At the weekend our students were treated to a trio of expert speakers, each one of them a leader in their respective fields, at our ORACLE event at the Oxford Town Hall.
First up was Ben Ambridge, a Senior Lecturer in psychology at the University of Liverpool. Ben’s research primarily focuses on children’s first language acquisition. As part of his talk, Ben discussed his latest book, ‘Psy-Q’, which looks at children’s language development, using judgement and production methodologies
Next was, skipper and ocean advocate Emily Penn who had students transfixed by tales of her adventures, which started when she was an Architecture undergraduate intent on visiting the Shanghai eco-city by low-emission transport. This voyage took her across land and sea by train, camel, horse and boat. She decided that this was the way to travel, slowly, taking in the subtle transitions of climate, culture, and terrain. When she landed her first job in Australia after graduation, she was looking at quite a trek. So, of course, she applied for a temporary job on Earthrace, a multi-purpose vessel built to assist countries with marine conservation and research, planning to work her way across the world this way. Emily spent the next 923 days on Earthrace, forgetting Australia and Architecture, travelling from land to land educating people about sustainability and ocean conservation. Since then, Emily has founded two organisations, Pangaea Exploration, which conducts at-sea research into plastic pollution and its effects, and EXXpedition, which leads women-only voyages to investigate the relationship between plastic pollution and women’s health. She closed her speech with the reminder to students that the problems at sea begin and need to end on land, with people making real changes in their behaviour.
To round off the event, Cameron Parker, one of the UK’s leading motivational speakers for schools, gave an inspiring speech to the students. Cameron has worked with tens of thousands of young people across the UK, with a clear focus on encouraging individuals to achieve their true potential. Cameron finished his talk with the poignant statement, “Bottom line…if you want something, go after it with everything you’ve got and stop wasting time convincing people you don’t care because you DO!”.