From brushfire wars to the Arab Spring, conflict seems endemic around the world. Diplomacy and delicate negotiation may bring fighting to an end, even though the final outcome is not always satisfactory or quite as expected.
The symposium evaluates different techniques for conflict avoidance as well as resolution, including the use of language and strategies for working across and between cultures.
An honorary life fellow of Gresham College, Professor Tim Connell is an Emeritus Foundation professor at City, University of London, where he set up a full range of language activities over a period of nineteen years. He was a longstanding member of Senate and also chaired the Joint Negotiating Committee between management and unions. He is a graduate of Oxford, Liverpool and London universities, and has studied in Spain and Mexico. He also holds the degree of Doctor of Letters from City, University of London.
His particular interest is in the field of professional training for translators and interpreters, where he works closely with the Chartered Institute of Linguists, of which he has recently been appointed an Honorary Life Fellow in recognition of his seventeen years as Vice-President and eleven years as Chair of the Educational Trust over a thirty-year period of service. Tim is a regular contributor to the professional journal The Linguist and is also a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Languages Group, which he addresses with some regularity. He is a Visiting Professor at Richmond International University, developing links with links with China in particular.
International education is another area of key concern. Tim is deputy chair of the international course board for ESCP, (the French grande école based in Paris) which also covers London, Berlin, Madrid and Turin. He has had professional links with Latin America for many years, which has provided ample material for his classes on cultural communication and awareness.
He writes and broadcasts regularly on a wide range of themes relating to London, languages in the modern world and diverse cultural topics. In the past three years he has published chapters on livery companies in the City of London; Languages and Brexit; and he was the lead writer in 2018 for Get Smart About Scandals, a report on past lessons for future finance. He has also revised the history of Canning House, home to the Luso-Hispanic Brazilian Society, with which he has had an association for nearly forty years.
Tim has developed particular links in the Square Mile as a Freeman of the City of London and sits on the Court of the Stationers' Company where he Chair of Public Access Committee, which supports the Hall charity.
As a Fellow of Gresham College he sits on the Academic Board and has organised cycles of lectures in the Mondays at One series for 24 years, looking at topics of mainly current interest and speaks on a variety of subjects himself. He has devised half-day symposia on a wide range of themes with an invited panel of experts and is currently looking at the development of webinars. Since 2006 he has been Chairman of the Gresham Society, which supports Gresham College.
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC has practised as a barrister since 1971. He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – the ICTY – between 1998 and 2006 and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milošević, former President of Serbia. Much of his work since has been connected to cases before the permanent International Criminal Court – Sudan, Kenya, Libya – or pro bono for victims groups – Iran, Burma, North Korea – whose cases cannot get to any international court. He works for several related NGO’s and lectures and commentates in the media in various countries on international war crimes issues. He has been a part-time judge since 1984 sitting at the Old Bailey and has sat as judge in other jurisdictions, tribunals and inquiries. Between 2009 and 2012 he was Vice-Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the body that regulates barristers.
The six free public law lectures for 2013/14 Sir Geoffrey delivered as Gresham Professor of Law included four lectures on how legal process can fail the citizen in armed conflict, one explaining advocacy work in courts, and a final lecture covering recent legal changes.
The first five of his 2012-13 lectures dealt with issues arising from the work of international criminal courts and tribunals. The sixth contrasted the practice of law in international criminal courts where there is little or no effective regulation of lawyers and judges with the present working practices of the English Bar.
Professor Nice's previous lecture series are as follows:
All of Professor Nice's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.
Director of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in Bishopsgate. After reading a degree in Zoology, Simon’s career has been largely concerned with cultivating new initiatives in the areas of homelessness, mental health and crime prevention. He became interested in inter-religious work in 2000 organising “The Way of Peace 2000” interfaith initiative with HH The Dalai Lama in Northern Ireland and setting up the first London Christian Meditation Centre. Since 2004, he has led St Ethelburga’s Centre, which arose from the ruins of the mediaeval City church destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993. St Ethelburga’s aims “to help people build relationships across divisions of conflict, culture and religion”. Simon has a particular interest in approaches to enabling difficult conversations and working with the concept of Disagreement Success.
Director of the City of London Festival, Ian Ritchie read Law and Music at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar, and studied singing at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He has led numerous arts organisations, including the City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Opera North and St Magnus Festival, Orkney. In 2005 he returned to the City to resume the role of Director of the City of London Festival after a gap of more than twenty years.
He has advised on a large number of arts projects, was a member of the music advisory committees for the Arts Council and the British Council, has been chairman of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Society for the Promotion of New Music (spnm), is currently a board member of several arts organisations, including Musicians without Borders (NL), Opera Circus and St Magnus Festival, and continues to find time for some pro bono work through his own music charity (Accord International) in support of the Mostar Sinfonietta and other musical activities in Bosnia. He is married to Kathryn McDowell, managing director of the London Symphony Orchestra.