Over a decade of distinguished lectures

Guest lectures have been one of the key features of university life for centuries. They offer the chance to listen to some of the world’s greatest minds discuss issues of common interest in the finest detail.

Nottingham Trent University has had the privilege of hosting a number of distinguished speakers on a broad array of stimulating subject areas since 2006. The lectures are free, open to all, and are based on our City Campus.

To view lecture videos from previous lectures, choose the relevant event from our Past Distinguished Lectures page and play the video.

For any other queries, or if you experience any difficulties with the online booking process, please email the Events Team.

2019/20 series

Our 2019/20 distinguished lecture series begins in November, but event bookings are now open. Take a look at the details and dates below and reserve your place today.

February 2020

  • Wednesday 19 February 2020 - Professor Diane Coyle CBE, New rules for the digital economy

    Diane Coyle is the Inaugural Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and has held a number of public service roles including Vice Chair of the BBC Trust (2006 – 2014), member of the Competition Commission (2001 – 2009), and member of the Migration Advisory Committee (2009 – 2014).

    She is currently a member of the Natural Capital Committee, an expert adviser to the National Infrastructure Commission and a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. Previously she worked in the Treasury and the private sector as an economist, and was Economics Editor of The Independent.

    Diane has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and a BA from Oxford University. She was awarded a CBE for her contribution to the public understanding of economics in the 2018 New Year Honours.

    Lecture synopsis

    More than a quarter of a century into the digital revolution, and with wide applications of artificial intelligence on the horizon, the dramatic changes in technology have raced ahead of social institutions and the organisation of the economy.

    How do the rules and policies governing economic life need to adapt to the challenges posed by technological change, for everyone to benefit?

    Reserve your place now

March 2020

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020 - Diane Lees CBE, In a changing world, what is a museum for?

    Since October 2008, Diane Lees has served as Director General of the Imperial War Museums (IWM), which is the Cultural Lead for the Centenary of the First World War.

    In Summer 2013, Diane was appointed as a Trustee of 14-18NOW, the Cultural Programme for the First World War Centenary. Diane has already raised significant funds for the transformation of IWM  and is tasked with creating a sustainable future for IWM’s five branches and 600 staff.

    Before joining IWM, Diane was Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. Diane had a specific brief to transform the museum and create a sustainable future for this east-end site. She also chaired the V&A’s UK Steering Group.

    Diane began her career as an historic buildings researcher and then moved into exhibitions, education, and interpretation. She has worked on some of the most challenging and exciting projects in the country, including the rescue and relocation of a hat block manufacturer’s workshop in central Manchester, the recovery and display of the Mary Rose flagship in Portsmouth Harbour, and redisplay of the Nelson Galleries at the Royal Naval Museum.

    She project-managed the creation of the UK standard for the recording of information about museum collections (SPECTRUM), and was responsible for the creation of the only museum of law in the country, the multi-award winning National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

    A Trustee of the IWM Development Trust and The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust, Diane also serves as Vice President of the American Air Museum in Britain, is a member of the Women Leaders in Museums Network (WLMN) and sits on the judging panels of the Museums + Heritage Awards.  She is a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Experts’ Reference Group.

    Since May 2016, Diane has chaired a review of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)’s Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund. From April 2013 to March 2017, Diane chaired the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC).

    In January 2015 she was appointed to the University of Oxford Humanities External Advisory Board. In December 2014, Diane was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to museums, and in July 2015, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by the University of Reading.

    In June 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Nottingham Trent University. In April 2018 she was appointed Chair to the University of Lincoln’s Board of Governors.

    Lecture synopsis

    Over the last 40 years, museums have changed with the fashion, but with multiple channels of competition, how do museums respond to ever increasing uncertainty and challenge?

    Reserve your place now

April 2020

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020 - Helen Browning OBE, Making the case for an agro-ecological future for food and farming

    Helen has a very mixed organic farm in Wiltshire, with dairy, beef, pigs and cereals. She is also experimenting with agro-forestry. Her products are sold through the Helen Browning’s Organic brand in retailers, big and small, as well as through her mini hotel and restaurant / pub on the farm, and through her restaurant in Swindon.

    She is Chief Executive of the Soil Association, a member of the Food Ethics Council, trustee of the RSPB and was recently appointed to the Food Farming and Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) as well as the BBC’s Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.

    Prior to rejoining the Soil Association, Helen was Director of External Affairs for the National Trust. She has had a number of roles in agri-politics over the years, including the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (‘the Curry Commission’) and chaired the England Animal Health and Welfare Implementation Group. Helen was awarded an OBE in 1998 for her services to organic farming.

    Lecture synopsis

    Food and farming is under the microscope like never before.  Alongside climate change, the biodiversity crash, and the rise of non-communicable diseases, sustainably feeding our growing population a healthy diet is one of the biggest issues of our time.

    With all domestic policies in play as we prepare to leave the EU, now is the time to put in place the regulatory and economic framework which will move food and farming from the villains of the story, to a force for good.

    So what should those policies be, and how realistic is it to make this transition over the next ten years?

    Humanity’s ability to survive and prosper depends on the fundamentals of healthy, fertile soil; clean water; a thriving biosphere; and a stable climate, all of which require wise land management, and the prioritisation of these goals at the expense of short-term profits. Agro-ecology offers a way forward, and alongside dietary change, could deliver the food future we need.

    What knowledge and investment will farmers and land managers need to achieve this? And what role will technology play? Is there a silver bullet or several, which will disrupt the current tensions and allow us to have our cake and eat it?

    As protesters around the world are telling us, ‘the time is now’. Can we – will we – act ethically and rapidly enough to prevent the social upheaval and misery that is otherwise only accelerating?

    Reserve your place now

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