwards.

If you would like to comment on this event please visit our Ethical Record section.

Doors 10.30. Entry £3, £2 concs./free to Ethical Society members.

Tea, coffee & biscuits will be available.

Image of Spiritualists

Film & Theatre


Sun 19 April 2015, 16:00

The Conway Collective presents:

Spiritualists, a rehearsed reading of a new play loosely based on the Rochester Rappers

written by Anne-Sophie Marie

In the years preceding the American Civil War, a young spiritualist medium struggles with her profession, her beliefs and her powers.

Margaret and her two sisters earn a living through séances, passing for the real thing by using various tricks to fool their audience.

When Margaret meets Elisha, an explorer who remains a sceptic, something triggers the kind of experience she usually only pretends to have. As other events unfold, Margaret no longer knows her own mind nor the kind of life she must lead to survive while keeping her integrity.  

Tickets: £5

Image of Language courses in Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian-Portuguese and German

Courses & Workshops

Language courses in Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian-Portuguese and German

20 Apr - 26 Jun 2015

Lingua Diversa Group presents

Language courses in Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian-Portuguese and German

The Lingua Diversa Group was founded by Esther and Lucio in 2002. They run lunchtime and evening courses from beginner to advanced level in:

Spanish, Italian, French, German and Brazilian-Portuguese.

The next term will start week beginning 20 April and last for 10 consecutive weeks. The fee is £130 for lunchtime and £190 for evening courses. There are maximum 10 students in each group.

Classes run 12:00 - 13:00 / 18:00 - 19:30 / 19:35 - 21:05. 

Tickets: £190 evening courses / £130 lunchtime courses.

To book your place please email info@linguadiversa.co.uk.

Image of Rhinegold Live: Carolyn Sampson

Special Events

Rhinegold Live: Carolyn Sampson

Wed 29 Apr 2015, 19:00

Rhinegold Live presents

Carolyn Sampson

18.15 drinks reception
19.00 recital

British operatic soprano Carolyn Sampson will be joined by pianist Joseph Middleton in a programme of songs inspired by flowers. This event will mark the launch of Sampson’s first solo recital CD, Fleurs, on BIS Records.

Programme tbc

This concert is followed by an informal Q&A which will be conducted by Ashutosh Khandekar, editor of Opera Now magazine.

Free: Reserve your ticket

Every ticket-holder will be guaranteed a seat and a drink; there will be a limited number of places available on the day on a first-come, first-served basis, but on-the-day seats do not include a complimentary drink. There are 150 pre-registered tickets available, and each ticket must be applied for separately.

Once registered, you will receive an email which is your ticket: please print this email out and bring it with you on the day.

Please only book a ticket if you plan on attending the event.

(Image credit: ©linsengerecht.de)

Image of A Boring Conference

Special Events

A Boring Conference

Sat 9 May 2015

The Boring Conference presents

Boring V

The Boring Conference is a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked – subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating.

It was created in response to the cancellation of the 2010 Interesting Conference. It seemed like the obvious thing to do.

Ticket details will be announced in due course. 

Previous speakers have included Jon Ronson, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Adam Curtis. People have talked about sneezing, toast, IBM tills, the sounds made by vending machines, the Shipping Forecast, barcodes, yellow lines, London shop fronts, the television programme Antiques Road Trip and the features of the Yamaha PSR-175 Portatune keyboard.

Image of London Thinks - Buying and Selling Sex: the Big Debate

Special Events

London Thinks - Buying and Selling Sex: the Big Debate

Wed 13 May 2015, 19:30

London Thinks:
Buying and Selling Sex: the Big Debate

'Sex work' is work. Prostitution is violence against women. These two sentences encapsulate the polarised and often bitter feminist debate over the buying and selling of sex. So what can the two sides agree on?

In this special London Thinks, hosted in association with the New Statesman, we will hear from current sex workers and prostitution survivors about the reality of the sex trade, and take floor contributions from academics, charity workers and other experts. Can selling sex be empowering, or a job like any other -- or should we try to "end demand"?  And what does the evidence say is the best way to keep women safe - legalisation, decriminalisation or the "Nordic model" of criminalising punters, but not prostitutes?

Confirmed panellists include: 

Margaret Corvid is a writer, activist and professional dominatrix living in the south-west of England. She writes for the New Statesman on sex, power and social change. 

Fiona Broadfoot was exploited into prostitution at the age of 15 and exited in 1996 after someone close to her was murdered. She now works for SPACE, an organisation which supports women leaving the industry.

In addition to our panellists, we will also take floor contributions, and we invite audience members to submit testimony which can be read aloud by the chair or delivered anonymously in the hall, from behind a screen. Please, email statements to be read out to ian.steadman@newstatesman.co.uk with the subject line "Conway Hall" and include details of how you would like to be referred to.

The panel will be chaired by Samira Ahmed.

Tickets: £15 (£5 for Ethical Society Members and concessions - unwaged/students/retired).

Complimentary drinks and nibbles will be available on the night (first come, first served).

Discount also available to new members signing up via Eventbrite. 

Doors open 19:00.

N.B. This event will be filmed on the night. Only the stage area will be filmed to protect identities of anyone in the audience who does not wish to appear on video. Please be aware that audio from the event will be more difficult to anonymise and we cannot guarantee that audience members will not take their own pictures (on their phones, etc) for personal use. 

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