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Conversations on Character

Conversations on Character

By Jubilee Centre
Conversations on Character, brought to you by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, engages leading figures from across politics, education and research, asking them to reflect on their personal understanding of character development and to answer questions about how a focus on character has advanced the sector in which they work.
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Imani Clough

Conversations on Character

Dr. Karen Bohlin
In the final episode of Conversations on Character’s second series, we welcome leading American educator, teacher, school leader, and character scholar Dr. Karen E. Bohlin. The former head of Montrose school, MA, USA, Karen reflects on her 18 years at the helm, why she was inspired to found the LifeCompass Institute during that time and its impact in the first five years, how research and a love of literature has informed her practice and why she has now been drawn back to academia and what is to come working with the Abigail Adams Institute and Boston University’s Centre for Character & Social Responsibility.
October 17, 2021
Dr. Eugene Ohu
In Series Two, Episode Nine of Conversations on Character we welcome Dr. Eugene Ohu, Senior lecturer in the Department of Organisational Behaviour/Human Resource Management at Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria.  With host Dr. Tom Harrison, Eugene shares with the lasts updates from his work as the principal investigator at the Virtual Human Computer Interaction (VHCI) Lab, what defines a uniquely African approach to character and how his ongoing partnership with the Templeton World Charity Foundation has allowed him to take a global approach to his research.
October 03, 2021
Tina Russell
Turning our attention to the development of good character through a virtue led approach to professional practice, Conversations on Character welcomes Tina Russell, Professional Conduct and Ethics Lead for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Tina reflects on how the people profession has evolved over the last 15 years, how the people profession will need to respond as people return to more conventional working practices post pandemic, her contributions to the Centre publication, Bringing Character to Life: Virtues in Business and Finance, how peer to peer support has been central to addressing ethical dilemmas and whom for her is a leading exemplar of service.
September 19, 2021
Brett Wigdortz OBE
In Episode 7 of Series Two, Conversations on Character is joined by the Founder of Teach First Brett Wigdortz OBE. Now Honorary President of the organisation as well as the Non-Executive Chairman of the National Citizen Service Trust and Co-Founder and CEO of Tiney, a digital childcare service for parents and at-home childcare providers, Brett shares his experience of what it is that motivates teachers, how to recognise good leadership in schools and how and why his focus has turned to early years education in recent years.
September 05, 2021
Dame Sally Coates
As schools across the country prepare for the new academic year, Conversations on Character welcomes Director of Academies at United Learning, Patron of the NCS and Chair of the 2016 Coates review of prison education, Dame Sally Coates. A school leader for over twenty years Dame Sally reflects on how teachers have responded to the pressures of the pandemic, how she has transformed behaviour standards in her schools through a focus on role modelling and the place of character in the rehabilitation of prisoners five years on from the review which she led.
August 22, 2021
Rt. Hon Lord David Blunkett
Episode five of Conversations on Character's second series welcomes former Home Secretary and Secretary of State for both the Departments of Work and Pensions and Education, the Rt. Hon Lord David Blunkett of Brightside and Hillsborough. Still one of the UK most prominent parliamentarians, Lord Blunkett is now a Life Peer, President of the Association for Citizenship Teaching, and a Patron of National Citizens Service (NCS) among many other roles. With host Dr. Tom Harrison, he discusses his time in politics over the last four decades, the meaning of character in public life, his reflections on how to inspire young people into social action and who for him best personifies the virtue of courage.
August 08, 2021
Dr. Scott Parsons
In this next episode Conversations on Character welcomes Dr. Scott Parsons, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and Character Development Integrator for the Military Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A retired US Army Military Intelligence Officer, who was deployed on three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and rose the rank of Major, Scott has recently completed his PhD with the Jubilee Centre looking at Aristotelian virtues as a basis for improving character in the United States Army. In this episode he discusses this research, the application moral reasoning during his 21 years of service, his own journey to understanding character education and how he consolidates this understating in to the education of the next generation of military cadets.
July 25, 2021
Lord Iain McNicol
Lord Lord McNicol, Co-Chair of the All Parliamentary Party Group on Political Literacy and former General Secretary of the UK Labour Party, discusses with host Dr Tom Harrison the ongoing work of this new parliamentary group, the changing landscape of community, who for him best exemplifies courage as well as how he believes we can best support and prepare pupils to make sense of the world around them as they develop into engaged young citizens.
July 11, 2021
Professor Dame Alison Peacock
In the second episode of series two, Conversations on Character welcomes Professor Dame Allison Peacock.  Former Executive Head Teacher and now CEO of The Chartered College of Teaching, Dame Allison reflects on the unique role of a teacher in a child’s development, how the profession is changing and the importance of compassion in leadership.
June 27, 2021
Charlotte Hill OBE
Conversations on Character returns for its second series, and in this first episode of Series Two we welcome Youth Social Action campaigner, University of Birmingham alumna, and the former Chief Executive of Step up to Serve (the founders of the #iwill Campaign), Charlotte Hill OBE.  Reflecting on her time with the campaign as well as its legacy, Charlotte discusses the integral role listening to the voices of young people plays in a flourishing society as well as who it is that for her best exemplifies compassion.
June 14, 2021
