Speakers for Schools today launched Election Talk Series with Live Debate

1 March 2015

Live debate panelists Rick Edwards, Brie Rogers Lowery, Elizabeth Linder, John Pienaar and Harry Lambert.Speakers for Schools has launched a two-week campaign (#S4SNextGen) to engage young people in politics and democracy – with over 30 of the UK’s leading public figures delivering inspirational talks on the subject of ‘Why I Vote’ in state schools across the country.

To launch this campaign and discuss some of the points of this manifesto, we held a live-streamed panel debate on March 2nd at Loreto College in Manchester. The panelists were Rick Edwards (Youth advocate and BBC 3 Presenter), Brie Rogers Lowery (UK CEO of Change.org), Elizabeth Linder (Head of Politics & Government Facebook EMEA), John Pienaar (Chief Political Correspondent, BBC5 Live) and Harry Lambert (Founder/Editor of May2015.com).

Re-watch the launch debate

Working with polling experts YouGov ahead of the launch, we have marked this new campaign by asking young people living in the UK to tell us what they think about politics today, and what changes they would like to see. This research has informed the ‘Next generation manifesto‘.

The two-week campaign will see top leaders from a wide range of fields visiting secondary state schools to engage and inspire the next generation of voters. We are hugely grateful for their continued time and support.

In addition to the Board of Trustees, the full list of ambassadors taking part is:


  • David Cameron – Prime Minister
  • Nick Clegg – Deputy Prime Minister
  • Ed Miliband – Leader of the Labour party
  • Natalie Bennett – Leader of the Green party
  • Leanne Wood – Leader of Plaid Cymru
  • Nicky Morgan – Conservative Secretary of State for Education
  • Tristram Hunt – Labour Shadow Education Secretary


  • Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox – Co-founder of Lastminute.com
  • Helena Morrissey – CEO of Newton Investment Management
  • Rohan Silva – Former government technology adviser, Co-founder of Second Home
  • Carolyn McCall – CEO of easyJet
  • Fiona Dawson – Global President of Mars Food


  • Ian Hislop – Journalist and Editor of Private Eye
  • Lord (Tony) Hall – Director General of the BBC
  • Peter Snow – Journalist, broadcaster and historian
  • David Dinsmore – Editor of The Sun
  • Sarah Sands – Editor of the London Evening Standard
  • Oliver Duff – Editor of the i
  • Kirsty Wark – Journalist and Broadcaster
  • Jon Snow – Journalist and Broadcaster

Other (Sport, Education, The Arts, Science, Culture, NGO and Military)

  • Hugh Dennis – Comedian and writer
  • Baroness (Tanni) Grey-Thompson – Olympic athlete and television presenter
  • Shami Chakrabarti – Director of Liberty, The National Council for Civil Liberties
  • Peter Kellner – President of YouGov
  • Sir Anthony Seldon – Master of Wellington College, Historian
  • Gen. Sir Peter Wall – Former Chief of General Staff
  • Geoff Mulgan – CEO of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
  • Dan Snow – Broadcaster and Historian
  • Mita Desai – Chairman of the Board at The British Youth Council
  • Sir Leszek Borysiewicz – Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
  • Nick Barley – Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival