What's On

Whats on page
Programme of events
Day Trips

Confirmed speakers for the Big Hope 2 are:


Keynote speakers

  • Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Director and Deputy CEO of Everton Football Club, and Executive Chair of Everton in the Community
  • Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, Explorer and founder of the Scientific Exploration Society
  • Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and the Member of Parliament for Twickenhan
  • Rt Hon Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary and Former Secretary of State for Education and Skills
  • Baroness Caroline Cox, Founder and President of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART)
  • Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Honorary consultant physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and past-president of the Royal College of Physicians of London (PRCP)
  • Lord Charles Guthrie, Field Marshal, The Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank, former Chief of the Defence Staff (Navy, Army and Air Force)
  • Baroness Ilora Finlay, Professor of Palliative Medicine and independent crossbench member of the House of Lords
  • Professor Janet Hemingway CBE, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Father Michael Lapsley, South African Anglican priest and social justice activist
  • Professor Sugata Mitra, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University and winner of the 2013 TED Prize

Discussion forum panel members


  • The Rt Hon Lord David Alton Baron Alton of Liverpool, former Liberal Democrat MP
  • Dr Robert Atlay, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • The Right Reverend Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool
  • Professor Roger Brown, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Policy at LHU
  • Robert Elstone, CEO, Everton Football Club
  • Rev Jacky Embrey, Moderator of the United Reformed Church, Mersey Synod
  • Professor Luca Fiorani, Research scientist of ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), professor of general physics, laser spectroscopy, physics didactics and climate physics
  • Professor David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool
  • Dr Ivana Gabalova, Project Co-ordinator at the Anne Frank House
  • Dr Myra Houser, Professor of History at Ouachita Baptist University
  • Nisha Katona, Founder of Mowgli Street Food
  • Ms Anne Lonsdale, CBE, Deputy High Steward at the University of Cambridge
  • Dr Jane McCarthy, Open University Professor and author of Young People’s Experience of Loss and Bereavement
  • The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool
  • Alison Moore, Director of Merseyside refugee and asylum Seekers Neo-Natal Support Group MRANG
  • Dame Lorna Muirhead, Former Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and former President of the Royal College of Midwives
  • Prashant Nayak, Executive Director of Milapfest
  • John O’Shea, Founder and former CEO of Irish NGO, GOAL, assisting the poorest of the poor
  • Shirley Potts, Director of Regional Development, Child Bereavement UK
  • Ken Pye, Founder of the Knowledge Group, a local historian and author of the acclaimed “Discover Liverpool” book
  • His Excellency Mr Viorel Raducanescu, Honorary Consul of Romania
  • Adrian Ramsey, CEO of the Centre for Alternative Technology, former Deputy Leader of the Green Party
  • Angela Rayner, British Labour politician, care worker, and trade unionist
  • Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at St Mary's Hospital
  • Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region
  • Angela Samata, Chair of the Survivors of the Bereaved by Suicide
  • Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League
  • Professor Ian Smith, Former Chairman of Four Seasons Healthcare
  • Max Steinberg, Liverpool Vision
  • Mike Storey, CBE, British Liberal Democrat politician. He is currently the party's spokesperson on education, families and young people in the House of Lords
  • Mike Stubbs, FACT
  • David Unsworth, Manager of Everton Football Club’s Under-23s team
  • Professor Dr Stephan Wassong, Head of the Institute of Sport History at the German Sport University Cologne and Director of the Olympic Study Centre Cologne (OSC)
  • Natasha Williamson, From Claire House Children’s Hospice

Big Hope 2 will focus on four main areas of discussion that have a huge impact on global society.

They are:

  • Freedom
  • Conflict
  • Equality
  • Change

Delegates will explore these areas by thinking about what they mean to them as individuals, what the changing world means to their lives and what they can do to make a difference. To help the discussion and thought, Big Hope 2 will be thinking about these important areas under 12 themes.

  • Health and Well-being
  • Migration
  • Faith
  • Innovation
  • Education
  • Sport
  • Communication
  • Work and Business
  • Community
  • Politics
  • Culture
  • Environment

The Big Hope 2 will offer a packed week of workshops, keynote lectures and learning opportunities.

Keynote Lectures

Sessions for all delegates delivered by highly respected speakers from business, culture and education.

Discussion Forums

Following keynote addresses, delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues raised with a panel of experts.

Learning Tracks

Every delegate will choose a project to work on throughout the week. This will be a chance to try something new with everything from creative writing to virtual reality design on offer.

Reflection Sessions

A relaxed and informal opportunity for our residential delegates to come together at the end of each day to reflect on issues raised during the keynote speeches and parallel sessions.

Open and Closing Ceremonies

Reflecting the ecumenical foundation of Liverpool Hope University, the opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the city’s Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals.

Day Trips

Liverpool is a fantastic city known around the world for music, sport and the warmth of its people. There will be opportunities throughout The Big Hope 2 for delegates to explore locally, and beyond into the beautiful North West region of England, both on their own, or as part of organised day trips (additional costs apply).

The Big Hope 2 Exhibition and Concert

To showcase the artistic and creative work produced during the week, we will host a concert and exhibition at the University.


There will be opportunities throughout The Big Hope 2 for delegates to explore locally, and beyond into the beautiful North West region of England, both on their own, and as part of organised day trips (additional costs apply).

Trips will involves going to - 

Haworth (Bronte Country) - Haworth village is situated at the edge of the Pennine moors in West Yorkshire, England, the area made famous by the Bronte sisters, known as Bronte country.

Chester - Chester is arguably the richest city in Britain for archaeological and architectural treasures preserved to this day from the time of the Roman occupation. Situated 40 minutes away from Liverpool there is plenty to see and do in the city of Chester. 

Cownwy Castle - Conwy is a town rich in history, which much of it still preserved within the walls and traditional structures of its buildings. In the heart of it is the mighty 13th-century castle, whose walls encapsulate this remarkable medieval town.

York - The city is recognised the world over as an archaeological treasure trove. JORVIK, now a state-of-the-art visitor attraction, is one of the best-known sites in the city. There is nothing more evocative of York's medieval era than the narrow streets and snickleways, winding haphazardly through the city centre. These days they are home to fashionable boutiques and cafes.

Lake District  Home to England's biggest lakes and tallest mountains, the Lake District is an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

Chatsworth House - The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and situated in the Peak District it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Chatsworth has been selected as the United Kingdom's favourite country house several times.

Speke Hall - Located a mear 15 minutes away from Liverpool Hope University, Speke Hall is a rare Tudor-framed manor house setting on the banks if the River Mersey. 

Chester Zoo - Named one of the best Zoo's in the UK, Chester Zoo was founded in 1934. It is home to 15,000 animals in 125 acres of award-winning zoological gardens, with the 1.9 million people who come to visit every year.

Media City Salford - Media City Salford is the home of the BBC and ITV in the northwest. Here they film and record Match of the Day, Blue Peter, A Question of Sport, Mastermind, BBC Breakfast, Radio 5 live, CBBC, BBC Sport.