Festival of Ideas talks 2018

The Cambridge University Bahá’í society has organised two events this year as part of the Cambridge University Festival of Ideas. Both events will take place on Friday, 19 October 2018.

Rethinking governance

Rethinking Governance (6-7pm)
Sean Hinton discusses new conceptual frameworks for governance that give expression to individual freedom and embody our highest aspirations.

Sean Hinton is Director of the Economic Advancement Program for the Open Society Foundations, and CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund. He is a graduate of Cambridge University and MIT. He has served as Mongolia’s first honorary consul-general in Australia, having worked extensively in China and Mongolia. Sean has lectured around the world, most recently at Oxford University and at Stanford University for the Global Speaker Series. He is also on the international advisory board of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland.

Register for this talk.

An end to inequality

An end to inequality? (8-9pm)
The assumption that human beings are primarily self-interested, and that our behaviour reveals our underlying preferences, has driven the progress of economics as a discipline – and thus many of the economic policies leading to the exacerbation of inequality. Professor Nava Ashraf will talk about recent research in economics questioning this assumption, and drawing it closer to what many religious and philosophical thinkers have understood about human nature – a radical change with strong implications for economic inequality, justice and prosperity. In her talk she will draw on Bahá’í perspectives on economics.

Nava Ashraf is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Research Director of the Marshall Institute. She has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for Service, and was the youngest ever recipient of the Order of British Columbia.

Register for this talk.

Both talks will take place in the following venue:
Hicks Room
University Centre
Granta Place, Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RU

The talks are free and open to all, but please register using the links above so that we know how many people to expect at each talk.

Festival of Ideas talks 2017

Curiouser and Curiouser: A Quest for Truth

Psychologist Dulamdary Enkhtor explores the idea of truth through the lenses of neuroscience, spirituality, physics, mathematics, arts, mysticism and the Baha’i Writings.

Dr. Dulamdary Enkhtor has worked in her native Mongolia, as well as the UK, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Vietnam, India, Israel, Namibia, Indonesia and Serbia for a range of organisations including the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, and Emory University. Currently she is global organisational effectiveness consultant at Roche, Switzerland. She holds a PhD in Psychology and an MSc in Development Studies, and carried out her undergraduate studies in Social & Political Sciences and Modern & Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

Can Truthfulness and Integrity Be Taught and Nurtured?

Truthfulness and honesty are the foundations of a cohesive and progressive society. But can these virtues be taught and nurtured in the classroom? A talk by Geoff Smith and Nita Forouhi.

Talk and discussion, 6-7 pm. Followed by live music on virtues-based themes for those who wish to stay.

Organised by Sidney Inspirations Society and the Cambridge University Baha’i Society

About the speakers:

Geoff Smith is a Head Teacher who has introduced innovative character development programmes in UK schools. He is on the executive team of the Association for Character Education and was part of the advisory group for the ‘Framework for Character Education’, a resource for schools produced by the University of Birmingham.

Professor Nita Gandhi Forouhi from the University of Cambridge draws on the example of the largest school in the world, in Lucknow, India, inspired by Gandhi and the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. The only school in the world to have been awarded the UNESCO prize for peace education, the City Montessori School aims to impart values based education.

Festival of Ideas talks 2016

From Conflict to Compassion: The Transformation of Human Society

Movement from a world of turmoil and conflict to one of compassion and justice necessitates transformation of both society and individuals. Editor and publisher Dr May Hofman discusses how we might achieve this.

May Hofman is director of George Ronald Publishing, having worked previously for the United Nations in the Bureau of Publications of the International Labour Office. She was a founding member of the Oxford University Bahá’í Society in the 1960s, where she gained an undergraduate degree in music and a doctorate in musicology.

Jointly organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society and Sidney Inspirations Society, Sidney Sussex College

The Movement of Populations: Challenging Our Assumptions

The movement of populations presents an opportunity to revisit our assumptions about human nature and the operation of society. Rachel Bayani challenges our actions and reactions to this phenomenon.

