Past Speakers

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! 

Desirous to safeguard the important lessons they learned during their exchanges with our guest speakers, students journalists actively engaged with their campus newspapers have interviewed many of the speakers and preserved their important lessons for future generations of students.

See below for the full list of past speakers and links to their interviews. 

Adam Michnik, Polish historian, essayist, former dissident, and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza
Adam Smith, Food waste activist and former chef
Akiko Fujimoto, Japanese jiuta musician
Alastair Humphreys, British adventurer, author and motivational speaker
Alberto Vollmer, Chair and CEO of Ron Santa Teresa and Founder of Project Alcatraz in support of the rehabilitation and reintegration of gang members in Venezuela
Aletheia Casey, Australian photographer and founding member of Lumina Collective
Alex Brooker, British journalist, presenter and comedian

Alfred M. Worden, American astronaut and engineer, and one of the pilots for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971

"Al Worden: Apollo 15 Pilot on Life Orbiting the Moon and Why Continued Space Exploration is Essential", interview by The Update (2016)

Allan Little, former BBC researcher, reporter and special correspondent

"Allan Little on Trump, BBC bias and post-truth", interview by The Update (2016)

Anita Studer, Swiss-born ornithologist, conservationist, ecologist and founder of the Nordesta Association for the preservation of the rainforest and the protection of isolated indigenous populations
Antonio Skármeta, Chilean writer
Ariel Nasr, Afghan film director and writer
Athar Sultan-Khan, UN diplomat, Dean and Professor of International Relations at Geneva School of Diplomacy and Ecolint alumnus (LGB '74)
Axun Lasa & Maixabel Lasa, Basque anti-terrorist and anti-torture activists
Barbara Hendricks, American operatic soprano and concert singer
Ben Helfgott, Polish-born British Holocaust survivor and former weightlifting champion
Ben Smith, British runner and charity campaigner for anti-bullying organisations
Bertrand Piccard, initiator and pioneer behind Solar Impulse, the first airplane capable of flying perpetually without fuel
Boris Izaguirre, Venezuelan-Spanish screenwriter, journalist, writer, TV host and showman
Breyten Breytenbach, South African writer and painter known for his opposition to apartheid and consequent imprisonment by the South African government

Brian Keenan, Northern Irish writer who spent four and half years as a hostage in Beirut from 1986 to 1990

"Brian Keenan on being held hostage in Beirut", interview by The Update (2018)

Brie Mathers, American motivational speaker
Celine van Till, International para-equestrian dressage rider and athlete

Chris Bonington, British mountaineer

"Chris Bonington: World renowned Mountaineer", interview The Update (2018)

Chris Hines, British environmental activist

Christopher Bickerton, university lecturer in politics at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge

"Dr Chris Bickerton on the aftermath of Brexit and voting leave from the left", interview by The Update (2016)

Christopher O'Shaughnessy, Author, speaker and Third Culture Kid
Ciara Judge, Irish scientist and public speaker
Ciaran Jenkins, Welsh reporter, best known for his investigations into bogus academics and fraud
Clara Rowe, Country Head for Mexico and Central America at Earthworm Foundation
Cristobal Soriano, Spanish Civil War veteran and Holocaust survivor
Daniel von Moltke, Grandson of anti-Nazi resistance fighters Verner von Haeften and Helmuth James Graf von Moltke
David Grossman, Israeli author
David Hawley, Director General of the International School of Geneva
David Johns, British stand-up comedian, actor and writer, best known for his breakthrough role as Daniel Blake in the film I, Daniel Blake

David Johnson, Former British footballer

Interview by The Update (2018)

