For those of you who have just got into the University of York, congratulations! Here is a bit about the New Generation Society, the largest political society on campus. We hope you get involved.
The New Generation Society (the NGS) are a non partisan group seeking to provide a forum for the debate of major issues that will affect the next generation. We believe that it is the responsibility of our generation, those who are students or young adults today, to stand up and face the problems of tomorrow. We want to reconnect our generation with politics, and encourage new ideas on the issues that we will shortly be responsible for tackling.
The exciting thing about the NGS is that you do not need to have made up your mind about any opinions or issues. We want to encourage stimulating discussion and fresh debate about what really matters to our society and the world. This means interacting with new points of view and engaging with perspectives that are diverse and original. Ultimately our aim is to achieve new thinking that will help to equip us against the trials of decades to come.
The NGS was founded at York University at the start of 2007 and since then has grown to be the largest political society on campus. The launch of our London and Reading branches was held at the start of October 2008 as the society begins to expand even further.
We currently function by holding a mixture of speaker events on campus, and in the past have hosted talks by Iain Duncan-Smith, Tony Blair’s diarist Anthony Seldon, and the “Flying Baroness” Caroline Cox. In 2008, York hosted the NGS Kennedy Lecture which was delivered by Sir Crispin Tickell, famous for coining the phrase “climate change”, and entitled “Challenges to the Human Future: Prospects and Hazards”. Earlier this year the Kennedy Lecturer was Lord Puttnam, director of many famous films such as ‘Chariots of Fire’. He spoke about the need for action on many global issues.
Thinking and Drinking
We also host weekly informal discussion groups in Vanbrugh SCR, known as “Thinking and Drinking”, where we make it our mission to have solution based conversation about the hot topics of the day. Also a great social, thinking required less and less as the evening progresses.
The NGS Journal
We publish an online Journal with a range of articles, covering diverse topics from the arts, through to women’s place in politics. Everyone is encouraged to contribute their writing and ideas. In the past, contributors have ranged from NGS members, local MPs, leading academics and figures from the scientific and theological communities.
The NOW Programme
This is our newest project to date and forges links with local schools and colleges. The mission is to engage young people and their opinions and give them the opportunity to be involved with what we do. We invite local teenagers to attend some of our events and then encourage them to share their thoughts and views in small groups.
The NGS has just launched a podcast. Among the first features include interviews with Shami Chakrabarti and Nick Clegg. Listen in online! We are very keen to engage the minds and opinions of those with a passion and commitment to their future.
So please, come along to a session of “Thinking and Drinking”, look out for posters advertising our high profile speakers, visit this website regularly, and join our Facebook group. If you like what you see, Committee elections are normally held at the start of November and we would love to see some new faces getting involved.