Guest Speaker Series

Discover the great line-up of guest speakers we will be hosting on our campuses. In order to ensure that our students never lose sight of the different reality that so many others in the world experience on a daily basis, we feel it is important to expose them to first hand testimony from people with personal stories that challenge their world view.

Talks have so far covered topics as diverse and wide ranging as environmental issues, race relations, human and civil rights, conflict and reconciliation, science, the problem of homelessness and even Ancient Greek philosophy!

Many of our speakers are household names such as IVF pioneer Professor Lord Robert Winston, politicians Alex Salmond and Vince Cable, feminist and academic Germaine Greer, pioneer Bertrand Piccard, astronaut Al Worden, journalists Jon Snow, Nick Robinson and Gary Gibbon, cartoonists Chappatte and Plantu, authors Gillian Slovo and John Carlin, and athletes Hannah Cockcroft, Graeme Le Saux or Howard Gayle.

Others, such as Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss, human rights activist Marina Litvinenko, and anti-FGM activist Leyla Hussein deserve more recognition. 

Please note that these events are open to all members of the Ecolint community (parents, staff and students) as well as the wider public. If you are interested in attending, please register by clicking on the links next to each speaker and if space allows we will endeavour to accommodate your request.

Upcoming 2018-2019 Speakers

Speaker Date & Time Description

Brian Keenan

7 September 2018

12:00-13:00

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Registration

Brian Keenan is a Northern Irish writer whose work includes the book An Evil Cradling, an account of the four and a half years he spent as a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon from 1986 to 1990. While working as a teacher at the American University of Beirut, Keenan was kidnapped by the Islamic Jihad at the height of the Lebanese Civil War. During his captivity, he shared a cell with British journalist John McCarthy. Keenan was finally released following diplomatic intervention from the Irish and Iranian governments.

An Evil Cradling was made into the film Blind Flight in 2003.  

Petra Volpe

14 September 2018

8:15-9:45 Screening of The Divine Order
10:00-11:00 Q&A

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Registration

Petra Volpe is a Swiss screenwriter and film director, best known for directing The Divine Order, a story following character Nora Ruckstuhl, a housewife and mother in a small village who advocates for women’s suffrage in Switzerland which is to be voted on in the 1971 referendum. 

Volpe studied at the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg. She has directed several award winning television movies and wrote the screenplay for Heidi, the internationally most successful Swiss film of all times.

Saskia Keeley

2 October 2018

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Saskia Keeley is a Swiss photographer educated at Geneva University, Sotheby’s and the New Academy for Art Studies in London. Based in Manhattan, Keeley also spends time in Amagansett-Long Island and Geneva-Switzerland, and has travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Her passion for global adventure has enriched her appreciation for and understanding of disparate cultures.

Saskia Keeley partners with humanitarian organisations to share their valuable work with the world, including Leaders' Quest (India), END Fund/Amani Global Works (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Roots and Taghyeer (West Bank), and We Love Reading (Jordan).

Keeley will present her experience of what it means to be a photojournalist in the humanitarian world. 

David Johns

5 October 2018

12:00-13:00

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Registration

David Johns is an English stand-up comedian, actor and writer, best known for his breakthrough role as Daniel Blake in the Palme d’Or-winning film, I, Daniel Blake, a film which sparked much debate in the UK about the welfare system. 

Johns has performed extensively in UK comedy clubs, as well as in comedy clubs and festivals worldwide for nearly three decades. A talented improviser, he also makes regular guest appearances with The Comedy Story Players, and has frequently performed on London’s West End stages.

Ruth Ibegbuna

12 October 2018

12:00-13:00

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Registration

Ruth Ibegbuna is the founder and CEO of RECLAIM, a Manchester-based award-winning social action and youth leadership programme with a focus on working class young people being seen, being heard and leading change. Prior to this, she was a teacher in a South Manchester state school. 

In 2008, Ibegbuna was named Manchester Peace Activist of the Year. In 2016, she was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. Ibegbuna is an Ashoka UK Fellow.