David Lammy, British politician and Tottenham MP
David Olusoga, British-Nigerian historian, author, presenter, and Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester
Dominique Vidaud, Associate professor of history at the University of Lyon II-Lumière and director of the Maison d'Izieu, the memorial for Jewish children who were deported and exterminated
Ed Winters, Vegan educator and public speaker
Edith Hall, Professor of ancient Greek literature in the Classics department and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London
Eduardo Belgrano Rawson, Argentinian novelist
Edurne Pasaban Lizarribar, Basque Spanish mountaineer, the first woman to climb all fourteen 8000m peaks in the world
Edward Flaherty, Irish-American lawyer, and the founder and senior partner of the law firm Schwab, Flaherty & Associés
Eleonore Guérineau & Alessio Carbone, Dancers at the Opéra de Paris
Emily Hunter, Canadian activist, author and filmmaker, and the daughter of the late Robert Hunter, first president of Greenpeace
Ernest Simon, Holocaust survivor
Ernst Ostertag, Swiss LGBT rights activist
Estela de Carlotto, Argentine human rights activist and president of the Association of Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Eva & Zigor Arguiñano, Spanish chefs

Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and memoirist, and the stepdaughter of Otto Frank, the father of Margot and diarist Anne Frank

"Eva Schloss - Holocaust survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank", interview by The Update (2016)

Evan Tyner, Expert on security issues, political violence and terrorism
Ewen MacAskill, Scottish journalist who helped in preparing the publication disclosures from Edward Snowden
Fergal Keane, Irish foreign correspondent with BBC News and author
Frédéric Fatio, Radio producer at Radio Télévision Suisse
Gab Murphy, Australian environmental and sustainable fashion activist
Gabriela Montero, Venezuelan pianist, known for her real-time improvisation of complex musical pieces on themes suggested by her audience

Gary Gibbon, British journalist

"Gary Gibbon: TV Impartiality Rules, Privacy of Politicians and His Path to Journalism", interview by The Update (2018)

Gary Lewis, British actor known for his roles in Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York, Eragon and Three and Out

Germaine Greer, Theorist, academic and journalist known for her feminist views

"Germaine Greer on anti-feminists, transgender and how equality feminism is not enough", interview by The Update (2015)

Gilles Lipovetsky, French essayist and professor of French and Philosophy at the University in Grenoble
Gillian Slovo, South African novelist, playwright and memoirist
Graeme Le Saux, Paul Canonville & Pat Nevin, Retired English and Scottish footballers
Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
Hani Abbas & Chappatte, Syrian-Palestinian and Lebanese-Swiss cartoonists
Hannah Cockroft, British Paralympic wheelchair racer specialising in sprint distances
Hans Brattskar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva
Heather White, Filmmaker who has documented the human rights situation in China
Héctor Abad Faciolince, Colombian novelist, essayist, journalist and editor
Helen Czerski, Physicist, oceanographer, television presenter and researcher in the field of temperature, ocean bubbles, bubbles acoustics, air-sea gas transfers and ocean bubble optics at University College London
Helen Pankhurst, British international development and women's rights activist, and the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement
Helen Sharpe, Researcher in body image, disorder eating, adolescent development, depression and low mood at the University of Edinburgh
Henry Evans, British scientist, explorer and science communicator

Honey Thaljieh, Co-founder of the Palestinian Women's National Football Team and the first woman to play football professionally in Palestine

"Honey Thaljieh - Captain of Palestinian football team", interview by The Update (2015)

Howard Gayle, British retired footballer, the first black player to play for Liverpool in the early 1980s

"Howard Gayle on racism in football and turning down a MBE", interview by The Update (2017)

Ian Paisley Jr, Northern Ireland Member of Parliament
Iñaki Gabilondo, Spanish journalist and TV news anchor
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Irene Villa, Spanish author, press and radio journalist, and terrorist attack survivor

"Irene Villa: Spanish terror attack victim and journalist", interview by The Update (2017)

Isabel Jaramillo Edwards, Former secretary to Chilean president Salvador Allende during the 1973 coup d'État
Izzeldin Abuelaish, Canadian-Palestinian doctor and author, the first Palestinian doctor to work in an Israeli hospital
Jacques Dubochet, Nobel prizewinner and Emeritus Professor of biophysics at the University of Lausanne
James Eddis, Head of History, La Grande Boissière

