Clare Short was elected to Member of Parliament for her home constituency of Birmingham Ladywood in 1983. During the years of Labour's opposition, Clare served as Shadow Minister for Women, for Transport and Overseas Development amongst other things. Clare was a member of Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) from 1988-1997 and Chair of the NEC's Women's Committee. When Labour came to power in 1997, Clare was appointed Secretary of State for International Development, a post she held for six years. Clare developed a strong reputation as an effective minister both at home and abroad, boosting the UK's development profile. Clare resigned from the Government in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War. In 2004 she published An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power which analysed the causes of Britain's involvement in the conflict and considered ways in which institutional safeguards might be created and adapted in order to prevent future unilateral interventions. She addresses the Weekend on the theme of Britain’s possible role as a peacemaker.


Victoria Brittain is a journalist, author and playwright and former associate foreign editor of the Guardian and has spent much of her working life in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Victoria’s most recent work is Shadow Lives, the Forgotten Women of the War on Terror, and a verbatim play, Waiting, with the words of the wives of Guantanamo and other Muslim prisoners. She was co-author of Moazzam Begg’s book, Enemy Combatant, and has written several books on Africa.  Beyond her work in writing, Victoria is a trustee of Prisoners of Conscience and of the Amiel/Melburn Trust, was on the Council of the Institute of Race Relations for 20 years, and is a Patron of Palestine Solidarity. Victoria addresses the Weekend on the impact of conflict on children and women. 

Speakers 2018


Anthony Reddie is a Learning and Development Officer for the Methodist Church and an Extraordinary Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of South Africa and a Fellow of Wesley House, in Cambridge. He specialises in undertaking action-research and participative observational work with predominantly poorer Black commun-ities in the UK. He has written over 70 essays and articles on Christian Educa-tion and Black Theology and is the author and editor of 17 books. His more recent titles include The SCM Core Text: Black Theology, Contesting Post-Racialism and Journeying to Justice. He is editor of Black Theology: An International Journal. He addresses the theme of racial conflict from his perspective as a Practical Black theologian whose work concerns the issues of 'race' and power.


General Sir Rupert Smith has made decisive contributions to ending major conflicts. His last command was as Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe, covering NATO’s Balkan operations, including the Kosovo bombing. Prior to that he commanded the British Division in the first Gulf War 1990/1991, commanded UNPROFOR Sarajevo in 1995, breaking the siege, and commanded the Army in Northern Ireland over the period of the Good Friday agreement 1996-1998. His book The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World describes the changing nature of war as a series of linked confrontations and conflicts. He addresses the Weekend on The Utility of Force.


Karin von Hippel is the Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). She joined RUSI after serving in the US Department of State as a Senior Adviser in the Bureau of Counter-terrorism, then as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations and as Chief of Staff to General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter-ISIL. She co-directed the Post-Conflict Recons-truction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. She has direct experience in over two dozen conflict zones. She is author of Democracy by Force: US Military Intervention in the Post-Cold War World. She addresses the Weekend on what has been termed the Peacebuilding Dilemma: Civil-Military Cooperation.


Paul Rogers is professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University. He worked originally in the biological and environmental sciences, including lecturing at Imperial College and working in East Africa but has worked for the past 35 years on international security. He is a consultant to Oxford Research Group, an independent UK think tank, writes on international security issues for and is a frequent broadcaster.   His most recent book, Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threats from the Margins, was  published by I B Taurus in July, 2017. He addresses the weekend on the theme of the critical century, 1945 to 2045. This is the century when we have to come to terms with the ability to destroy ourselves with weapons of mass destruction and our capacity to cause irreparable damage to the global environment by exceeding the limits to growth. How are we doing so far?


Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). From 1975 to 2006, he worked at the International Labour Organization, latterly as director of the ILO's Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has written widely in the areas of labour economics, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies and social protection. His recent work has concerned the emerging precariat class and the need to move towards basic income and deliberative democracy. His latest books are The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay (Biteback, 2016) and Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen (Penguin, 2017). He will explain why growth of the precariat is intensifying social conflict, populism and a new progressive politics.