Khairollah Alemi

16 October 2018

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Khairollah Alemi left his country, Afghanistan, at the age of 11 after the death of his parents who were both killed by the Taliban. Four years later and tens of thousands of kilometres away, he finds himself in Haute-Savoie after a perilous journey during which he faced the worst: forced marches, child labour, dangerous Mediterranean crossings, even prison. Yet Alemi still has hope.

Now aged 19, he has published an account of his experience and remains sole guardian and protector of his little brother who remained in Afghanistan. 

Alemi will recount his journey from Afghanistan to France.

Niall de Búrca

October 2018 (Day TBC)

12:00-13:00

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Niall de Búrca is one of Ireland’s finest traditional storytellers. He has performed in Irish theatres, on the radio and at many festivals including Féile Earraai, the CS Lewis Festival and the National Children’s Book Festival. 

Recognised for the diversity of his stories and with an ability to reach all ages, de Búrca is a familiar figure to many Irish children through his innovative school programmes, namely his “Storytelling as a Tool for Education” workshops. He has carried these abroad to countries as diverse as Poland, Argentina, Italy and The Netherlands.

Dame Katherine Grainger

9 November 2018

8:30-9:30
Salle Rousseau, Campus des Nations
Registration

&

12:00-13:00
Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie
Registration

Dame Katherine Grainger is a British rower and, with five Olympic medals, is Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian. She is a 2012 Summer Olympics gold medallist, four-time Olympic silver-medallist and six-time World Champion.

Since 2015, Grainger has been chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, and in 2017, was appointed chair of UK Sport. She also serves on the board of International Inspiration, a charity that promotes access to sport, play and physical exercise for low and middle income families with children around the world. 

David Hawley

20 November 2018

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

David Hawley is Director General of Ecolint since 2017, having joined straight from the International Baccalaureate where he was Chief Academic Officer.

With a first degree in Biology and Earth Sciences from Framingham State University, followed by a Masters and Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, David Hawley has worked in international schools in the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America in a career in education spanning over 35 years. 

Hawley will share his thoughts on education in the 21st century. 

Siobhan Darrow

27 November 2018
Origins of Prejudice
Registration

5 March 2019
Search of the Self
Registration

14 May 2019
Neuroscience of Emotions
Registration

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Siobhan Darrow was a reporter for CNN for almost fifteen years covering conflict in the former Soviet Union, Northern Ireland, former Yugoslavia and the Middle East.

Darrow's memoir, Flirting with Danger: Confessions of a Reluctant War Reporter explores her fascination with conflict. She is an Integrative Body Psychotherapist and a Life Coach.

 

Laura Bates

30 November 2018

10:30-11:30 Registration
&
12:00-13:00 Registration

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Laura Bates is a British feminist writer, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project website, a collection of more than 80,000 women’s daily experiences of gender inequality. Author of Everyday Sexism (2014), she is also a regular contributor to The Guardian

Bates was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2015 for services to gender equality. In 2018, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Bates read English Literature at St John’s College. 

Gilles Lipovetsky

4 December 2018

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Gilles Lipovetsky is an essayist and professor of French and philosophy at the University in Grenoble. His work focuses on the 20th century, which he divides into three periods: “Marxist self-criticism” (1965-1983), postmodernism (1983-1991) and the hypermodern period from 1991 onwards.

Lipovetsky writes on such topics as modernity, globalisation, consumerism, modern culture, markets, feminism, fashion and the media, all of which are linked by the common denominator of individualism.  

Lipovetsky will discuss hyperconsumerism and whether it can contribute to happiness.

Lindsey Cole

8 January 2019

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Lindsey Cole is a British adventurer. With a background in journalism and documentary-making and a lust for travel and wandering, Cole’s own adventure of walking the rabbit proof fence started in 2016 when she discovered the book Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence about three young aboriginal girls who were forcibly removed from their families and placed in a settlement as part of the Stolen Generation in Australia. Together, they engineered an escape, fleeing the camp and making it all the way home, crossing some of the most inhospitable environments.

Cole will share stories from her adventure.  

