SECOND NATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR MEN AND BOYS (FRIDAY 2ND NOVEMBER 2012)
2.00 – 4.30: Ten Top Thinkers
During the afternoon we give you the opportunity to hear from 10 big thinkers experts who have been carefully selected to deliver a diverse mix of inspiring talks that everyone working to improve the lives of men and boys in the UK will want to hear.
Speaker 1: Glen Poole is a radical voice in the world of gender equality campaigning on issues like fathers’ rights, men’s health inequalities, male suicide, boys’ educational underachievement, male role models and men and boys’ personal safety. Glen is UK co-ordinator of International Men’s Day, the Strategic Director of The Men’s Network in Brighton & Hove and host of the UK’s Second National Conference for Men and Boys. Here he outlines his vision for an Integral Global Men’s Movement.
Speaker 2: Jerker Edström is a Research Fellow at Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and a leading expert in men, gender and masculinities in international development. Details of Jerker’s talk will be confirmed shortly.
Speaker 3: Melvyn Davis is the founder of the award winning boys2MEN Mentoring & Family Support Programme, which provides a range of support services for boys, young men, fathers and their families as well as training and consultancy services.
Melvyn is also an International motivational speaker and trainer who has spoken across Europe and as far a field as the United States and Australia.
In this talk, Melvyn will explain why he believes working with boys, young men and fathers is so vital and remains one of the most important challenges facing today’s society.
Speaker 4: Nick Clements is a Professor Staffordshire University and author of various books on men and rites of passafes. He observes that a lot of men’s work focuses on the concept of a rite of passage for boy towards manhood.
Nick believes our sector needs to create a framework of rites that men can participate in when they are ready as there are moments throughout all our lives when we need support and guidance, not just at teenagehood.
In this talk Nick will outline why we need to make the rites of passage we offer irresistibly attractive and of value to a wide audience. He’ll also explain why he thinks it is important to include women in rites of passage for teenagers
Speaker 5: Alan Heeks is an expert on sustainable living, author of ‘The Natural Advantage’ and co-founder of Men Beyond 50. He says he has led many groups on men’s issues, finding life purpose, and knowing where your towel is!
Here he outlines the role that men could play in his “2020 vision” of a widespread attitude shift across the UK, from a sense of disempowerment and resentment (about climate change, economic decline, etc) to a creative embracing of simplicity, a general realisation that we can actually improve our quality of life, environmental footprint and wellbeing, even if there is less money and stuff available.
Speaker 6: Elizabeth O’Shea is the founder of Parent 4 Success. She speaks regularly on BBC TV and radio as a parenting expert. Much of her work is with parents who have gone through a divorce or separation, including many men who see their children in contact centres or men who have been denied access to their children.
Elizabeth believes that fathers have a crucial role in the upbringing of children and her visions is of a world where every child has the best possible relationship with both parents (whether they’re together or not). She will talk about the changing face of parenting and fatherhood and the skills fathers need adjust to their redefined roles.
Speaker 7: Mark Brooks is chair of The ManKind Initiative, a national charity that supports male victims of domestic violence.
In this talk Mark outlines the political context of the men and boys sector an where we sit within the current political climate in the UK. Mark provides a broad overview of the messages and actions needed to change the current climate.
He argues that the best way to do this is through sensible and responsible campaigning at local and national level public using the public sector equality duty as a lever for change and encouraging campaigns to place less focus on the women’s sector and start putting more emphasis on how we can build the men’s sector.
Speaker 8: Matt O Connor is the founder of Fathers4Justice and author of Fathers4Justice The Inside Story. In 2005 he was GQ Magazine’s 7th Top Communicator in the UK, Esquire Magazine’s 35th Most Powerful Man In Britain Under 50 and one of twenty people shortlisted for the Royal Society’s Great Briton of the Year Awards. He is a regular contributor on TV and Radio debates and Fathers4Justice is now studied on the National Curriculum.
In this talk Matt will point to an epidemic of mass fatherlessness that he says can only be stopped by creating a political force for change. He will outline his plans to launch a new political party called ‘Tomorrow’ that aims to advance cogent economic and social arguments that support the role of fathers in families and society, free from the institutional prejudices of the past.
Speaker 9: Ally Fogg is a Manchester-based writer, journalist and community media organiser. He writes regularly on men’s issues and gender for the Guardian, Independent and New Statesman and tends to neglect his own blog, Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men.
In this talk he asks if a movement for men and boys be reconciled with the women’s movement. Ally says there has been a growing awareness of the gender-specific issues facing men and boys in recent years, ranging from their victimisation in domestic violence and sexual abuse to underachievement in education. The same period has seen ever-increasing distrust, antagonism and outright hostility between the men’s rights movement and feminist activists.
Ally questions whether men’s and women’s interests incompatible an asks if we can find a path toward peace, with men’s and women’s activists working together to mutual advantage.
Roger co-authored the nationally accredited ‘Developing Men Friendly Organisations’ training and his most recent book, Engaging Fathers in the Early Years (A Practitioner’s Guide) was published earlier this year.
Roger acknowledges there have been significant policy initiatives over the last few years regarding father and male inclusion in services, but in his view they have not worked and will not work.
In this talk he will argue that social, political and cultural issues negate active male inclusion and that building the sector together requires new approaches that recognise and utilise government policies and aspirations but which step outside of traditional approaches.
Roger will challenge delegates to look at the work they do, or wish to do, and consider how we can develop new models of delivering service that include men and boys.
4.30 – 5.00: Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts from delegates