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  • 30 November 2023

Message from our President – December 2023

Peter Wright

peter wright manchester lit and phil president

December 2023


When I worked in the corporate environment, there was always the milestone of being in a role for 100 days. This time was always used to listen, watch, learn, and get curious. To put forward a vision of the future, and to plan to start moving in that direction.


As I write this, it is 71 days since my election at the AGM, so the other council members, the newly formed operating committee and I are busy pulling a vision and plan together. The next step is to get feedback from the members, refine the plan, and move forward.


And we want to keep you informed. So, we will arrange several online meetings with members, sections, and our broader mailing list to share and listen. The times and dates of these meetings will be communicated in the next few weeks.


This process runs in parallel to the Lit & Phil’s daily business of producing thought-provoking talks and events. Please have a look at the events planned for December; these range from the popular Philosophy Forum, a special Christmas concert, Newsnight’s Ben Chu looking at the recent influx of Chinese migrants from Hong Kong

and our next event focused on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.


2024 – Our Themes


As mentioned last month, we have decided to organise our events around a theme for each term. This approach gives a focus and allows for a multifaceted exploration of a subject. We are also looking to broaden our appeal by leveraging different formats (including debates and workshops), looking at event timings to ensure accessibility to the broadest audience, and attracting challenging, diverse, and inspiring speakers.


From January, our themes are the Environment, Artificial Intelligence (May to August), and in the Autumn, we will focus on our wonderful city, Manchester.


Manchester, the slave trade & the Manchester Lit & Phil 


2023 has been a time of reflection, as the UCLAN report and the supporting events have helped inform our thinking, connect us with community leaders and help the team start mapping our future plans and events.


We have our final event of this year, which will be led by Professor Robert Beckford and will look at the topic of reparations. This event will be informative, insightful, and challenging. I encourage you to attend.


Your Society needs you!


I apologise for paraphrasing the old slogan: Manchester Lit & Phil, values all its members. As many of you know, in a post-pandemic world, many organisations must look at how they operate and what they offer. We are the same, and we need to make sure our programme meets the needs of our current members, attracts new members, and allows us to keep broadening minds for the next 240 years.


With that in mind, please engage with the invitation to suggest themes, events and speakers. Diverse inputs will lead to a diverse program. And that is what will serve our mission most effectively.


Please spread the word, give feedback, volunteer, and invite people to an event. We are aiming to increase our impact and grow our community.


Thank you for your time.



Peter Wright 


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