What’s on at the Union

Trust, it’s exciting

| UPDATED Hide Images

Yes, it’s exam term, but no fear – once again, we can rely on the Union to spice up a drab revision season with another impressive selection of over 20 speakers, five debates and four panels. So cheer up, chuck – here’s what you can be looking forward to:

There will be some serious international political players defending their corner this term, among them Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, current Prime Minister of Malaysia. Another key figure from the East Asian political scene is Dr Lobsang Sangay, President of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, who has advocated for a non-violent resolution of the Tibetan crisis. The Union will also be welcoming the Nepalese Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Khadga Prasad Oli, and Asif Khosa, Pakistan’s Chief Justice.

Image from @lobsang.sangay

From the United States, the Union will hear from Jared Kushner, the somewhat controversial current Senior Advisor to Donald Trump, who has been under fire after the publishing of the Mueller report over his role in the lead up to the 2016 election. Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, will also be speaking on his career in US government since the George Bush administration. The Union will also welcome one of the leading voices in American civil rights activism, Reverend Dr Al Sharpton, who has worked alongside Barack Obama and ran for President in 2004.

Image from @jaredcoreykushner

Influential figures from the world of economics will include the Greek economist and former minister of Finance, Professor Yanis Varoufakis, who in 2016 launched the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 and is known for his books on overcoming the Euro debt crisis and game theory. The Union will also welcome Professor Jeffrey Sachs, another prominent thinker and Director of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as Dame Inga Beale, former CEO of Lloyd’s.

Look out for the line up of Union+ events open to all – first, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, who has held roles as United Kingdom Supreme Court President, Law Lord, and Master of the Rolls. Another powerful figure to appear at an open Union+ event will be Dr Elif Shafak, renowned for her public speaking and international human rights activism. Sir Bill English, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Anne Boden MBE, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, will also appear.

From the arts scene, we look forward to hearing Rose McGowan, known for her her contribution to independent film and as winner of Time magazine’s Person of the Year award for speaking publicly on sexual assault. Further figures from the performing arts to be appearing include award-winning actress Zoë Wanamaker CBE, who has starred in Poirot and Harry Potter, and American singer and actor Ben Platt. Don’t miss also the Norwegian duo Sigrid and Tellef Raabe, speaking in early May.

Image from @rosemcgowan

Don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten the world of sports, which will be represented this term by Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, one of England’s most successful Olympic sailors to date.

Image from @benainslie

This term's debates are looking very exciting, notably one including speakers Natalie Bennett, Clarissa Farr, Julie Robinson and Robert Verkaik on the motion ‘THW Send its Children to Private School’. Dame Rosalyn Higgins, Michael Muller and Diego Arria will be amongst those debating the motion ‘TBH international organisations have failed to meet today’s challenges’. Perhaps the most hotly contested will be the comedy debate, ‘THW rather be a gold digger than a corporate sell out’.

So there’s really very much to look forward to this term, despite exams. And if it all gets too much, there’s always the Zumba and Drink and Draw sessions for distraction.

Cover images from:

@jaredcoreykushner, @agilerabbitevents, @benainslie, @specque.ulb, @rosemcgowan, @bridportarts, @gilbertkingelisa_nyc