In August 2001, Ted was appointed by the UK Home Secretary to lead a review of the summer riots in a number of English northern towns and cities. The riots were based on conflict between ethnic minority and white groups. The subsequent 'Cantle Report' established the concept of ‘community cohesion’ and developed an entirely new approach to race and community relations. Ted was appointed as a government adviser to oversee the introduction of this new policy framework. He has written two books: Community Cohesion: A New Framework for Race and Diversity (2005) and Interculturalism - The New Era of Cohesion and Diversity (2012) (Palgrave Macmillan), in which he argues that the old multicultural paradigms must be replaced by a new intercultural framework for managing community relations in a world defined by globalisation and super–diversity. Ted continues to advise a wide range of public, private and voluntary sector agencies.


Mona Siddiqui joined the University of Edinburgh’s Divinity school in December 2011 as the first person to hold a chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies. She also holds the posts of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle-East at the University of Edinburgh. Her research areas are primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. Amongst her most recent publications are 50 Ideas in Islam (Quercus,  2016),  Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s Name (Yale UP, 2015), Christian, Muslims and Jesus (Yale UP, 2013). She is well known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. She is a regular commentator in the media, known especially for her appearances on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day, as well as being a panellist on The Moral Maze. She chairs the BBC’s Religious Advisory Committee in Scotland and in 2017, chaired an independent inquiry into Sharia councils, commissioned by the Home Office. She is fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 2011 she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to interfaith services.


Jon Wood is a freelance science presenter with an interest in how the history of experimentation has left us with a legacy of great things to demonstrate in a fun way. For some years, he has developed and delivered entertaining and informative science events that engage people of all ages. Believing science is for everyone, his audiences range from schools, children and families to retired professionals. Jon is a STEMNET ambassador, member of #BrumSciComm and proudly supports ScienceGrrl, supporting women in science and engineering.


His past lives have included being a biomedical scientist, specialising in microbiology, teaching psychology and neuroscience and he now translates chemical engineering research into something school children can get involved in for the University of Birmingham. With such a diverse career path, Jon brings examples from chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, literature, art and especially history for the purpose of delivering inspirational demonstrations. His portfolio includes science busking, interactive workshops, public lectures and performances, Café Scientifiques, local, national and international science festivals and shows at music festivals.


Matt Pritchard is a science magician and Curator of Wonder. His amazing performances both inspire and inform. Matt loves being creative and is passionate about simplifying the complex.

As an independent science communicator he performs to over 50,000 people a year and works with organisations like The Royal Institution, British Science Association, The Big Bang fairs, and the Science Museum Group. Previously Matt conducted atomic physics research at Durham University, where he won the Institute of Physics' Postgraduate lecturer award. He subsequently went on to work within the Education department at Thinktank Science Museum, Birmingham.

In addition to this experience, he has spent the last 18 years working as a professional magician and is an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle - one of only 300 people in the world to hold this distinction.


Charlie Lupton is the founder of Make Your Own History, which runs history workshops throughout the country to inspire enquiring minds. History fires pupils’ curiosity about past events, societies and people. By studying history, pupils come to understand more about themselves as individuals and as members of society. What they learn can influence personal choices, attitudes and values for years to come. History challenges pupils to ask and answer important questions, find evidence, weigh it up and reach conclusions. They learn about the history of their local area, Britain, Europe and the wider world, building up in their heads a framework of significant events and people. As they do so, they see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. History helps pupils to become confident and questioning individuals, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life. The workshops are much more than simple history days.  The children must problem solve, think for themselves, work in teams, communicate, be aware of their own and others’ safety, listen carefully and apply new knowledge in a highly practical day and way.


Dr. Eleanor O’Gorman is an independent consultant and researcher on issues of conflict and international development that range from programmes to support peace processes, gender analysis and women’s participation, to strategic assessments of organisations and the impact of aid. Her clients include the United Nations, the European Union, the governments of the UK, Ireland, and Germany, as well as NGOs such as Conciliation Resources, Crisis Action and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Her field experience includes Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Eleanor previously served as a senior adviser with the UN on conflict prevention and peacebuilding as well as EU-UN relations. She is the author of The Frontline Runs Through Every Woman and Conflict and Development and is a Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies. She addresses the Weekend on Women and War.

She will address the way in which women’s stories and women’s lives are shaped in contemporary conflicts and peace efforts. She will discuss how those seeking to support peace and development - whether as peacekeepers, peacemakers or aid workers – face dilemmas, and unintended consequences in how they count women into their work. The backdrop for this will be the historic UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security passed in 2000, and subsequent changes in policies and programmes.