Hexham Debates Series 6

The Hexham Debates are back. See below for the programme of debates or download in Word format here.

All at 11.00am – 12.30pm

St Mary’s Centre
NE46 2EB

Saturday 19 January 2013

Geoff Tansey Writer and consultant on food systems

Food, peace and human thriving in a changing world.

Food is at the heart of human societies, but ensuring everyone has sufficient healthy nutritious food, sustainably and fairly, is a major challenge in the 21st century. To do so successfully, without contributing to future conflicts, requires a rethinking of much of the way we currently do things locally and globally. Geoff will explore what that might mean.

Geoff Tansey was chosen as one of the six ‘Visionaries for a just and peaceful world’ by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to mark their centenary. He has 30 years’ experience of working on the world’s dysfunctional food system, with its twin problems of hunger and obesity. An award-winning writer and consultant on food systems, his books include ‘The Food System’ and ‘The future control of food’. He is also a Trustee of the Food Ethics Council.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Mary Mellor Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Northumbria University

Sustainable and socially just economies.

A major source of injustice is the global money system, in which nations with dominant currencies can exploit weaker countries. This talk will look at ways in which the economic interaction between countries can be put on a more equal and less conflictual basis, avoiding the threat of ‘currency wars’.

Prof Mary Mellor focuses her current research on the financial crisis, money systems and financial exclusion. Her interests include the social economy and alternative economics; co-operatives and other alternative economic structures; ecofeminist political economy, ecological political economy and feminist economics; ecologically sustainable and socially just ‘sufficiency’ economics.

Saturday 16 March 2013

Nick Ritchie Lecturer in International Security, York University

Trident – the prospects for change.

A review of the Trident replacement process to date, and the prospects for moving away from the status quo.

Dr Nick Ritchie lectures in international security in the Department of Politics at York University, researching in the areas of international relations and international security. His recent research – funded by JRCT – explored the rationales underpinning the UK’s decision to embark on a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system, options for the UK, and the interplay between UK nuclear weapons policy and renewed momentum for significant progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons. He is currently conducting an ESRC-funded project exploring the manner in which nuclear weapons remain deeply embedded not only in strategic thinking and force postures, but also in our political cultures.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Paul Rogers Professor, Bradford University Department of Peace Studies

What happened to the Arab Awakening?

More than two years after the start of the Arab Awakening, what are the prospects for further peaceful change?  Can new governments cope with the high expectations of so many people, and will the positive developments be sustained?

Prof Paul Rogers is a biologist by academic origin, and Oxford Research Group’s Global Security Consultant. He has worked in the field of international security, arms control and political violence for over 30 years. He lectures at universities and defence colleges in several countries and has written or edited 26 books. He writes monthly Briefings for the ORG website analysing the international security situation, and Reports for ORG on international security and the ‘war on terror’. He is a regular commentator on global security issues in both the national and international media, and is International Security Editor for Open Democracy.

Saturday 11 May 2013

Judith Kirton-Darling Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation

‘Alternatives to Austerity:  a sustainable new deal?’

From a European Trade Union perspective, Judith will examine how far sustainable, green economics might offer an alternative to current Europe-wide austerity policies.

Judith Kirton-Darling After graduating from the University of Sheffield in Social and Political Studies, Judith was a Programme Assistant at the Quaker Council for European Affairs, responsible for their human rights and social policy. She has worked inside the trade union movement for over a decade. In May 2011 she was elected Confederal Secretary to the European Trade Union Confederation. The ETUC – the only EU-wide representative cross-sectoral trade union organisation – was set up in 1973 to promote the interests of working people at European level and to represent their 60 million members in the EU institutions. The process of European integration, with the euro and the growing impact of EU legislation on daily life, has changed the setting in which trade unions operate.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Mike Lewis Policy advisor on tax justice for Action Aid

Death and taxes: what the UK can do to end tax haven secrecy

Tax havens, and the offshore financial system they maintain, are not just ways to conceal wealth from the taxman. Their secrecy sustains the corporate structures and money-flows that fuel conflict and cause poverty. Mike Lewis will trace the fingerprints of tax havens on malnutrition and war crimes – and suggest what we can do about it.

Mike Lewis  With a background in corporate investigation and humanitarian action, Mike has worked for Oxfam, Amnesty International and the UN, researching international aid, the role of business in conflict, corporate crime and financial secrecy in Africa and Asia. His work has focussed on documenting weapons trafficking, conflict financing, corporate and financial networks, and human rights violations in conflicts. He is a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on Sudan, where he was deployed as a Security Council investigator on the Darfur conflict. He now advises Action Aid’s widely-respected work on tax and tax-avoidance in the developing world.

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