Rachel Bayani is Representative to the European Union of the Bahá’í International Community. Rachel has served as a justice and home affairs counselor to the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU, dealing mainly with asylum and migration issues, and has worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina both with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with the peacekeeping mission. She has a law degree from the University of Sorbonne in Paris and an LLM in international law from Cambridge University.

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society

Summary of Festival of Ideas events this year

Below is a summary of the Festival of Ideas events organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society this year. Please click the links for more information.

  1. The gathering sound: Weaving a tapestry of sacred text, invocations, and poetry from the world’s spiritual traditions, this musical odyssey celebrates humanity’s inter-connectedness.
  2. Young people: What is our identity? How can we discover our true potential, inner capacities, and unique talents and use them to create the kind of world we really want?
  3. From the selfish me to the selfless selfInsights from science and mysticism on the paradox of identity.
  4. Nahal Mavaddat and Jacqueline Lam-McArthur read poems by Bahá’í women imprisoned in Iran because of their beliefs and how the poetry speaks of their resilience in the face of hardship.
  5. Faiths for climate action: multi-faith walkJoin a movement of people from all different faiths in Cambridge, to take a walk celebrating unity between religious identities in the face of climate change challenges.

Festival of Ideas: Faiths for Action multi-faith walk

Faiths for climate action: multi-faith walk

Join a movement of people from all different faiths in Cambridge, to take a walk celebrating unity between religious identities in the face of climate change challenges. A move towards low-carbon lifestyles to reduce human impact on climate change raises deep questions about the nature of truly fulfilling lives and design of flourishing societies. To reduce carbon emissions at the level that is required to impact climate change, radical rethinking of our personal, social and economic actions is needed, much of which can be informed by spiritual and faith identities.

6:00pm – 7:30pm, Friday 24 October
Beside Riverside Bridge, next to the Museum of Technology, Riverside Road, Cambridge CB5 8JB

No need to book (just turn up). More information is available here.

Women of the World: Poems by Bahá’í Women

Nahal Mavaddat and Jacqueline Lam-McArthur read poems by Bahá’í women imprisoned in Iran because of their beliefs and how the poetry speaks of their resilience in the face of hardship.

12 noon – 1pm, Sunday 26 October
Cambridge Junction (Foyer area), Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX

This is the only event organised by the Bahá’í Society that requires payment but gives you access to other Women of the World (WoW) Festival events. Tickets can be purchased here.

Festival of Ideas: From the Selfish Me to the Selfless Self

From the selfish me to the selfless self: Insights from science and mysticism on the paradox of identity.

A talk by Ismael Velasco.

3pm – 4pm, Sunday 2 November
Latimer Room, Clare College. Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TL
Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multifaith Series.  Free and open to all. Tickets can be booked here.

Festival_of_Ideas_2014_Paradox_Identity

Festival of Ideas: Young people: What is our identity?

Young people: What is our identity? How can we discover our true potential, inner capacities, and unique talents and use them to create the kind of world we really want?

Talk and lively discussion with members of the Bahá’í Society, alongside Ismael Velasco.

3pm – 4pm, Saturday 1 November
Little Hall Lecture Theatre, Sidgwick Site

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multifaith Series.  Free and open to all. Tickets can be booked here.

Festival_of_Ideas_2014_Young_People_Identity

Festival of Ideas: The Gathering Sound

The gathering sound: Weaving a tapestry of sacred text, invocations, and poetry from the world’s spiritual traditions, this musical odyssey celebrates humanity’s inter-connectedness.

A concert with Richard Leigh and friends.

3pm  – 4pm, Saturday 25 October
Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1SU

Organised by the Cambridge University Bahá’í Society as part of the Multifaith Series.  Free and open to all. Tickets can be booked here.

Festival_of_Ideas_2014_Gathering_Sound