Some ideas for Seminars

that might be held at the

Quaker International Centre.

I suggest two series, the International Series and the Personal Ethics Series.

 

 

Series 1: International Issues. (Series title might be "Global Ethics")

The seminars would be held on a regular basis e.g. weekly or monthly. They would be for 10 to 20 participants. Normally one day (e.g. 10 to 4), a weekday, with a high quality buffet lunch, plus well presented tea and coffee on arrival and at breaks. The ambience should be quiet, friendly, good quality, and modern presentation technology should be available. Attendees should be made to feel special and welcome.

We might try a half-day structure, e.g. 1 to 5 as 10 to 4 is in effect a whole day. 1 to 5 suits people who need to travel for 2 or more hours to London.

Advertising. Selective, e.g. in quality newspapers and relevant specialist journals. We could maintain a list of individuals and organisations to whom we sent general and specific invitations. We would seek mentions on chat shows.

Outreach (i.e. invitations to attend Quaker Worship): No special efforts for outreach as such.

Chair: Seminars would be chaired by one of the management committee, or other worthy Friend, or dignitary such as a Bishop

Speakers: Most seminars would be led by at least one currently well known (famous or infamous) expert or commentator in the relevant field. They would normally be Academics, Commentators, CEOs renowned in their field, Authors of topical books. Well-known Contrarians.

The format might be a first session addressed by an academic giving a broad objective introduction, with latest 'insider' information, followed by discussion. Then a second session addressed by the 'famous' speaker presenting his or her innovative or controversial approach, contrasting it perhaps sharply with the conventional view of the first session. Again followed by discussion.

They would be paid expenses and a moderate fee. (We might seek funding for these fees separately from general funding.)

Fees: Participants would pay fees high by our usual standards though typical commercially for such seminars.

Target participants: Members of the Diplomatic Corps (British and other), policy makers, advisors, analysts and consultants in Government, major corporations, international NGOs, and religious organisations. Journalists.

We might have a mailing list of Ffriends who could attend to make up numbers, at a much reduced fee. (And/or staff and post graduate students in relevant faculties at nearby universities)

Possible topics: (Selected for their relevance to Quaker testimonies and concerns, while having international implications.) (In no particular order.)

Conscientious Objection and the Peace Tax.

The use of Torture in Terrorist-related Interrogation.

Army Cadets and Child Soldiers.

Priorities in Arms Control - Nuclear Weapons or Small Arms.

Israel and Palestine - One-State and Two-State Models

After the War. Progress in Afganistan, Chechnya and Iraq

Slavery Today.

Peace or Justice - Which Comes First?

Genetic Modification and Engineering - Do We Need Global Rules?

Fisheries and Forests - Is There a Case for International Control.

Sexual Orientation and the Declaration of Human Rights.

Environmental Issues and the Western Life-Style.

The Perennial Philosophy - Commonalities in the World's Great Faiths

Need Politicians and Diplomats be Truthful?

Economic Injustice - A Form of Violence?

Need We Strengthen the WTO and ILO?

Any Chance for World Federalism?

Super-Power. What Comes After the U.S.A.?

Recent Cases in the World Court

The effect of Christian Zionism on U.S. Government Policy

The Social Forum and extra-governmental World Leadership.

The Peace and Spirituality Movements.

The Origins of Violence. An exploration of the effects of different

upbringing and educational influences on children's social/ethical, sexual

and emotional attitudes as they grow up.

Housing: Treasure or Spoils? Britain in the grips of hysterical land

speculation.

Islam and Christianity:

 

 

Series 2: Personal Ethics Series

(Series might be publicised as: "Ethical Standards Today"

The seminars would be held on a regular basis e.g. weekly. They would be for 15 to 30 participants, normally lasting one day (e.g. 1000 to 1600), probably on Saturdays, with a decent (optional) buffet lunch, plus self-service tea and coffee on arrival and at breaks. The ambience should be quiet, friendly, good quality, and modern presentation technology should be available. Attendees should be made to feel respected and welcome.

Advertising: Via popular media, e.g. Time Out, Commercial Radio, Adverts on the Tube.

Outreach (i.e. invitations to attend Quaker Worship): To be low-key, implicit in venue and some session titles. Leaflets such as for Quaker Quest to be available.

Chair: Most seminars would be chaired by the organiser (e.g. the current writer)

Speakers: Most seminars would be led by at least two famous (or infamous) experts or commentators in the relevant field, with contrasting views. Typically authors, broad-sheet journalists and commentators, senior staff of major NGOs, Quaker and other religious organisations, academics, religious, ethical and moral leaders, mystics.

They would be paid expenses and a moderate fee. (We might seek funding for these fees separately from general funding.)

Fees: Participants would pay modest fees, e.g. 10. (Optionally plus lunch at cost, if taken.)

Target participants: Public. Ideally: Friends, members of other religious groups, ministers of religion, teachers, social workers. Staff and students in relevant faculties at nearby universities

We might have a mailing list of Ffriends who could attend to make up numbers, at a reduced fee.

Possible topics: (Selected for their relevance to Quaker testimonies and concerns.) (In no particular order.)

Living Lightly - Reducing our impact on the environment.

Developing Community Spirit.

The Secret State

Gender Issues.

Sexual Orientation - is it a moral issue?

Working in the Social Services

Teaching and Ethical Education

Ageism

Children's Rights

Religious Observance and Moral Standards.

Meditation, Prayer, and the Quaker silence.

Group Decision-making - Democracy and the Quaker Method

Positive discrimination in a Multi-Cultural society.

Is All Life Sacred - (or Would You Have Shot Hitler?)

Who's Responsible for Children's Moral Development?

Is Marriage Outmoded?

Staying Together for the Kids - Can estranged parent provide a satisfactory home?

Separating Siblings - Need they be kept together when taken into care?

Using Clearness Committees in personal decision making

Can and Does God Lead Us?

Living in the Spirit of Christ - a Post-Christian Approach.

The relevance today of traditional Christianity.

Various titles around the life, work, and modern relevance of famous people,

Darwin, Fox, Barclay, Woolman,

Various titles around other Faiths "Understanding Buddhism, Hinduism, Pagans,

Ethical Secularism

Christian Denominations compared 1 The major divisions.

Christian Denominations compared 2 Protestantism

Christian Denominations compared 3 Sects and other odd-balls..

The Inter-Faith Movement - Where Next?

Open to New Light - Spiritual Learning Today.

Mysticism and Quaker Worship.

What is Communion

'Think It Possible That You Are Wrong' - getting to know oneself.

Ethics and Political Choice

Porkies - When Are They OK?

Swear Not At All! Is 100% truthfulness plausible?

Christian Zionism - What the Bible really says.

Which drugs should be legalised?

 
  Stephen Petter, 15th Novemebr, 2003.