Come fly with us in 2020!


Diaries out – we have some terrific speakers lined up for 2020! Book your flight in the Balloon here when registrations open (we’ll also announce on Instagram & Twitter). Until then, clear your diaries for:

Thursday March 26th

Thursday June 25th

Thursday September 24th

Thursday December 3rd

De Beauvoir Balloon Debate, Wed Dec 4th

Warm up: The Winter Debate is on its way!    

Bookings are now open for the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate on Wednesday, Dec 4th. Three speakers will each present an idea they feel passionately about. At the end of the evening, you vote for your favourite!

DATE: Wed 4th Dec, 2019. Doors open 7pm. Debate starts 7.30pm prompt. (Note to regular Balloonists, it’s on a Wednesday this time),

VENUE: De Beauvoir Block, De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN. 



Stephanie Hare: “Privacy is worth fighting for”

Dr Stephanie Hare is a researcher working across technology, politics and history. She is publishing a book next year on technology ethics, exploring biometrics and privacy, and how big data affects civil liberties and human rights. Selected as part of the BBC Expert Women initiative, Stephanie’s regular radio column is on the BBC’s World Business Report and Radio 4’s Business Daily. She has contributed to the Financial Times, Washington Post, CNN and Guardian/Observer and her academic article ‘For Your Eyes Only: US Technology Companies, Sovereign States and the Battle for Data Protection’ was selected as a case study for Harvard Business Review.

Previously Stephanie worked at Accenture Research, Palantir, Oxford Analytica and Accenture, and taught history at Oxford, where she held the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellowship at St Anthony’s College. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics (PhD, MSc) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  @hare_brain

Michal Matlon

Michal Matlon: “It’s time to put beauty back into architecture”

 Michal Matlon specialises in user experience and the psychology of architecture. He studied applied psychology and explores how the built environment affects our thinking, feeling and behaviour. Michal helps create spaces for life and work, and uses his passion for public speaking and writing to spread awareness of these topics. In the past, he also worked in the fields of technology, journalism, photography and marketing, which still inspire his work today.     Instagram: @michal.matlon

Hugo Tagholm

Hugo Tagholm: “We CAN change the plastic system”

Hugo Tagholm is Chief Executive of the national marine conservation and campaigning charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The charity takes action from the beach front to the front benches of Parliament, where it unites a voice for the ocean through its Ocean Conservation All Party Parliamentary Group. It mobilises over 100,000 community beach and river clean volunteers annually and has been instrumental in helping introduce and enforce new government legislation to protect our seas.  Hugo is an environmentalist, campaigner, surfer, charity professional and a TEDx speaker. This year he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his services to Marine Conservation by Exeter University. Twitter: @hugoSAS


De Beauvoir Debate, Sept 26th 2019

Join the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate on Thursday, Sept 26th, for an evening of ideas, engagement and fun. We invite three speakers to present an idea they feel passionately about. At the end of the evening, you vote for your favourite!

DATE: Thursday 26 September 2019. Doors open 7pm. Debate starts 7.30pm prompt.

VENUE: De Beauvoir Block, De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN. 


Anne Baxendale March 2019 -7

Anne Baxendale: “For equality, fix work – not women”

 Anne Baxendale is a Deputy Director at Shelter, where she has run many successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns to get housing to the top of the agenda and win change for people who are homeless or in bad housing. She is also a trustee at the Child Poverty Action Group and a governor at her son’s primary school in Tottenham. Her passion is learning how to build healthy, effective civil society organisations that enrich and transform communities and help people live good lives.

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Ali Miraj: “Public life needs more contrarians”

Ali Miraj is a social entrepreneur, political activist, DJ and financier.In 2012, he founded the Contrarian Prize to recognise British public figures who demonstrate independence, courage and sacrifice.

He was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the marginal seat of Watford at the 2005 General Election and contested the 2001 General Election in Aberavon, South Wales. He served as a Councillor (London Borough of Hillingdon) from 1998-2002, elected at the age of 23.  He was a Board Member of both the Conservative Party’s Policy Commissions on Quality of Life and International and National Security (2005-2007). Ali currently works as a Director in Infrastructure Finance at a leading bank.

He is also aDJ, playing at leading venues around the world, and founded “Decks and the City” a monthly night in Shoreditch for City professionals.


Freddie Sayers: “Why conservatives could be the new hippies”

Freddie Sayers is the Executive Editor of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome. He is also CEO of UnHerd Ventures, the investment arm of UnHerd that is developing new media and data businesses.