Julie Bindel

15 January 2019

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Julie Bindel is an English writer, radical feminist and co-founder of the law-reform group Justice for Women, which since 1991 has helped women who have been prosecuted for killing violent male partners. A visiting researcher at the University of Lincoln, her work focuses on male violence against women and children, particularly prostitution, pornography, stalking, religious fundamentalism and human trafficking.

Bindel has co-authored over 30 book chapters and four books. She writes regularly for The Guardian, New Statesman, the Sunday Telegraph magazine and Standpoint

Bindel will discuss whether feminism has gone as far as it possibly can.

Rosie Garthwaite

25 January 2019

Time TBC

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Rosie Garthwaite is an English journalist. After graduating from Oxford University, she travelled to Iraq as a freelancer and joined the independent start-up newspaper Baghdad Bulletin. She became their Basra correspondent and, for most of the time, was the only resident Western journalist there, becoming a sought-after freelancer contributing to media around the world.

Garthwaite’s first book, How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone (2011) draws on her experience and those of other war journalists. She now works as a producer for her own production company Mediadante.

Jean Ziegler

January 2019 (Day TBC)

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Jean Ziegler is a politician and Swiss sociologist. He has been Special Rapporteur to the United Nations on the Right to Food and author of many books. He has been vice-chair of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee since 2009.

Ziegler will discuss capitalism.

Ciara Judge

8 February 2019

12:00-13:00

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Registration

Ciara Judge is an Irish scientist and public speaker. In 2013, at the age of fifteen, she won the 42nd BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, alongside two others, for their statistical investigation of the effects of Diazotroph bacteria on plant germination, and how it could help fight world hunger. 

Judge also won the grand prize in the 2014 Google Science Fair, and was listed as one of the most influential teens in Time for 2014. 

Today, she is co-director of her first research company Germinaid Innovations.

Luc Moreau

2 April 2019

10:55-11:40

Auditorium, Centre des arts

Registration

Luc Moreau is a glaciologist who specialises in subglacial hydrology related to glacier drift. When he is not on or under a glacier, he teaches glaciology in high schools, universities and even to professional mountaineers.

Moreau will explain the effects of climate change on glaciers.

Michele Dougherty

Date TBC

10:30-11:30

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Michele Dougherty is a Professor of Space Physics and Head of the Department of Physics at Imperial College London. She is leading unmanned exploratory missions to Saturn and Jupiter and is Principal Investigator for J-MAG – a magnetometer for the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer of the European Space Agency due to launch in June 2022. Her work led to the discovery of an atmosphere containing water and hydrocarbons around Saturn’s moon Enceladus, opening up new possibilities in the search for extra-terrestrial life. 

In 2017, Dougherty was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for geophysics. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2012.

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Date TBC

10:30-11:30

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Baroness Helena Kennedy is a British barrister, broadcaster and Labour member of the House of Lords. She was Chair of Charter 88 in 1992-97 and is closely affiliated to the educational charity Common Purpose. 

Kennedy is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is President of the Helena Kennedy Foundation that works to overcome social injustice by providing financial bursaries, mentoring and support to disadvantaged students. She is also President of the Board of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 

Axun Lasa & Maixabel Lasa

Date TBC

Time TBC

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Axun Lasa is the sister of Joxe Antonio Lasa, a presumed member of the Basque separatist organisation ETA who was kidnapped, tortured and executed in 1983 by the GAL (Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación), death squads illegally established by the Spanish government to fight ETA. 

Maixabel Lasa is the widow of Juan María Jáuregui, Spanish socialist politician and governor of Guipúzcoa, who was assassinated by three members of ETA. She is also the former director of the Bureau for the Victims of Terrorism by the Basque government.

Neville Lawrence

Date TBC

Time TBC

Primary Aula, La Châtaigneraie

Neville Lawrence is the father of Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old black British teenager who was murdered in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in south-east London in 1993. The case became a cause célèbre, sparking cultural changes of attitudes to racism, law and police practices. It also led to a partial revocation of the rule against double jeopardy. Two, of the five, perpetrators were convicted of murder in 2012 following a cold case review. 

Neville Lawrence works with young people in raising awareness of the dire consequences of carrying weapons.