Jean Ziegler, Swiss sociologist and former politician

Conference of Jean Ziegler at La Grande Boissière in January 2019

Jean-Claude Wicky, Swiss photographer noted for his series on Bolivian miners
Jean-Luc Cressier, Co-founder of the radio programme Métissages

Jerome Elam, Writer, US Marine Corps veteran and survivor of child abuse, sex trafficking and child pornography

Interview by The Update (2018)

Jess Phillips, British Labour Party politician and advocate for the rights of women and victims of domestic abuse
John Carlin, British journalist and author
John Finucane, Irish lawyer, Sinn Féin politician and the son of Irish human rights lawyer Pat Finucane
John McCarthy, Irish-American Switzerland-based former president of Republicans Abroad
John Pilger, Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker

Jon Snow, British journalist and television presenter, best known as the longest-running presenter of Channel 4 News

"Jon Snow on fake news, Jeremy Corbyn and Trump", interview by The Update (2017)

Jorge Edwards, Chilean novelist, journalist and diplomat
Joseba Errekalde, Founder of the Harribeltza Association in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS
Juan Villoro, Mexican writer and journalist, and the son of philosopher Luis Villoro
Julie BindelEnglish writer, radical feminist, and co-founder of the law-reform group Justice for Women

Juliet Jacques, British journalist, critic and writer of short fiction, known for her work on the transgender experience

"Juliet Jacques on LGBT rights and the transgender experience", interview by The Update (2017)

Junior Nzita Nsuami, Former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, author and child rights advocate

Justin Webb, British journalist

"Justin Webb on Impartiality, BBC bias and Trump", interview The Update (2017)

Kamila Shamsie, British-Pakistani novelist

"Kamila Shamsie on Home Fire, Writing and Radicalisation", interview by The Update (2018)

Karlos Zurutuza, Basque freelance war journalist
Kate Adie, British journalist and former chief news correspondent for BBC News
Kate Devlin, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London, researcher in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and author
Katherine Grainger, British rower, Olympic medallist and Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian
Kenton Cool, British mountaineer, alpinist and mountain guide
Keren Goldstein, Israeli documentary film director, activist and creator of the international art installation She's Gone in protest of gender-based violence
Khairollah Alemi, Former Afghan refugee
Kirmen Uribe, Basque writer
Kristian Parker, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Oak Foundation and environmental advocate
Laura Bates, British feminist writer and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project
Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Cuban novelist and journalist

Leroy Roseinor, Joe Lyons & Bryan Glover, West Ham United football club staff

Interview by The Update (2015)

Lewis Pugh, British-South African endurance swimmer and ocean advocate

Leyla Hussein, Somali psychotherapist and social activist against female genital mutilation

"Leyla Hussein: FGM and gender rights activist", interview by The Update (2017)

Lindsey Cole, British adventurer best known for walking the rabbit proof fence to raise awareness about Aboriginal rights in Australia
Liv Arnesen, Norwegian educator, cross-country skier, adventurer, guide and motivation speaker, best known as the first woman to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole
Loïs Meyhoffer, Ecolint's first student
Luc Ferry, French essayist and professor of philosophy
Luc Moreau, Glaciologist
Luis Cardoso, East Timorese writer
Manuel Rivas, Spanish Galician writer, poet and journalist, and a founding member of Greenpeace Spain
Manuela Carmena Castrillo, Former lawyer, judge, Mayor of Madrid and advocate against arbitrary detention and police abuse

Marc Silver, British filmmaker

Interview by The Update (2016)

Marcia Rigg, civil rights campaigner regarding deaths in police custody and police treatment of suspects with mental health issues

"Marcia Rigg: 'Their deaths must not be in vain'", interview by The Update (2017)

Margaret Humphreys, British social worker and author who brought to public attention the UK government's Home Children programme
María Bueno, Spanish activist for the rights of mothers whose babies were stolen during the Francoist era and later decades of Spain's history
Marina Litvinenko, Human rights activist

Marion Deichmann, Holocaust survivor

"Marion Deichmann: Holocaust survivor", interview by The Update (2018)

