I founded and ran the Lansdowne Debating Society in Mayfair for about 10 years. Now I'm mostly in Uganda, setting up a boxing club & foundation (www.glovesandglory.org).
I'm an international member of the English Speaking Union, and still passionate about debate too of course. I just realised that with the Zoom application (a bit like Skype, but better), I can still chair debates, it doesn't matter that I'm in Uganda - and in fact, with a Zoom debate, the great advantage now is that there are no borders - and people can join the debates now, wherever they are in the world!
I'm so excited now by the idea of bringing the whole world together to share their different and unique perspectives with each other!!
My other desires for this group are as follows:
1 - I'd like us to be able to debate on a more regular basis too - using other platforms, as well as meetup - perhaps on a facebook page or group? This could be discussions on daily news articles and stuff like that - our facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealDebateClub - there are over 600 likes, so it's a start....
2 - We can still meet up in the real world too sometimes of course! To further our understanding of certain key issues, and to enjoy the art of debate and the social aspects too of course when we embark on post debate drinks!
Who are we looking for?
I'd like people to come and join this group, of all ages and from all backgrounds. Banker, Doctors, Teachers, Taxi Drivers, Factory workers, cleaners (tinkers, tailors, soldiers, sailors!!) To me it's of huge value to hear a diverse range of views when approaching all topics!
A moment of waffle...
Personally, I never have the assumption that my initial thought on a matter is right.. it's merely in my head from my upbringing, life experiences and knowledge I've acquired so far. Another intelligent person with an opposing view, cannot be wrong as such... as their view has arrived in their head in a similar fashion to my own!
So my mission is to find out why they think it!! And try to combine this understanding with my own, to help me arrive at the "truth". Hence why we have this debating society. We like people to bring an initial view and opinion, but please bring an open mind, and be prepared to challenge you pre-conceived ideas!
That said, if you're convinced your right too. That can also be fun. So some along and try to convince us too!!
A bit about the debates (and a bit of waffle)
We take votes BEFORE and AFTER the debate, to see if there's been any swings of opinion. That's the fun bit for me...
We are always looking for good speakers/debaters to join us. So please let me know if you're keen on this. The debates are normally held on the last Thursday of every month - but we may do a couple of other ones too... keep an eye out!
Final though about, oh I don't know... changing the world anyone?
Finally, I hope that by gathering together a range of interesting people on this group. Not only will we enjoy slugging it out over some serious (and not so serious) debates, but we may also meander towards sessions where we work an idea out, and possibly even take it forward. It's my hope that bringing divergent views and open minds together... we actually have a chance to come up with progressive ideas, that are free from dogma - which could actually have a practical use in the world!
Maybe little fringe meetings will develop from this group. Little mini focus groups/ think tanks. Who knows.... The starting point for all this though, is to join this meetup, and invite your friends. You never know, we may even change the world!!