The ICRS Debate 2018 - Experts vs the Crowd: Whose voice should responsible organisations prioritise?

Join us on Universal Children’s Day at historic Conway Hall for the Annual Debate. Conway Hall is home to the Ethical Society and was first opened in 1929. The name was chosen in honour of Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 – 1907), anti-slavery advocate and out-spoken supporter of free thought – making it a perfect venue for our own morning of free thought and debate.

Our debating topic this year is: “Experts vs the Crowd: Whose voice should responsible organisations prioritise?”

Stephen McKay / Conway Hall / CC BY-SA 2.0

Every stakeholder is important, but when it comes to different CRS topics, whose voice should we listen to? The Experts are having a tricky time getting their points across in today’s geo-political landscape, which can lead to inaction - and often the Crowd isn’t up-to-date or informed about the topic they’re agitating for, which can lead to unintended consequences.

When it comes to different CRS issues, whose voice should we prioritise?  Last year, the Crowd helped us get fast action on plastic pollution – an issue we’d known about for a long time but had struggled to create change. Of course, fast action isn’t always the answer, Experts can help us create long term plans to combat issues like Climate Change and achieve our Sustainable Development Goals.

How do we decide who to listen to? Come and join in the Debate and share your own stories on Experts vs the Crowd. Our guest speakers for the day will be Ben Page, David Goodhart.  

Please register your attendance so we can make sure we’ve got enough tea and biscuits to fuel the debate. Places are available for individual members and member organisations (find the full list here).



  • Welcome address from ICRS Chair Anita Longley
  • Debate opens with a show debate on stage by Debate Mate, considering the question – ‘This House has had enough of experts’
  • The Debate continues on the hall floor, as experienced facilitator Simon Hodgson leads us through a round table session on ‘Experts vs The Crowd’, discussing the hot CRS topics of today
  • Two key note speeches discussing real world examples of ‘Experts vs The Crowd’ – the first by Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos Mori, and secondly by David Goodhart, policy expert, broadcaster and author.
  • The Debate closes with an opportunity to network amongst fellow members and ICRS Board members



Ben is the Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. As frequent writer and speaker on trends, leadership and performance management, he has directed thousands of surveys examining consumer trends and citizen behaviour and regularly appears on national TV and radio programmes.


David is Head of Policy Exchange’s Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit, and Director of the Integration Hub website. David is a prominent figure in public debate in the UK, as a well-known broadcaster, author, commentator, and journalist.  In 2017 he published The Road to Somewhere.


The 20th November is also Universal Children’s Day and so we’re delighted to announce that Debate Mate will return again this year to help us debate our theme, both up on stage and down in the event hall. They specialise in teaching good debating and listening skills, across schools and businesses. They will open our event with a lively audience led debate, addressing the pros and the cons of a thorny question from recent years: ‘This House has had enough of Experts.’ 


Location: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 08:30 to 13:00
Open to ICRS individual and organisational members
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