Mark Stewart, film-maker, executive producer, and the son of Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart
Martin Griffiths, Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace
Martine Wright, British sitting volleyball player
Matt Frei, British television news journalist and writer
Matt Lindenberg, South African conservationist and founder of the Global Conservation Corps
Mauricio Rosencof, Uruguayan playwright, poet and journalist, and former leader and member of the Tupamaros
Max Lobe, Cameroonian writer, inspired by African literature and tales
Maxime Chaya, Lebanese sportsman, mountaineer and explorer
Maya Azucena, American singer-songwriter, cultural ambassador and advocate for women's rights
Maya Youssef, Syrian qanun musician, composer and peace activist
Michael D. Aeschliman, Emeritus professor of Education at Boston University, professor of Anglophone Culture at the University of Italian Switzerland, and curriculum advisor to the TASIS Foundation Board
Michael Beckmann, Former GDR political prisoner, conscientious objector against the East German State and torture survivor

Michael Møller, Danish diplomat and former Director General of the UN at Geneva

"Michael Møller, UN Director General: UN Israeli bias, Security Council and the Media", interview by The Update (2017)

Michel Tirabosco, Swiss pan flutist
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Italian painter, action and object artist, art theorist and one of the main representatives of the Italian Arte Povera
Mick Jackson, Entrepreneur, author and founder of the WildHearts Group in support of companies that fight social and economic injustice
Mikel Urmeneta, Spanish cartoonist and artist

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Filipino peace negotiator

"Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Religion and the role of Women in Peace", interview by The Update (2017)

Monica McWilliams, Northern Irish academic, peace activist, human rights defender and former politician

Mukesh Kapila, Former Under Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and former Special Adviser to the UNHCR and the UN Mission in Afghanistan

"Mukesh Kapila on the Darfur Genocide, Donald Trump and ICC bias", interview by The Update (2017)

Nagore Iriberri, Spanish research professor at the Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis I, University of the Basque Country
Nathalie Fletcher, Canadian philosopher
Nawal al-Maghafi, Yemeni-British journalist and filmmaker

Niall de Búrca, Irish traditional storyteller

Interview by The Update (2018)

Niall Wass, Partner at international investment firm Atomico and former Executive at Uber

Nick Robinson, British journalist

"Nick Robinson: Brexit, BBC and Freedom of Speech", interview by The Update (2017)

Nicola Benyahia, Counsellor and mother of a radicalised youth
Nimisha Ladva, Storyteller and writer
Noëlle Revaz & Michael Stauffer, Swiss authors
Olga Navarro, Project Manager for the Goumbook Initiative and active member of the Drop It campaign against plastic bottles
Olga Sinclair, Panamanian artist and figurative painter
Oliver Morgan, Senior Research and Teaching Assistant at the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Geneva
Ondjaki, Angolan writer

Orlando Figes, British historian

"Orlando Figes on the Russian revolution, Putin and History", interview by The Update (2017)

Oscar Brenifier, Philosopher

Owen Jones, British columnist, author, commentator and political activist

"Owen Jones on the North-South divide and foreign buyer tax housing", interview by The Update (2015)

"Owen Jones on the challenge Jeremy Corbyn faces", interview by The Update (2015)

"Owen Jones on ISIS, Nuclear Disarmament and Brexit", interview by The Update (2015)

Pamela Hamamoto, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva
Pascal Couchepin, Swiss politician and former President of the Swiss Confederation
Patrick Lunt, entrepreneur and founder of Offgrid Humanitarianism
Patrick Magee & Jo Berry, Former IRA volunteer known as the "Brighton bomber" and British peace activist and public speaker, the daughter of Anthony Berry, one of the victims of Patrick Magee
Paul Elliott, Former British footballer
Paula Fouce, American filmmaker and author
Paula Radcliffe, British long-distance runner, three-time winner of the London Marathon and one of the fastest female marathoners of all time

Pauline Tangiora, Maori leader for peace and justice

"Pauline Tangiora: Maori elder and environmental activist", interview by The Update (2017)

Peter Salama, Deputy Director General of Emergency Preparedness and Response at the WHO

