GSS returns to Cambridge

  • April 20, 2015
GSS returns to Cambridge

The eighth Global Scholars Symposium will bring distinguished speakers, including renowned Canadian HIV advocate Stephen Lewis and award-winning UK comedian Francesca Martinez – to Cambridge for dialogue about the world’s most pressing challenges.

The eighth Global Scholars Symposium will bring a number of distinguished speakers – including renowned Canadian HIV advocate Stephen Lewis, Indian social activist Medha Patkar, and award-winning UK comedian Francesca Martinez – to the Cambridge Union this May for three days of dialogue about the world’s most pressing challenges.

Stephen Lewis was named by TIME magazine as one of the “One hundred most influential people in the world” in 2005 and is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an organisation that works to promote more urgent and more effective global responses to HIV and AIDS.

Medha Patkar is a politician, social activist and a founding member of Narmada Bachao Andolan, who was awarded a Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice in 2014 in recognition of her work in championing social and economic justice in India.

Francesca Martinez is an award-winning “wobbly” comedian, writer and speaker who has toured internationally with sell-out runs around the world including The Melbourne Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

They will be joined in Cambridge from May 21-May 24 by 160 postgraduate scholars from 35 different countries and a diverse range of disciplines.

Begun in 2008 by Gates Cambridge Scholars, the annual Global Scholars Symposium alternates between being hosted by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford and by the Gates Cambridge Trust in Cambridge – with support also coming from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and the Clarendon Fund.

The Symposium calls on delegates to pose the questions, explore the topics and identify ways to take action on the unsolved problems of today as well as to generate dialogue between prominent world leaders and emerging scholars. Over the years it has played host to speakers such as the Dalai Lama, David Suzuki, Wanjira Mathai, Paul Martin, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Baroness Helena Kennedy and Professor Jeffrey Sachs.

This year’s theme is “Building Impact: Listen, Learn, Act”. In addition to keynote presentations, the three days will see delegates attending small group sessions, workshops, panels and intimate “fireside chats” with speakers in nearby Cambridge pubs.

Tara Paterson, a member of the GSS 2015 Executive Committee and a Rhodes Scholar, notes: “As postgraduate students in the UK, we are lucky to hear from such a range of impressive people. But these speeches can sometimes be just as overwhelming as they are inspiring.”

“This year, we’re inviting speakers and delegates to take a step back and reflect on the process – inspirations, challenges, failures  – of building impact.”

Beyond presentations by prominent speakers, GSS 2015 will include thematic groups where delegates explore sub-topics relevant to their own interests. These range from a discussion of the role of religion in living an ethical life to the question of whether aid hinders development.
       
Other speakers attending GSS 2015 include:

Dame Athene Donald – Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Cambridge
Dr Selim Jahan – Director, United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report Office
Professor David Ingress – Professor of Sociology, University of Exeter
Professor Jaideep Prabhu – Professor of Marketing, University of Cambridge
Nic Marks – Happiness Researcher, Director of Happiness Works
Dr Sanduk Ruit – Ophthalmologist, Co-Founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project
Professor Wole Soboyejo – Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University.

More information: www.globalscholars.co.uk

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