Impressions of an uplifting partnership event with MACFEST

Professor Akbar Ahmed and Professor Karin Vogt in conversation with Ian Cameron

holding hands across a table compassion leadership kindness

Our international event on the 9th July in partnership with MACFEST – Kindness, Integrity and Leadership in a troubled world – was a truly memorable occasion.

It brought together two speakers of considerable eminence and international repute: Professor Akbar Ahmad from Washington DC, and Professor Karin Voigt from Heidelberg. Both shared insights from their own individual scholarship and life-long commitment to the promotion of diversity and intercultural harmony and the event was ably hosted by our very own President, Ian Cameron.

The international speakers navigated their way through an engaging and uplifting discussion on the timeless value of compassion, kindness and integrity in sustaining benevolent, successful leadership through the ages. A recording of the online event can be watched on MACFEST’s Facebook page.

The event also brought the Lit & Phil to the attention of a wider international audience, many of whom said they had felt privileged and indeed enriched to have attended.

Typical of the many after event posts from across the world:

“….an enthralling interaction; and that is what is so badly needed in the present troubled times; kindness, compassion but, above all, tolerance.”

Most evocative of all was a brilliantly observed overview from a student at American University’s School of International Service, in an article since published in one of Pakistan’s most popular English Language newspapers, “The Daily Times”: Planting a Seed.

The article concludes with the sentiment that:

“…the timeless value of human compassion surpasses the ever-changing technology, customs, and protocols of our current day; and carries a message not only of hope, but also of what one can do on an individual level, by “planting the seedling of kindness to all those around you”.

The online event marked the beginning of a mutually beneficial collaboration with the multi-award winning MACFEST organisation and its inspirational founder and director, Qaisra Shahraz. We’re really looking forward to partnering with them again next year.

If you or the organisation you work for are interested in collaborating with the Lit & Phil, please get in touch. We’d love to hear your ideas.


Dhun Daji, Elected Member of the Manchester Lit & Phil’s Council

dhun daji

Dr Dhun Daji

Dhun came over to Manchester from India to pursue post-graduate studies, at what was then UMiST, and obtained a PhD in Materials Science. He subsequently enjoyed a long and successful career in Consumer Electronics.  In 2018, shortly after retirement, he joined the Manchester Lit & Phil. He has been an elected as Member of Council and Trustee since 2020.

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