UCL Alumni


How can we disagree well at UCL?

28 June 2023, 10:00 am–11:30 am

UCL campus

The first event of a new series looking at the art of disagreeing well will take place on 28 June – sign up to attend in person or watch the live stream.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






UCL Events


Bloomsbury Theatre
Bloomsbury Theatre and Studio
15 Gordon Street

In this time of increasingly polarised debate, it has never been more important for us to be able to disagree well. 
The ability to discuss and debate with people who hold very different views is not without its challenges, but having the tools, techniques and platforms to do so is a vital part of how communities can co-exist together. 
How do we collectively approach the fact that being a diverse community means being a place where a wide variety of conflicting opinions and ideas exist and are expressed? 
This interactive panel is the first in a major new series of events and other activity that will bring the art of disagreeing well to life here at UCL, and beyond.

Join UCL President & Provost at UCL Dr Michael Spence, international mediator Mia Forbes Pirie (UCL Laws 1998), UCL Professor of Law Prince Saprai, Students' Union UCL’s Equity & Inclusion Officer Seyi Osi, and Professor of Political Theory (University of Oxford) Teresa Bejan to hear how they navigate disagreement, what this looks like in a university setting, and have your say on how we disagree well at UCL.

The event will take place on Wednesday 28 June 2023, at 10–11:30 am (BST). You can sign up to attend in person at the Bloomsbury Theatre, or register to watch the live stream of the event.

About the Speakers

Dr Michael Spence

UCL President & Provost

Michael Spence

Dr Michael Spence AC joined UCL as President & Provost in January 2021. Prior to this he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2008–2020). Under his leadership, it has risen to first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability. 

He embedded diversity and inclusion in the university’s culture, delivered significant investment in multi-disciplinary research activity, transformed the undergraduate experience and created strategic partnerships with leading industry, government and community organisations across the globe.

As Vice-Chancellor, Dr Spence has been responsible for raising a record one billion Australian dollars through the INSPIRED philanthropic campaign - the largest philanthropic campaign in Australian history. This fundraising has transformed the university’s campus by funding major new research and education centres, bringing resources to life-changing medical research and providing more than 2,000 scholarships and education initiatives for new and existing students.

Dr Spence is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of intellectual property theory and holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he headed Oxford’s Law faculty and Social Sciences division. 

An alumnus of the University of Sydney, Dr Spence has a BA with first-class honours in English, Italian and Law. His other languages include Chinese and Korean.

In 2017, Dr Spence was named a Companion of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the higher education sector and in 2018 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Dr Spence moved to London in 2021 with his wife and his four youngest children.

Mia Forbes Pirie

Picture of speaker Mia Forbes Pirie

Mia Forbes Pirie (LLB Law with French Law 1998) is one of the UK's leading international mediators and winner of the UK Independent Mediator of the Year 2022 Corporate International Award. Her work ranges from dealing with personal matters like divorce and neighbour complaints to mediating on a global scale for G7 countries, the Government of Mongolia, the EU, the Church of England and Members of Parliament. She has advised the US Department of Energy on using facilitated negotiation to develop legislation, enabling them to reach peaceful solutions and positive transformation. The subject matters she has dealt with include space, chemicals, oil and gas, sustainability, refugees, same-sex marriage, race, competition law and property law. Described as “a quiet storm”, Mia is trilingual, holds both a Masters of Law and Science, has spoken at Chatham House on Conflict Resolution and hosted the European Union Commission's Business Awards for the Environment.

Professor Prince Saprai

Professor of Law at UCL

Seyi Osi

Equity & Inclusion Officer at Students' Union UCL

Professor Teresa Bejan

Professor of Political Theory at University of Oxford