Forum 71 is neither political nor sectarian. Reports are not permitted and the press is not invited. It is a condition of membership that no publicity is given to anything a speaker has said. This is intended to encourage speakers to be more forthright on their chosen topic and members to be perhaps a little more provocative and searching in their questions.
Meetings are typically held on the first or fourth Wednesday of the month, but this can be varied, with sufficient warning. Members convene at 7.00 pm for dinner at 7.30.pm. after which the speaker normally talks for about 35 to 40 minutes followed by about 20 minutes of questions and discussion. The evening concludes at around 10:00 pm.
The venue is The Pavilion at Biddenham (near Bedford) and it is well equipped with data projector, computer, large screen, lectern and PA system.
Speakers in recent years have included:
Mr David Bell, then HM Chief Inspector of Schools.
Mr Robin Duval, Director, British Board of Film Classification.
Mr Marco Goldschmeid, President, Royal Institute of British Architects.
Lord Sheppard of Didgmere, Founder Chairman, Prince’s Trust.
The Rt. Hon Geoff. Robinson MP, former Government Minister.
Professor Heinz Wolff, scientist; broadcaster; RI Christmas Lecturer.
Sir Alec, now Lord Broers, formerly Vice Chancellor Cambridge; Former President Royal Academy of Engineering.
Dr Helen Bamber, Founder, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.
Professor Richard Holmes, War Historian and TV Presenter.
Professor Lewis Wolpert, Medical Biologist, Writer and Broadcaster.
Mr Chris Price, VP Engineering and Technology, Rolls Royce Ltd.
Professor Sir John O’Reilly, Formerly Vice Chancellor Cranfield University.
Professor David Allen, Chair Bedfordshire Natural History Society.
Mr Alastair Burt, former MP for North East Bedfordshire.
Mr Andrew Feinstein, former S. African ANC MP, writer and broadcaster.
Professor Simon Pollard, Professor/consultant in energy, waste management & environmental engineering.
David Whelton, Managing Director, Philharmonia Orchestra.
Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of International Management Economics.
Baroness Young of Old Scone.
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Chair – United Nations Association UK.
Sir John Armitt – Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Sir Brian Cathcart – founder of ‘Hacked Off’.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson – Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University.
Dr Chandarika Nath – Executive Director of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.
Mrs Margaret Badley – former Head of Education Studies at De Montfort University.
Mr. Mark Turner – Chief Executive of the Road Victims Trust.
Mr Paul Fuller – Bedfordshire Chief Fire Officer.