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Free Public Lectures & Talks at LSE

BY Boon Koh
Published 9 February 2010

I went for a free public lecture at the London School of Economics (LSE) yesterday, for the second time. The first was a couple of years ago, when I was part of an Entrepreneurship Society and we were invited to attend a talk by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of EasyJet. I remember the talk to have been a waste of time, with Stelios more interested in cracking jokes than giving a serious talk on entrepreneurship.

But my second time at the LSE’s Peacock Theatre was to listen to Professor Joseph Stiglitz, who used to be the Chief Economist at the World Bank till 2000, when he left due to his critical views of free market economists and the way institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was run and managed. You can read more of his views in a recent interview he had with the Daily Telegraph.

The lecture he came to give was part of a promotional tour for his new book, Freefall: free markets and the sinking of the global economy. He gave a general overview of his opinions on the global financial crisis and credit crunch for the good part of an hour and took questions at the end. As someone who keeps fairly up to date with global business and economic news, I had heard almost all the arguments and facts that he went through. There was an interesting fact though that Professor Stiglitz said: “The cost of the bailout of AIG to the American government was US$180bn. Putting that into perspective, the entire amount of aid from developed nations to developing nations only total US$90bn a year. In fact, the bailout money could have financed America’s aid to the developing world for 25 years”

Anyways, enough about Stiglitz and his book-promotion-lecture! This post is to share the news that the London School of Economics has for many years, and will continue to, hold many talks and lectures about business and economics for free. While the vast majority of the free talks and lectures by the LSE will only interest the PhDs and the hardcore academics in a small field, once in a while a big celebrity in the world of finance of business will accept an invitation to talk at the Peacock Theatre. Professor Stiglitz is a prime example… barely an hour after giving his talk to us and signing a few books, he was at 10 Downing Street having dinner with the Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) and the Chancellor (Alistair Darling). Just imagine… you get to hear a highly influential person’s opinion before the prime minister does!

How to get tickets for Public Events at LSE

In any case, you can find a full listing of future confirmed talks on the LSE Public Events webpage, where tickets are released at a certain date or time and are available on a first come first serve basis. You can also subscribe to the newsletter, where you will get email notifications of newly announced lectures and talks, as well as ticketing information.

Once you’ve picked the event you want to attend, all you have to do is request for tickets through their online system, and if you are successful, tickets will be sent by postal mail to your address. You then bring that postal ticket with you 15-30 minutes before the show, where you will exchange them for entry tickets with a seat number. Seats are assigned on a first come first serve basis too; so the earlier you get in a queue at the Peacock Theatre, the closer to the stage you will be.

If you were unable to get tickets for a particularly popular event, there is still the option of queueing up on the day itself before the show. As the tickets are free, a number of people will request for tickets but not turn up, and so 5-10 minutes before the talk starts, the event organisers will start to admit the standby queue.

Venue Address: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HT (Google Map)
Enquiries Telephone Number: 020 7405 7686

List of upcoming high profile ticketed free events at LSE: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/ticketedEvents.aspx

  • http://www.semironie.ch Semironie

    I like this post, since I was planning to go there for an event. I would also recommend the Royal Institution of Great Britain and RSA Events to go to. They are less economic-focused but also free (very cheap).