On 13 October 2016, Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting delivered the Global Awareness Lecture.
Focussing on the role of journalism in promoting in-depth engagement with global issues through innovative reporting and education, Jon Sawyer, veteran foreign correspondent and director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington DC, US, spoke passionately to the audience of students and parents about falling standards and freedom of speech.
After decades in the field, reporting from around 60 countries, he founded the non-profit Pulitzer Center to support independent reporting from around the world and to work with schools
His work has been honoured by investigative reporters and editors, the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association, and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Jon was selected three years in a row for the National Press Club’s prize for best foreign reporting.
Head of Global Awareness at Bedales, Annabel Smith said: “Before the lecture, Jon met with five groups of students of all ages and talked about a range of global issues from the Middle East to water rights, the upcoming US election and the future of journalism. He also spoke at length to a number of students with a special interest in print, video and photo-journalism and it was a real benefit for our students to have such one-to-one expert guidance.”
Annabel added: “Jon represents the very best traditions of reporting from the darkest corners of the world. He not only spent decades in the field, but through creating the Pulitzer Centre also ensured that a new global generation of journalists can continue this work.”
Fresh from her announcement that she was to step down from human rights campaigning group, Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti visited Bedales to deliver the annual Global Awareness lecture on 27 January 2016.
Shami who worked as in-house counsel and then director of Liberty, having joined the organisation in 2001, spoke to a packed Quad about her 2014 book, On Liberty, drawing on her work in high-profile campaigns during her time in the organisation. She talked about the “Government rhetoric” on abandoning the Human Rights Act and the “new frontier” of internet regulation and limits on free expression.
Students seized the opportunity to ask questions of the former barrister in a private audience before the talk and afterwards in a question and answer session. Headmaster Keith Budge said that Shami “…gave as fluent, clear and compelling a case for human rights and civil liberties as most of us are likely to hear.”
The highlight of the Global Awareness year is the annual Global Awareness Lecture. In 2015 this was delivered by Professor Lucie Cluver of Oxford University.
Snakes, gangsters and gunfire: Using science to change AIDS policy in Africa
Dr. Cluver is an Associate Professor in Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Lecturer in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town.
She trained at Cambridge and Oxford (receiving first class honours every step of the way), and then worked as an international social worker in South Africa at the height of the AIDS epidemic. She realised that good research evidence was needed to help governments to deal with HIV/AIDS, and now works closely with the South African government, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. Together, they have conducted the world's largest study of children in AIDS-affected families, the first long-term study of AIDS-orphaned children, a multi-country set of studies to prevent child abuse and the first ever community study of HIV+ adolescents and their adherence to lifesaving medication.
Her work has been groundbreaking, and life-changing for young people around the world.
A short interview with Lucie here about her work with Young Carers in South Africa.
Read a student's review of the Global Awareness Lecture.
In 2013, the Global Awareness Lecture was delivered by Dr Shahidul Alam of Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography.
His theme was 'Humanising The Other'
Dr Shahidul Alam gained his PHD in chemistry but this wasn’t his true passion. It wasn’t until he stumbled upon photography on a chance trip to New York, when he purchased a camera for a friend who never claimed it, that he discovered his life’s calling. His camera became a tool for political activism, using the images he captured in what he considers to be ‘the war against injustice’. He illustrated his talk with a series of very beautiful but partly shocking images, discussing how perspectives in photography change according to the cultural background of the person taking them. Students and budding photographers in the audience were inspired to hear his advice on capturing meaningful photography and his take on what he considers to be ‘the majority world’ and not ‘the developing world’. By Vincent Hasselbach, 6.2
On 9 October 2014 Bedales hosted a conference on Innovative Education as part of its Leading Independent Thinking series.
The keynote speaker was Dr Richard Gerver, who has been described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation. He argues that great leadership is about serving the needs of the people that work for you and rely upon you. The three core principles that underpin Richard's philosophy are communication, empowerment and impact. Read more about the conference, and view the highlights film.