De Beauvoir Balloon Debate June 27th 2019

Join the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate on Thursday, 27 June for an evening of ideas, engagement and fun. We invite three speakers to present an idea they feel passionately about. At the end of the evening, you vote for your favourite!

DATE: Thursday 27 June 2019. Doors open 7pm. Debate starts 7.30pm prompt.

VENUE: De Beauvoir Block, De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN. 


Kyro Brooks

KYRO BROOKS: ‘Online communities can be a force for social good.’

Kyro is the co-founder of Mobilise Care, an online platform which seeks to transform the lives of those that care for a loved one.  Prior to this, Kyro was the CEO of the Young Camden Foundation, a charity looking to increase the support and opportunities for young people.

Outside of work, Kyro is a keen traveller who recently took part the Clipper Ocean Race, racing across the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

Shahroo Izadi copy

SHAHROO IZADI: ‘Kindness is the key to changing our behaviour.’

Shahroo is Behavioural Change Specialist, coach, speaker and author of “The Kindness Method”. Her therapeutic approach is influenced by the experience she gained working in various roles across the addiction treatment field. She has since been dedicated to highlighting what those in long-term recovery from addiction can teach the general population about changing day-to-day habits by building self-esteem, self-belief and motivation.

Shahroo openly shares how the same motivational tools she passes on to others have helped her to transform her relationship with herself and her body after a lifetime of abusing food, extreme yo-yo dieting, low self-esteem and negative body image.

Herb Kim copy

HERB KIM: ‘Ted Talks, Trump and the Power of Narrative.’

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb is founder of Thinking Digital Conference, which has been described by The Guardian as “the UK’s TED”. He is also Founder of TEDxManchester, TEDxLiverpool & TEDxNewcastle. He is a Trustee for the Sage Gateshead Music Centre and the Visiting Professor of Innovation & Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School. He is a former Board Director for Tech City UK and the Founding Chairman for Tech North.

In 2014, Buzzfeed included Herb on its list of “Geordie Heroes”. In 2011, Wired Magazine included Herb as one it’s Wired 100 top tech industry influencers. In 2010, The Guardian named Herb as one of its Top 100 most influential media figures.

Herb earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, moved to the UK in 1997 and is currently based between Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. He’s a proud father to a 13yo daughter. They both share the opinion that Avengers: Endgame was deeply disappointing.


June date announced


The next De Beauvoir Balloon Debate will take place on Thursday, June 27th, 7pm for a prompt 7.30pm start.

This will be our 16th debate, and our second one at the beautiful De Beauvoir Block on the edge of Shoreditch and Islington.

More details coming soon!

De Beauvoir Balloon Debate

Join the De Beauvoir Balloon Debate on Thursday, February 28th, for an evening of stimulating ideas. Door opens at 7pm. Debate starts at 7.30pm prompt.

COME to hear three speakers present three ideas. VOTE for your favourite!

VENUE: De Beauvoir Block, 92-96 De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN

ADMISSION: Free, but registration on Eventbrite essential. REGISTER HERE

paul embery        dana_qarout               bee-rowlatt

Paul Embery: “Our politicians are scared of working class identity.”

Paul Embery has been a firefighter in the London Fire Brigade for 20 years and serves on the Executive Council of the Fire Brigades Union. A member of the Labour Party since 1994, he is also the national organiser of Trade Unionists Against the EU.

Dana Qarout: “Education has not liberated women in Jordan – yet.”

Dana Qarout is a Weidenfeld-Hoffman scholar at Oxford University. Previously, Dana worked for the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development in Jordan, working to reform the public education sector and develop subject-specific teaching standards. Dana’s main focus has been on the use of data within the design of education policies.

Bee Rowlatt: “Mary still matters: Rediscovering Wollstonecraft.”

Bee Rowlatt is a writer and journalist. Her current book, In Search of Mary, is inspired by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. Her best-selling Talking Abour Jane Austen in Baghdad was dramatised by the BBC. Bee contributed to Virago’s Fifty Shades of Feminism and has clocked over two decades at BBC World Service (now freelance).

Spring 2019 Balloon Debate

Calling all Balloonists! We’re happy to publish details of the Spring De Beauvoir Balloon Debate, which marks our move to a brand new venue.

Thursday, February 28th, 7.30-9.30pm (arrive 7pm to get a seat)

De Beauvoir Block, 92 De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN.

Tickets (free) and full details will be available soon.

Hope to see you there!