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Why the west is defaulting on climate change action

MelissaBradshaw25 February 2016

Climate change is an urgent challenge of global citizenship, was the message at the heart of Jonathon Porritt’s UCL Global Citizenship lecture on 22 February. Speaking from decades of experience working in sustainability, Porritt showed that the world is precariously balanced between commitment to and denial of global citizenship.

Jonathon Porritt, CBE giving the UCL annual Global Citizenship lecture. Photographer: Kirsten Holst

Porritt is Founder Director of Forum for the Future and acts as an advisor to many bodies, as well as to individuals including Prince Charles, and he is a Visiting Professor at the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. He celebrated the Paris Agreement, the conclusion of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, as “one of the most astonishing agreements ever signed”. With 195 countries committed to limiting global warming to below 2°C, the agreement is a great source of hope and optimism. (more…)

UCL Global Citizenship Lecture 2015: Shami Chakrabarti on Liberty

KilianThayaparan26 February 2015

Shami Chakrabarti speaking at the UCL Global Citizenship Lecture 2015

Shami Chakrabarti speaking at the UCL Global
Citizenship Lecture 2015 (Credit: Kirsten Holst)

Shami Chakrabarti’s now infamous description in The Sun as “the most dangerous woman in Britain” was referenced several times during this year’s UCL Global Citizenship Lecture, first by Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International), who described it as “quite an accolade”, and then by Chakrabarti herself, calling it “the gift that keeps on giving”.

Such an extreme epithet set the scene for an intriguing hour of discussion about civil liberties and how global citizenship can make a positive difference to the world.

The lecture comes at an important time in UCL’s Global Citizenship activities with the recent opening of registrations for the UCL Global Citizenship Programme – a two-week programme available to all undergraduates.

It allows students to engage with the world as ‘global citizens’, becoming not only experts in their fields, but also people who are understanding of, responsible for and engaged with the global community.

As Director of Liberty, a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for civil liberties and human rights in the UK, Shami Chakrabarti is, as Dame Nicola Brewer described, “a brilliant advocate for getting involved and making a positive difference to the world” – and, therefore, an ideal figure to inspire others to think about global citizenship.

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An Accidental Liberal: HE Omar Ghobash’s Global Citizenship lecture

LaraCarim5 April 2013

What does it mean to be an Arab and a Muslim in the modern world? How does an ordinary Arab individual explain to themselves the series of cataclysmic events that took place in the 1970s–80s?

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

How do and should the country deal with radical Islamic ideas? HE Omar Ghobash, United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Ambassador to Russia, addressed these existentialist, political and ethical questions in the first UCL global citizenship lecture on 18 March 2013.

Drawing on his personal experiences growing up in UAE then at boarding school in England, and levening the demanding subject matter with a welcome sprinkling of humour and anecdotes, HE Ghobash charted his own journey towards a liberal outlook – a liberalism he defined as encompassing tolerance, respect for the individual and a healthy attitude on the part of the authorities towards the private sphere.

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Beyond social exclusion: emerging logics of expulsion with Saskia Sassen

JamesHeather23 June 2012

Professor Saskia Sassen

Professor Saskia Sassen

On 13 June, renowned sociologist Professor Saskia Sassen, who popularised the term ‘global city’, came to London’s Global University to give a talk on some of her current research.

Centring around the idea that in recent history changes to the socio-economic make-up of capitalist nations has brought about changes to the way society values and includes its members, the talk focused on how the dynamics and metrics of exclusion – and expulsion – have altered throughout much of our society, and largely for the worse.

We started by learning the definition of social expulsion, as opposed to exclusion. Imagine, if you will, those people that reside at the edge of a system (not necessarily a geographical edge). Exclusion would be the prevention of people outside of that system entering it. Expulsion, however, is the act of those already within the system being ejected from it, and finding themselves on the other side of the line.

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