Monday, April 22nd, 2013
SCT is collaborating with the British Library in a series of mini debates to take place during the Library’s ground-breaking Propaganda: Power and Persuasion exhibition which opens on 17 May and runs until 17 September.
Four open-air lunchtime debates will take place over 45 minutes between 2 and 5 September in the Poet’s Circle in the Library’s piazza. Following brief introductions to the theme, the debates will be open to all-comers and will address such questions as whether propaganda can serve a public interest, how it interacts with new media, its influence on the news and its relationship with free speech.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
In New Media – Making or Breaking Connections? the latest in SCT’s online Forum for Debate series, Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University, warns that preoccupation with social networking, over-exposure to video games and over-reliance on search engines could be contributing to a decline in communication skills and an increase in anti-social behaviour while producing a generation which is narcissistic and with a less secure sense of identity.
Stephen Coleman, Professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds, highlights the opportunities which new media have created, particularly in the public sphere. He argues that “the emergence of the internet has greatly increased the power of voices that were once unable to access the public domain” and “contribute(s) in significant ways to redressing the illusion that the only people with anything to say are to be found in broadcast studios, newspaper offices or government buildings”.
Monday, February 25th, 2013
Speakers’ Corner will be coming to the Brighton Festival in a programme of mini debates to be held in the Foyer Bar at the Dome on 11 May under the theme of A Good Society – Not Just Big But Better. In a series of 20 minute sessions, the public will be invited to discuss a range of topics from the merits of co-operation as the basis for both economic success and personal fulfilment to the business case for a living wage and the needs of both older and younger people in the city.
The local groups and organisations which will be introducing the topics include the Co-operative, The People Who Share, Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, Democratic Society, the Royal Society of Arts, the Older People’s Council and Pensioners’ Association and Brighton University.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Bradford and Sheffield have taken a step closer to establishing Speakers’ Corners in their city centres later this year. Both have had informal spaces which provided platforms for campaigning and debate in the past but the new ones are intended to be permanent.
The Bradford Speakers’ Corner Committee has identified a space close to a historic meeting place and will announce its plans following further consultation. The Sheffield Committee has identified a shortlist of three potential sites and is developing a programme of public events to test their suitability in the spring.
Monday, December 10th, 2012
A wide ranging group of community leaders came together at Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in early December to form a Speakers’ Corner Committee and plan a programme of events for 2013.
Links have already been formed with the Brighton Festival which takes place in May and an innovative project is being developed with the Workers’ Educational Association and the local Trust for Developing Communities to create a model for consultation and engagement in a particular neighbourhood. If successful it’s hoped that the model can be adopted elsewhere.
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
In the latest in SCT’s online Forum for Debate series The Right to Die – Personal Choice or Public Safety? Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, calls for legislation to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults to relieve their and their loved ones’ suffering by being helped to end their own lives.
But Dr Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of the Care Not Killing Alliance, counters that any change in the law could impose intolerable pressure on sick and vulnerable people and open the door to euthenasia.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
October has seen the public launches of three new Speakers’ Corner projects in Sheffield, Bradford and Ipswich. All three featured temporary Speakers’ Corners in prominent spaces in the city centre from which members of the public – and in Ipswich’s case school children – spoke about a vast range of the issues which matter to them, from housing conditions in Sheffield to unemployment in Bradford to the cost of cinema tickets for young people in Ipswich.
The launches and the programmes of events which accompanied them in Sheffield and Bradford, are just the first steps in initiatives which it’s hoped will lead to the creation of permanent Speakers’ Corners in all three cities.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
The launches of Sheffield Speaks on 15 October and Bradford Speaks on the following day will both provide the platform for people to speak for sixty seconds on any subject under the sun. Temporary Speakers’ Corner – which it is hoped will become permanent features of both city centres next year – form the centre piece of wide-ranging programmes of events during and beyond Local Democracy Week which runs from 15 to 21 October.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Speakers’ Corner projects in Sheffield and Bradford are to be launched with programmes of events in both cities during Local Democracy Week next month (15-21 October). The Sheffield Speaks and Bradford Speaks initiatives are modelled on the pioneering and hugely successful original which took place in Leicester in 2010 and has become a fixture in the city’s calendar.
Each initiative brings together a range of local organisations to organise events providing platforms for their local communities to debate the issues which matter to them. Programmes are taking shape in both cities and details will be available on the Sheffield and Bradford pages of this site in due course.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Following last year’s successful event at the Brandenburg Gate which commemorated the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November, Speakers’ Corner is returning to the German capital on 31 August. This time the event will take place in the famous Alexanderplatz, scene of the great demonstration in 1989 which led to the storming of the Wall a week later. This year the Centre for Political Beauty has led the organisation, with SCT and the British Council in support, ith the aim of providing a platform for ordinary Berliners.
Google is again backing the event and also sponsoring SCT in organising similar initiatives in Prague and Warsaw.