UK Delegation Visits CUE

On January 17th, 2023, CUE organized two lectures, titled “Principles of Civil Communication” and “The Energy to Get Up and Stay: Next Generation Leadership and Building Communities of Hope”, conducted by guest speakers from the UK, Mr. Brenden Alejandro Thomson, and Dr. Francis Davis.

Mr. Brenden Alejando Thomson has studied Youth Ministry and Theology at St Mary’s, Twickenham, followed by a Masters in Applied Theology at Oxford University. He is currently the U.K. Programme Director for Word on Fire, the Lead Coordinator of Catholic Voices, and a Trustee of the Bible Society. Throughout the first lecture, “Principles of Civil Communication”, Mr. Thomson delivered a brief introduction about communication within civil communities. He emphasized that the communities we grow up in affect the way we understand stories. Furthermore, he delivered 10 points to follow when communicating with others, even during disagreements. 1. Don’t get mad, re-frame; 2. Shed light, not heat; 3. Think in threes; 4. People often don’t remember what you said as how you made them feel; 5. Show, don’t tell; 6. Remember to say yes; 7. Compassion counts; 8. Avoid robotics; 9. It’s about witnessing not winning; 10. It’s not about you. Along with a brief explanation of each of these 10 points, Mr. Brenden highlighted the major aspects of civil communication.

Dr. Francis Davis holds degrees in theology, literature, leadership, political studies, African studies, and a PhD in international studies and public policy. He is a Professor of Public Policy and Communities at the University of Birmingham; he is a visiting professorial research fellow at the University of Oxford and a visiting professor of social thought at St. Mary’s Catholic University in London; and is the co-founder of a 1,000-staff social care charity. During his lecture “The Energy to Get Up and Stay: Next Generation Leadership and Building Communities of Hope”, Dr. Davis emphasized the vital role that Catholic institutions have in character formation. Furthermore, Dr. Davis delivered 4 examples of research, partnerships, startups and collabs with NGOs, all of which gave growth opportunities to individuals; he emphasized the importance of discovering talent and creativity and implementing these ideas in one’s homeland in order to contribute to growing and strengthening the community; he encouraged young students to take the first step and to be leaders. 

After each lecture, attendants were able to ask questions or engage in a fruitful dialogue regarding the content delivered.