Conversations that Count: Speak Truth To Power

12 Sep 2019 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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Wellington Chamber of Commerce

The phrase “speak truth to power” was first coined in the 1950s to describe non-violent activism and movements for change - speaking what we believe to be true to someone in authority. It's a concept which predates the phrase itself, evident throughout human history.

In modern times those who have spoken truth to power have created some of the most significant social changes and biggest movements in modern history. From Martin Luther King's dream to David Lange's Oxford debate leading to a Nuclear Free NZ.

Thanks to the influence and ubiquity of social media platforms, there's potential for what seems like a stronger voice and access to a bigger audience - to anyone with a keyboard and an opinion.

How do we know when someone speaks that its's credible? Can someone's truth be another's fiction? What is the role of the institutions and influencers within the public discourse? Who provides the checks and balances? Do universities still play an important role as a ‘check’ upon what governments and others claim is the ‘truth’?

Join our panellists to talk about how speaking truth to power has changed and what it means for New Zealand today.

Register now.

Speaker Bios:

Chris Gallavin

Professor Chris Gallavin is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. He has published extensively in the areas of domestic and international criminal justice and tertiary education. He is a recognised public commentator on criminal justice, social policy and public interest issues. In 2015, he established the New Zealand Public Interest Project with seven colleagues to look into miscarriages of justice. He is an inaugural Trustee of the New Zealand Centre of Global Studies, a multidisciplinary think tank focused on resolving pressing issues of the global commons.

David Seymour

David Seymour is the Leader of ACT New Zealand and the MP for the Epsom electorate. David knocked on 13,000 doors in the Epsom electorate before being elected in 2014. In the Key/English Government he was the Under-Secretary to the Ministers of Education (responsible for charter schools) and Regulatory Reform. In 2017, he authored the book Own Your Future. He is the sponsor of the End of Life Choice Bill.

Tracey Watkins

Tracy Watkins is the Stuff Sundays Editor, including Editor of the Sunday Star-Times and Sunday News. Tracy was previously political editor and bureau chief for, New Zealand's leading multi-platform media company, covering politics from the Parliamentary press gallery for more than 20 years. She is an award-winning columnist and journalist, and has followed politicians on the campaign trail for many years, both here and in the United States. Until recently she also served on the New Zealand Media Council as an industry representative


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