The Oxford Forum

The Oxford Forum is a student run organisation which encourages discourse and debate within Oxford, allowing students to engage with a diverse range of issues.


Is NIMBYism the primary cause of the housing crisis?
May
26
5:00 PM17:00

Is NIMBYism the primary cause of the housing crisis?

NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard‘, is a pejorative that refers to those who oppose house-building in their area, ranging from existing homeowners to conservationists. Underlying this term is the argument that politics, rather than economics, explains this country’s failure to build enough homes, with successive governments at a national and local level bowing to those who wish to see their property prices stay high. Meanwhile, younger generations struggle to get on the housing ladder. 

With the UK’s housing shortage being one of the most potent political issues of our time and a powerful example of generational inequality, it is more important than ever to understand the reasons behind it. Is NIMBYism the primary cause for failure to deliver sufficient housing year on year or does the blame lie elsewhere, with property developers or excessive government regulations perhaps?

Speakers

John Elledge - Editor of CityMetric

Barry Pearce - Infrastructure Planning Commissioner; Former Senior Lecturer of the Department for Land Economy at the University of Cambridge

Neil Goodrich - Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing

Peter Collins - Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Oxfordshire); Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall

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Nov
28
6:30 PM18:30

Col. Richard Kemp CBE

Venue: Okinaga Room, Wadham College

We are very excited to be co-hosting with the Oxford Israel-Forum, the distinguished Colonel Richard Kemp CBE. He is the former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, a leading expert on counter-terrorism, and former military attaché to the Cabinet Office. He will be speaking on the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the ‘New Age of Counter-Terrorism’.

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The State of the Arts in the UK
Nov
18
5:00 PM17:00

The State of the Arts in the UK

The Oxford Forum is proud to present a panel drawing from politics and the arts to discuss the state of the arts in contemporary Britain. Are museums too elitist and exclusive? Should there be more public funding for the arts? Should the BBC do more to promote cultural institutions? All this and more will be discussed.

 

Venue: Okinaga Room, Wadham College

The Speakers:

Christine Jardine MP: elected to the Edinburgh West constituency in the 2017 General Election, the Liberal Democrat MP has been a journalist, broadcaster, and university teacher, and Media Adviser on Scotland to Downing Street during the Coalition Government.

Christopher Le Brun: President of the Royal Academy of Arts since 2011, he studied painting at the Slade School of Art and Chelsea School of Art in the 1970s, going on to become an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been collected by the Tate Gallery, the British Museum, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York. He has also been a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

This event is free and open to all.

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North Korea - What's Next?
Nov
11
5:00 PM17:00

North Korea - What's Next?

The Oxford Forum is proud to present a student panel exploring where we go from here with one of the most significant geo-political issues of our time, North Korea. The event will be held in the Okinaga Room, Wadham College

The Speakers:
Steve Heo is a 3rd year PPE student at Brasenose. A competitive debater, he was a finalist at the Cardiff Open and the Maastricht Open in 2017. He is also President of the Oxford University Korea Society. 

Jieun Baek is a DPhil candidate in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Before coming to Oxford, she was a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. She is also the author of 'North Korea’s Hidden Revolution', published by Yale University Press in 2016. 

Edward Howell is an MPhil candidate at Balliol, having previously studied Geography at Brasenose. Edward is currently researching a thesis on ‘The state survival of North Korea: a cultural perspective’, which examines the role of culture and identity in the survival North Korea. He has also written articles for the Huffington Post, the Diplomat, and was involved with the launching of the BBC World Service in North Korea.

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Can Gender Segregation Facilitate Gender Equality?
Nov
6
5:30 PM17:30

Can Gender Segregation Facilitate Gender Equality?

Can gender segregation facilitate gender equality? Is there still any benefit to single-gender schools? Why do we need safe spaces? What is the best way by which we can achieve gender equality in our society? 

Our speakers:

Zainab Majid: Zainab was born in Abu Dhabi to a Pakistani family and is now a third-year undergraduate physicist at Wadham College. She is the co-founder of Empower Her Voice, an organisation spotlighting female speakers on university campuses and fundraising for girls' schools and women's centres worldwide.

Zoe Hodge: Zoe is co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club and former leader of OULC’s Women’s Caucus.

Alexis Murray Luo: Alexis is the creator of Homecoming Queen, an Oxford based print zine and multimedia platform, where people of colour and migrants share personal interpretations of belonging. Alexis is also creating 2 PLAY ZINE this term, about sexual oppression. She has been involved in numerous publications in Oxford including The ISIS, The Mays and OxStu.

