u3a - Speaker Swap

What is Speaker Swap?

Speaker Swap is an initiative to swap talks between interest groups in different U3As.

There are an estimated 1,000 plus British History groups within the movement. They can cover a vast range of aspects of the subject - colonial, economic, military, monarchy, social, etc.

Within these many groups, there will be papers produced by members on a vast range of areas for study and discussion, and these could be made available beyond the confines of individual groups.

Following a suggestion from a British History Group Leader/Convenor, we are exploring, against the background of lockdown restrictions we are all facing, whether there is interest in creating a central database of subjects covered by groups across the country, initially within British History, with a view to brokering introductions between interest groups from different U3As so they can offer reciprocal learning sessions and talks.

What we want to do

The aim would be to facilitate contact across the U.K. between groups covering the same topic. The intention is to run this suggestion as a pilot, focused only on British History in the first instance and, if successful, to roll it out to other subjects offered by U3As. For example, British History Zoom meetings could be set up between two groups. One group would present their research, on a specific historical event or individuals, followed by a discussion involving the members of both groups. Or alternatively, one member with a particular interest may wish to offer a talk to another group with a similar focus. The intention is for this to always be a reciprocal arrangement so that groups would effectively swap talks and have mutual discussions.

These are very much the early thoughts on how this initiative may work and I am sure that members will suggest refinements of this proposal and / alternative ways to achieve the same objective.

How to get involved

As a starting point, if you are interested in this idea, please access this link and complete the questionnaire: https://U3Auk.wufoo.com/forms/reciprocal-talks-and-sessions-british-history/ 

Please note that completion of the questionnaire means that your details (name, U3A and email address) will be made available to other U3As so that they can contact you to discuss a potential reciprocal partnership.

The deadline for responses is 16th December 2020. After this date, it is hoped that we will be able to draw up a list of talks/presentations that can be circulated to interested parties and then swapped between them.

A volunteer will collate the initial responses and send them out - then it is down to Group Leader/Convenors to contact each other.

Ian McCannah – Subject Adviser, British History