Peter Tatchell, Human rights campaigner, member of the gay rights group OutRage! and director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation

"Peter Tatchell on the Age of Consent and his comment on paedophilia", interview by The Update (2015) 

"Peter Tatchell on bombing in Syria, LGBT+ rights & Stop Murder Music", interview by The Update (2015)

Petra Volpe, Swiss screenwriter and film director, best known for directing The Divine Order

"Petra Volpe on 'The Divine Order', Filmmaking and Feminism", interview by The Update (2018)

Phil Scraton, criminologist, academic and author, best known for his investigation into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster

"Phil Scraton on Hillsborough and turning down an OBE", interview by The Update (2017)

Pip Stewart, Adventurer, journalist and presenter
Plantu, French cartoonist
Porter Halyburton, Vietnam War veteran
Proactiva Open Arms
Raphael Minder, Swiss journalist
Richard Moore, Founder of Children in Crossfire

Rob Greenfield, American adventurer and environmental activist

Interview by The Update (2018)

Robert Dann, Chief of Political Affairs in the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria
Robert Eggington, Aboriginal spokesperson and executive officer of the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation
Robert Winston, British professor, doctor, scientist and television presenter
Rosie Garthwaite, British war journalist

Ruth Ibegbuna, Founder and former CEO of RECLAIM in support of working class young people

"Ruth Ibegbuna on Social Inequality and Young Peoples' Voices", interview by The Update (2018)

Safe Ground, British association supporting the reintegration of prisoners into society
Sammy Woodhouse, English activist against child sexual abuse
Sarah Höfflin, Swiss freestyle skier and Olympics gold medallist
Saskia Keeley, Swiss photographer
Satish Kumar, Indian British nuclear disarmament and peace activist and editor
Scott M. Weber, French-American peacebuilding and conflict prevention specialist, and President of Interpeace
Sergio Ramírez, Nicaraguan writer, intellectual and former Vice President of Nicaragua
Seth Berkley, American medical epidemiologist and CEO of the GAVI Alliance

Shafiur Rahman, Documentary filmmaker

"Shafiur Rahman: 'Apartheid is operating there'", interview by The Update (2018)

Shareefa & Paul, Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire

"Grenfell Fire survivor: People were screaming 'Don't jump, stay in your flats'", interview by The Update (2018)

Siobhan Darrow, Former CNN reporter, Integrative Body Psychotherapist and Life Coach
Sławomir Grünberg, Polish-born American documentary producer, director and camerman
SOS Méditerranée, European maritime-humanitarian organisation for the rescue of life at sea
Spring Gombe-Götz, Policy Advocacy Manager at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi)
Tamara Minick-Scokalo, Board member of the non-profit
Tariq Ali, British political activist, writer, journalist, historian and filmmaker
Teresa Perales Fernández, Spanish Paralympic swimmer, politician and motivational speaker, and the most decorated Spanish Paralympian in history
Theodore Dalrymple, British writer, retired prison doctor and psychiatrist
Thibault Trancart, Swiss Paralympic skier

Tim Jarvis, environmental scientist, adventurer and author, best known for his record-breaking Antarctic expedition of 1999

"Tim Jarvis: 25zero, Shackleton and climate change sceptics", interview by The Update (2016)

Ute Eilenberger, German veterinarian specialised in wild gorillas

Vince Cable, British politician

"Vince Cable on Brexit, Tim Farron and Tuition Fees", interview by The Update (2017)

Winnie Byanyima, Ugandan global women's rights leader and human rights defender 

"Winnie Byanyima: Executive Director of Oxfam International", interview by The Update (2017)

Yael Deckelbaum & Miriam Toukan, singers, songwriters and peace activists
Yetnebersh Nigussie, Ethiopian lawyer and disability rights activist
Yoani Sánchez Cordero, Cuban blogger
Yossi Ghinsberg, Israeli adventurer, author, entrepreneur, humanitarian and motivational speaker
Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Zep, Swiss author of comics, best known for his album Titeuf