Dan Orr: Dan is the co-Chair of Oxford SU Women's Campaign and Trans Rep for Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society. Dan has also previously spoken on gender-based violence and trans inclusion in LGBTQ+ spaces, and was a delegate to the first ever NUS trans conference.

This event will include a question and answer with the audience.

This debate will be chaired by Rhian Friedeberg-Steward, Women’s officer of the Oxford Forum.

Please see our Facebook Event.

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Empire Panel
Jun
3
4:15 PM16:15

Empire Panel

  • Exeter College Oxford, OX1 3DP United Kingdom (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Dr Shashi Tharoor revived debate about the legacy of the British Empire in early 2017, arguing in his book Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India that the British suffer from 'amnesia' with respect to their colonial exploits. Voices emerged in the wake of the book's released arguing for a more generous view of our long and complex imperial history. Following the debate at the Oxford Union in Hillary Term, we hope to continue the discussion about the true nature of British Empire and what, if anything, we should do about it now.

The Oxford Forum has invited a panel of experts to discuss the proposition: 'The Empire wronged the world and Britain should make amends'.

The Panel:

Prof. Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Christ Church and author of Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An Ethic of the Nation

Lawrence James, historian and author of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

Prof. Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations at St Anthony's College and author of Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies

James Heartfield, former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and author of The Aborigines' Protection Society

The event will be held in the Saskatchewan Lecture Theatre at Exeter College

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Political Realignment Panel
May
25
6:00 PM18:00

Political Realignment Panel

Speakers:

Ben Page - Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI
Claire Fox - Director, Institute of Ideas
Professor James Tilley - Fellow in Politics, Jesus College
Andre Walker - Political Correspondent, New York Observer

Is Britain's political culture undergoing fundamental change, or can we expect it to remain broadly recognisable in the years ahead? Are the existing parties likely to survive much longer - or are some of them already gone in all but name? Is our party system itself fit for purpose? Will British politics truly be redefined by cleavages on EU membership, and are we really entering a new era of nationalism and 'populism'?

Since the historic referendums on Scottish independence and the EU, it's been apparent that we're living through a time of great political change. Beyond that, however, few of us have a clear idea of what's going on. Four eminent political commentators, from very different professional backgrounds, are meeting on Thursday to share their thoughts ahead of the election. Come along if you'd like to hear them, and to share some of your own.

The event will be held in the Harold Lee Room at Pembroke College.

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Universal Basic Income Panel
May
15
6:00 PM18:00

Universal Basic Income Panel

  • Pembroke College, Pembroke Square OX1 1DW UK (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Should the UK pay its citizens a universal basic income? UBI, as it's usually known, is a fashionable policy proposal at the moment. The automatic transfer of a livable stipend to everyone - regardless of employment status, savings or income - may seem a counterintuitive approach to welfare reform. UBI's proponents nonetheless cite evidence suggesting not only improvements to wellbeing among those without work, or on low incomes, but overall savings to the state by the elimination of means-testing. 

Its critics, however, warn that UBI would fundamentally undermine incentives in the labour market, leading to seriously diminished productivity in the overall economy. There remain also grave doubts over the affordability of such a system, and the potential for inflationary effects should it be introduced.

Could we eliminate enormous welfare bureaucracies, and the stigma of our present benefits system, and achieve a healthier 'work/life balance' in the process? Or is this a utopian scheme proposed by the well-meaning but misguided - and a potentially dangerous experiment? Six of Oxford's sharpest minds will be debating the merits of UBI on Monday evening at Pembroke College, and would like you to join the discussion.

Speakers:

Yannick Lambert (Pembroke)
Graziano Brady (St Benet's)
Giuseppe Dal Pra (Balliol)
Louis McEvoy (Christ Church)
William Prescott (Univ)
Kit Rasmussen (Balliol)

Chair:

Alasdair Riggs (Pembroke)

Venue:

Mary Hyde Eccles Room, Pembroke College

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General Election 2017 Panel
May
8
5:00 PM17:00

General Election 2017 Panel

  • Pembroke College Oxford, England, OX1 United Kingdom (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The 2017 General Election is shaping up to become a definitive threshold in the nation's political history. As the first General Election following a substantively divisive referendum concerning the European Union, will it signify the resurgence and rise - or demise - of Labour? Will the Tories regain parts of Scotland, or cede further territory to waves of populism; will the Liberal Democrats be the path forward for centrists, or is the talk of its revival merely illusory? Whom should people vote for - and whom should they most definitely not? Watch the political leaders of Oxford student politics discuss the political future of the UK!

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