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Forthcoming events

The Intellectual Forum runs a diverse programme of events across the year, so please check back regularly and sign up for our mailing list.

We have the following scheduled events:

My Year With Helen - a film by Gaylene Preston, with the Rt Hon Helen Clark

24 November 2017, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BL, by ticket only.

What does it take to become Secretary General of the United Nations? What are the barriers that women face in taking on the highest offices in the world?

Join us for a fascinating discussion with the Rt Hon Helen Clark (former Prime Minister of New Zealand and ex head of the UNDP) with a screening of MY YEAR WITH HELEN, a film by Gaylene Preston. In this documentary, award-winning director Gaylene Preston looks over the shoulder of Helen Clark, both as a leader in the development community and as she goes through the selection process for the position of Secretary General of the United Nations.

“Preston should be applauded too for gaining unprecedented access to the UN, regardless of what you think of this strange world, filled with people whispering among themselves and checking phones during important discussions, it's riveting being part of it for 93 minutes.” Francesca Rudkin, NZ Herald

This event is free but ticketed via Eventbrite.


4:00   Introduction by Mike Kenny, Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge

4:05   Introductory comments from Helen Clark and Gaylene Preston

4:15   Screening of My Year With Helen

5:45   Q&A with Helen Clark and Gaylene Preston following the screening

6:30   Close of the screening and formal discussion. Drinks reception follows.

7:15   End of drinks reception

This event has been made possible due to the support of the Cambridge Institute for Public Policy, POLIS, Centre for Gender Studies, POLIS, Intellectual Forum, Jesus College, and the Department of Politics & International Studies (POLIS).

The inaugural Lisa Jardine Lecture: Unworldly goods: the roots of consumerism and the Renaissance

27 November 2017, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, by ticket only.

The inaugural Lisa Jardine Lecture will be given by Prof Peter Frankopan. This talk reflects on Lisa Jardine's wonderful book Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (1996), that has done so much to shape views of the early modern world. It will explore the global context for rising levels of spending in Europe and assess the impact this had - above all in Asia. It will consider the link between consumerism, the Renaissance and the age of discovery, and above all how Lisa's extraordinary vision of an inter-connected world provides a series of new avenues to explore in the future.

Lisa Jardine (1944-2015) made a huge contribution across a very wide area as a Professor of Renaissance Studies, an author, broadcaster, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Agency and much more. She was the first female Fellow of Jesus College.

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, where he is also Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. He works on the history of trade, religion, ideas and culture with a particular focus on the Silk Roads of then past, present and future. His most recent book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World has been described as 'magnificent' (Sunday Times) 'historical epic of dazzling range, ambition and achievement' (Guardian) and 'not just the most important history book in years, but the most important in decades' (Berliner Zeitung). It topped the non-fiction charts in the UK, Ireland, India and China.

A waitlist is now operating at Eventbrite.

Rustat Conference on Global Mobility

29-30 November 2017, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, attendance by invitation only.

Britain has been an internationally oriented country for many centuries, with Saxons, Hugenots, Indians, Aussies, Poles and many more moving to the UK and engaging with its society. Currently, around 1 in 7 people resident in the UK were born overseas, many playing crucial roles across the NHS, businesses, and society more broadly.

Changing attitudes and the Brexit vote may make a huge difference. What effect will these have on employers, who often need to tap rare skill sets held by those abroad, and on society at large? Will opportunities for Britons to work overseas be reduced? Will we seek to improve skills for those in the UK, or attract workers from outside of Europe?

At this Rustat Conference, invited experts from a wide range of backgrounds come together to discuss the possibilities around global mobility in the post-Brexit period.

Cambridge Station- Its Development and Operation as a Rail Centre

11 January 2018, Frankopan Hall, tickets via request via email.

This reception, illustrated lecture and discussion marks the launch of a new definitive illustrated book by Rob Shorland-Ball about Cambridge Station which explores the opening of the station in 1845; the four principal railway companies which all worked to and from the station in a 'tangle of mutual inconvenience’; the extensive goods traffic which was handled in the several goods yards around the station; and the way the Station operated from early beginnings, to what Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail have achieved today. The book contains several pictures never before published, notably 19th century plans from Jesus College Archives. It shows how the Eastern Counties and then the Great Eastern Railway Companies created Cambridge Station and the Engine Sheds, Goods Yards, Signal Boxes and extensive sidings to serve East Anglia. And the book tells people stories too, because the author worked on the station in the 1950s and 1960s and knows Cambridge and East Anglia well. He is a geographer and writes with knowledge, wisdom and humour.

For more details see the advertisement here.

Rustat Conference on Recruitment, Retention, and Diversity

15 March 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, attendance by invitation only.

Highly skilled staff are a crucial element of most companies and organisations. Recruiting the right person is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive task.

However, many organisations fail to recruit sufficiently widely, missing out in particular on women, people from ethnic minorities, or people with disabilities.

Having recruited people, it is very beneficial to be able to retain them – retraining people is very disruptive. However, again many organisations struggle to be able to retain all the staff they would like to keep. Also, the nature of work is changing.

This conference explores how to find, attract, and keep the best people in light of changing work patterns and places, as well as careers. We bring together experts from a range of backgrounds to discuss how we can reconfigure recruitment, retention, and the career “pipeline”, making sure in the future people can find the places best able to support them.

Rustat Conference on Intergenerationality: how can we bridge generational divides?

20-21 June 2018, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, attendance by invitation only.

For the first time, the 2017 General Election revealed that age was a stronger determinant of voting patterns than class. In the EU Referendum, polling shows young voters overwhelmingly supported Remain while older people backed Brexit.

The data suggests a widening gap between generations, not only politically but also socially and economically. How will this impact our society in the years ahead? To what extent can we reduce divides through changes in housing, institutions and technology? Does it make sense to lump people together in generational groups anyway?

This Rustat conference will draw together experts from a wide range of ages and backgrounds to explore how generations and individuals can work together.


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