Professor Christian Miller
Episode ten, the final episode of Conversations on Character’s first series, welcomes Christian Miller, A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA. Philosopher, Author of The Character Gap, and Director of The Honesty Project, Christian shares his perspective on the changing value of morality in society today, his experience of engaging the public with philosophy and who he believes best represents compassion.
February 11, 2021
Imani Clough
Mentor, Coach and Graduate of the Jubilee Centre led MA Character Education, in episode nine of Conversations on Character we meet Imani Clough. In this episode she reflects on her approach blending character education with her role as a mentor, how setting up her own social enterprise, Imani Academy, allowed her to realise her vision of supporting young people to develop positive strengths & virtues as well as her own journey to and through completing her Masters in Character Education.
January 28, 2021
Rt. Hon Lord James O’Shaughnessy
In this first episode of 2021, Conversations on Character welcomes Lord James O’Shaughnessy.  Director of Policy to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Life Peer since 2015 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care between 2016 - 2018, Lord O’Shaughnessy shares his reflections on the development of character related policy and positive education over the last decade, how he believes we can best balance character and attainment in schools, and his hopes for his time in the House of Lords.
January 13, 2021
Rebecca Tigue
In the last episode of 2020 we welcome Head of School at the exemplary University of Birmingham School Rebecca (Bec) Tigue, the Centre’s first recipient of its Character Ambassador Award. In this conversation Bec reflects on the highlights of her time at the UoB School, the practical lessons she has learned bringing character to life since it opened in 2015, and on the importance of creating a positive holistic culture which encourages all to become role models for young people.
December 14, 2020
Sir Anthony Seldon
Episode Six of Conversations on Character welcomes one of Britain’s leading educators, contemporary authors and political historians, Sir Anthony Seldon. Former Master of Wellington College and Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham he shares with Dr Tom Harrison his reflections on a life time developing character, encouraging positive education and seeking to understand what motivates us all to make good decisions.  As he walks the Kentish cliff’s around the village of Deal, he (and the seagulls that accompany him!), reflect on the importance of treating each other with kindness, the expectations we place on and support we provide young people as they enter higher education and his optimism for the next generation. (This episode contains some language and discussion of themes that may be unsuitable for very young listeners)
December 02, 2020
Rt. Hon Baroness Nicky Morgan of Cotes
In episode five of Conversations on Character we welcome Rt. Hon Baroness Nicky Morgan of Cotes. First elected as MP for Loughborough in 2010 and raised to a life peerage in January 2020, Baroness Morgan severed in the UK Cabinet both as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities from 2014 to 2016 and then as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 2019 to 2020. In this insightful discussion Nicky shares her reflections on her time in office and how a focus on character shaped her thinking and actions across both ministerial posts, how a national character conversation could help us build back more effectively from the pressures of the pandemic, her ambitions for life in the House of Lords and who it is that for her offers the most compelling exemplars of compassion and courage.
November 12, 2020
Dr Sabena Jameel
In this next episode of Conversations on Character Dr Tom Harrison talks with Dr Sabena Jameel; GP, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Affiliate PhD candidate at the Jubilee Centre. Dr Jameel shares her insights in to how we can most effectively train the next generation of Doctors, on the unique challenges of 2020 for health professionals, how we can embed an understanding of character and practical wisdom (phronesis) in the professions (the topic of her PhD), and who it is for her best exemplifies the virtue of compassion.
November 04, 2020
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE
In the third edition of Conversations on Character, Dr Tom Harrison talks to Dame Julia Clevedon. In an illustrious career spanning numerous prestigious roles in the public, private and third sectors, Dame Julia is rightly considered one of the country’s most formidable and effective campaigners and leading advocate for young people. As Co-founder of Step up to Serve, Julia has been at the heart #IWill campaign and in this episode shares how she has seen the conversation around youth social action develop throughout the last decade, outlines the importance of recognising the double benefit of service and shares why she believes placing young people at the heart of decision making is essential for a flourishing society.
October 14, 2020
Gary Lewis
In episode two of Conversations on Character, Dr Tom Harrison talks to Gary Lewis, Chair of the Association of Character Education, Executive Head Teacher of Kings Langley School and adviser to government on education policy with particular reference to the development of character in schools. In this discussion, Gary shares his insights in to the challenges and opportunities for education and educators in the face of a national crisis and through the recovery, the need for compassion and the value mistakes can provide in furthering a person's understanding of their sense of self, as well as the importance of wisdom in public life
September 30, 2020
Rt. Hon Damian Hinds MP
In this new podcast Conversations On Character brought to you by Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue and hosted by Dr Tom Harrison, we bring together leading figures from across politics, education and research to reflect on both their personal journeys understating character development and to answer some of the most pressing questions faced by educators and policy makers today. In this first episode, our guest is former UK Secretary of State for Education (January 2018 - July 2019) and Member of Parliament for East Hampshire the Rt Hon. Damian Hinds MP. Damian shares his insights in to the opportunities for education in the face of crisis, how he believes we can best prepare and support young people to help them flourish and who it is that inspires him and the virtues they exhibit.
September 15, 2020