The London Union Society® is an independent collective created by students for students to facilitate a centralised dialogue.
The London Union empowers students and academics by allowing them to be social agents through expressing their views, and aiding contributions to the wider developmental in the world they live in. Additionally, the Union understands the social, cultural and economic differences between students, promoting respect, solidarity, inclusion and equality. This is achieved through access workshops, debates, podcasts, newsletters and more.
The London Union is a nonpartisan organisation formed by innovative graduates and professionals who are determined to leave behind the legacy that is this Debating and Educational Technology platform; by creating a better future for students who would like to quench their thirst for knowledge within professional and academic development. Our aim is to target academically driven students and scholars from the University of London collegiate colleges, irrespective of age, chosen degree or previous work experiences.
We understand the importance of gaining competence across a broad spectrum of cultures, industries and schools of thought. The Union’s core foundations are established by the self-determination theory. Firstly, the Union encourages its members to engage in their own research for competence, by gathering knowledge from their academic and/or professional background, utilising those experiences to develop informed opinions. Furthermore, the members develop autonomy as fostering competence within a sector leading to a researched opinion backed by evidence-based learning. Autonomy of thought allows academics to progress into relatedness, through the use of such skills to learn and communicate research, findings, and solutions with other members. Finally, the combination of competence, autonomy and relatedness set members up on their own, individual paths to pursuing a career or way of life within their chosen sector.
The London Union focuses on five core sectors for members to develop competence including but are not limited to: ·
- STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Psycho-Social Development.
- Humanities: History, Geography, Archaeology, Architecture, Global-Cultural Studies, Environment, Politics, Law, Philosophy, Ethics, Theology, Languages, Literature and Travel.
- Arts: Art, Design, Drama, Dance, Culinary, Film, Theatre, Literary, Fashion, Television, Radio, Music and Media.
- Wellness: Spirituality, Nutrition, Sports, Mindfulness, Physical and Mental Health·
- Enterprise: Business, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Finance and Management
As there is no one platform for London-based students to demonstrate collective social agency, the London Union facilitates exposure of domestic and international affairs through debates, keynote speakers and panels, which includes engagement with influential personalities globally. Additionally, the Union offers its members academic and professional development workshops both in-house in London and virtually. These workshops aid the members with their studies and prepares them to be professionally prepared for the workplace. The London Union’s inclusive leadership scheme is designed for members to be proactive and embrace their pursuit for knowledge, communications and networking. The London Union aims to engage with students and academics who strive to promote positive changes in their own communities either domestically or globally. By providing our members with a unique package of engaging, educating and evolving with other like-minded individuals, we hope to allow them to build a network that they can utilise during and after their studies. Acting as a consultative platform, members will be able to engage with the Union’s termly agenda, suggesting influencers and celebrities they would like to hear from, giving in their questions and educating one another on social, political and economic injustices*. By bringing together leading experts from our five core sectors, we aim to expose members to a plethora of schools of thought and raise awareness on current affairs.
How does the London Union work?
The London Union Society works as a non-partisan organisation hosting events and provides a central hub for Members to share ideas. Members consist of current students, professors, academics or alumnus from the University of London constituent colleges. The Members vote for their Standing and Elect Committees for each term - Michaelmas (September - December), Hilary (January - April), Trinity (April - July). The London Union Collective Board will support, guide and facilitate the Student Committees led by the Elected Standing Committee President and Vice President.
What are the London Union Society Committees?
The Standing and Elect Committees will comprise of student Members who volunteer their time to create the termly agendas for debates, keynote speakers, panels and social events. They will be guided by the Standing Committee President*, Vice President**, Executive Officer, Speakers Officer, Events Officer, Debating Education Officer, Treasurer and Diversity Officer (Equality, BAME & Accessibility). The next terms' officers (Elect Committee) will also sit on Standing Committee to assist with the smooth running of operations. They will collectively decide on the appointment of Members into termly Sub-Committees such as Speakers Committee, Ball Committee, Corporate Committee, Debating Committee or Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
*Termly elections will be held a term prior to ascension of position for: President, Executive Officer, Speakers Officer, Events Officer and Diversity Officer.
**Annual Appointment positions will include Vice President, Debating Education Officer and Treasurer.
How does the COVID-19 Pandemic impact London Union operations?
Since the conceptualisation of the London Union in late 2019, during the pandemic the Union has successfully enlisted Board members from Associates to Consultants to Executive Advisors. They all have been volunteering their time to set the foundations of the Union. They aimed to gradually help and assist in creating the services the Union aims to achieve through its objectives and ethos. The initial start-up of the London Union was planned to be in September 2020. However, due to the pandemic and the need for social distancing, the Union has had to adapt to the circumstances. Our online launch includes academic and professional workshops; Affairs Panels with leading experts; a free globally available podcast – London Union Voices (LUV Podcast Series) highlights updates on global and domestics affairs from the perspective of academics, celebrities and experts. Our written articles called Insight Voices showcase the experiences and research of our Board members across sixteen themes of development.
After the completion of funding, the Union endeavours to launch with in-person events in the year of 2025-2026, ready for the September start students and academics. These physical events will be in line with U.K. Government guidelines as the safety of its members is of upmost importance. Elections and appointment of the London Union Society student committees will begin in 2026.
Is the London Union elitist?
In some sense of the word, yes — we are elitist. We exclusively curate an inclusive and diverse array of speakers that our Members would like to hear from. Our Members vote for their Speakers Officer to assemble a team within their Speakers Committee to form our termly Speakers list, inviting the chosen and vetted speakers from around the globe. From Panels to Debates, our Speakers have been carefully selected to accommodate the interests of our audience. The audience itself, our Members have studied or are studying at a constituent college of the University of London. The only requirement to join.
Otherwise, our agenda is open to anyone globally to view, listen and engage in our Virtual Membership and hear first- hand from the Speakers. Our discussions with Speakers are built on the foundations of non-partisan discourse, a narrative of open, honest and progressive dialogue. We ensure a balance view to support our ideals of inclusive leadership and self-determination with bringing amazing ideas to our Members. We seek rethink the word elitist. Actively progressing our narrative in London with holding Debates, Keynote Speaker and Panels in an array of languages. We celebrate the diversity in London and all the languages that bring the majority of vibrant cross-culture understanding of tolerance and co-harmony. Our language diversification will be a first in the English debating forums. We would like to hear from Speakers whom would normally not be given the opportunity due to the language barriers, our devotion to understanding them in their language and expertise. Pioneering this movement in London will allow greater accessibility to the majority of our Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Hindi and Polish speaking Members– just to mention a few of the 250 languages spoken in the city.
Is London Union biased?
The Union shares its priorities towards their Members to be informed and competent on news and current affairs occurring internationally and domestically. Not every insight given at the Union or movement will make it to the front page of our agenda. Some Speakers may choose not to have online media available about their lectures, some may suggest that their live lectures do not become archived content due to bias against political stances and the forever changing current climate. In truth, the London Union is built on nonpartisan foundations that encourage competence, autonomy and relatedness. We do will do our best to post our debates, panels and keynotes, which will contribute to a productive and progressive narrative. The Union is not the place social cancel culture or partitional attacks or one-sided arguments that indoctrinate the dialogue.