Christian Arbeit

head of communications, 1. FC Union Berlin

After 14 years in the cinema business Christian Arbeit joined his favourite football club 1. FC Union Berlin on a professional level in January 2009. He quickly developed a communications department that would fit the needs of a football club writing one of the most impressive success stories in Germany since then. The last 15 years have seen Union Berlin’s rise from a 3rd division club to a top flight club and Champions League participant of the 23/24 season. The club is not only a football club anymore but a multi channel entertainment asset with a huge following on various platforms.

Arbeit also set the sails for two remarkable media projects: Germany’s high profile football journalist Christoph Biermann was given the chance to join the men’s football team as a staff member for the club’s very first Bundesliga campaign in 2019/20, publishing his experiences in a book Germany’s football had never seen before.

Two years later German film maker and director Annekatrin Hendel joined the club for two and a half years to discover not the secrets of the sporting side of football but digging deep into the daily workloads of the people who run the club. The documentary made it to the big screes of German cinemas in spring 2024.

As the future is unwritten next already stories wait to be told soon.   

Gerlof Bierma

prospective parliamentary assistant BBB, European Union

Gerlof Bierma ran as candidate number 4 for the Dutch BoerBurgerBeweging (Farmer-Citizen Movement), and – starting from July 16 – will likely be supporting the BBB delegation in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Gerlof has a background in European law from Leiden University and began his career as a lawyer at Bird & Bird, followed by a position as a legal advisor for Rabobank, a major Dutch bank. He then transitioned to Germany, where he worked for Trade Republic. For nearly two years, he has been an independent legal consultant, assisting companies in obtaining financial licenses in the Netherlands, while also engaging in political activities. In the recent European elections, he ran as candidate number 4 for the BBB. Starting from July 16, he will likely be supporting the BBB delegation in the European Parliament from Brussels.

Dr Göran Adamson

author, academic and consultant, MCC Brussels

Dr. Adamson is an author, academic and consultant for MCC Brussels, an organisation committed to providing a home for critical debate about the future of Europe. He has a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics (LSE) and is the author or 6 books and 20 articles, mainly in the field of multiculturalism and social cohesion. His overarching question is: What makes a society work, and what makes a society crumble?

Dr Julian Namé

film educationalist and museum pedagogue

Julian Namé has many years of experience working as a film educationalist and as a museum pedagogue at the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Co-founder of the film festival Africa Alive in 1994 and member of its team until 2006, he has been closely involved in a number of various distinct projects including the DFF – MultiMediaGuide, Our DFF – Creating New Spaces of Interaction, on the issue of social inclusion in museums, FilmWissenOnline, an online platform for film enthusiasts, and KiKi – Kinder, Kino und der BEP, focusing on cinema and early childhood education. He has also been leading a film club in Frankfurt continuously for almost thirty years.

Julian has a doctorate in Sociology ad honorem from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Institute of Sociology and the Humanities, in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico. From 1995 to 2003 he was also a visiting professor at both the University of the Americas, International Relations Dept., and at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Institute of Sociology and the Humanities, in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico.

Lucca Rau

student at Humboldt University, Berlin and DM alumnus

Having won the title of Best Individual in the Berlin Debating Matters Championship 2023, formerly representing Eckener Gymnasium, Lucca is judging for the first time. Lucca participated in DM Berlin in 2022 and 2023 and never lost a debate. He now studies Philosophy and English at Humboldt University in Berlin, and is soon to publish his first original printed work in the form of a philosophically charged, Miltonic Epic, which highlights how debating matters in narrative, just as it does in everyday life and most certainly for us today.

Prof Dr Gunter Gebauer

professor emeritus for Philosophy at the Free University Berlin

Gunter Gebauer is the Professor emeritus for Philosophy at the Free University Berlin, a position he has held since 2012, joining the university as a professor in 1978 where he was a member of the interdisciplinary research groups “Performative Cultures” and “Languages of Emotion”. His main areas of research are historical anthropology, social philosophy and language theory.

Gunter has a PhD degree from the Technical University of Berlin (1969) and ‘Habilitation’ in Philosophy at the Technical University of Karlsruhe (1975).

Book publications include:

Wie wird man ein Mensch? (2021).
Vom Sog der Masse und die neue Macht der Einzelnen (2019, with S. Ruecker).
Wittgenstein’s Anthropological Philosophy (2017).
Von der Emotion zur Sprache. Wie wir lernen, über Emotionen zu sprechen (2017, with M. Holodynski, S. Koelsch, Ch. von Scheve).
Das Leben in 90 Minuten. Eine Philosophie des Fußballs (2016).
Mimetische Weltzugänge. Soziales Handeln – Rituale und Spiele – ästhetische Produktionen (2003, with Ch. Wulf).
Habitus (2002, with B. Krais).
Mimesis: Culture – Art – Society (1995 with Ch. Wulf).

Ben Daunter

Ben is a second-year Ancient History student at Durham University and the President-Elect of the Durham University Classics Society for the 2024/25 academic year. He has introduced the ‘Classical Symposium Programme,’ encouraging lively debates on classical and philosophical topics. Ben is preparing to lead the society through a busy schedule of academic talks and outreach projects, culminating in the society’s award-winning annual conference.

In addition to his role in the Classics Society, Ben is an active member of the Durham Union Society, where he helps senior members organise debates and promote free speech at Durham. 

Sonny Stewart

undergraduate at Durham University 

Sonny is a first year Law undergraduate student at Durham University, with a particular interest in public law. 

He is an advocate for debate and political participation, believing in the importance of maintaining free and civil discourse. 

Sonny is a devout Catholic and a member of Durhams’s Catholic Society. He is also the president of the Durham Muay Thai Society and a massive supporter of Everton Football Club. 

Professor Pauline Dixon

professor of International Development, Newcastle University.

Pauline Dixon is a professor of International Development at Newcastle University. She has extensive experience working in Asia and Africa and has delivered keynote speeches and presentations around the world including at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C., University of Connecticut, Brown University, Free Market Foundation of South Africa, Johannesburg, Waterloo Global Science Initiative, and Panama City.

Pauline’s major research interests are the theory of Austrian Economics, spontaneous order in economics, school choice, children’s literacy, giftedness and creativity. She is also involved in research that considers interdisciplinary issues around informal settlements including health, gender, water, sanitation and nutrition.

Pauline gained her PhD in 2003 from Newcastle University and has a First-Class Honours degree from the Open University.

She has just completed being a Co-Investigator on two British Academy funded projects in India and is now the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Rising Tide Foundation – Identifying Best Practice for Empowerment Through Entrepreneurial Freedom and is co-investigator on a £17 million initiative where she created the Kid’s Action Thru Science (KATS) project and associated research.

Pauline has also presented research findings to government officials in India and Africa and gave a TEDx talk in Glasgow in 2012  on ‘How Private Schools are Serving the Poorest’.

Archie Mackesy

Undergraduate Geography Student at Durham University

Archie is in the second year of a human geography degree and remains an active member of Durham Union Committees as well as a proactive analyst for the Diplomatic Society, specialising in Europe, Asia, and the war in Ukraine. His experiences in the commercial and academic world have given him insights and experience with climate and energy policy, particularly in nuclear energy and UK housing realities. He remains dedicated to holding up the values of free speech and the vitality of debate in our communities.