Watch past annual lectures and conversations on forgiveness with our founding patron Desmond Tutu, our storytellers and many other experts and thought leaders.

Annual Lectures

Power and Persuasion: the urgent need for restorative narratives in unforgiving times

At our 9th Annual Lecture our founder Marina Cantacuzino explored the intersection between turbulence and forgiveness. Marina was joined on stage by Jacob Dunne and Joan Scourfield who shared their personal experience of restorative justice, and explored how dialogue could be a powerful force in ending cycles of violence.

The evening was chaired by award winning documentary filmmaker and Professor at the University of the Arts in London, Pratāp Rughani

Video by Anthony Tynan-Kelly

The Politics of Forgiveness

At our 7th Annual Lecture writer and broadcaster, Richard Holloway offered a wide-ranging interpretation of the complexity of the human condition and the fundamental importance of forgiveness to the sustaining of its social and political institutions.

The lecture was chaired by Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords, Shami Chakrabarti.

Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?

Our 5th Annual Lecture was given by Karen Armstrong, who lent her perspectives on religion to the topic, ‘Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?’.

The lecture was chaired by journalist, broadcaster and author Sarfraz Manzoor, who carefully brought together Karen’s lecture with the perspectives of our other two speakers – Yasmin Yar Mulbocus and Bjørn Magnus Jacobsen Ihler.

Zero Degrees of Empathy: Exploring explanations of human cruelty and kindness

Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge delivered the keynote speech at our 4th Annual Lecture.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Mary FoleyPeter Woolf and Marina Cantacuzino, chaired by Simon Fanshawe.

The Line Dividing Good and Evil

Dr Gwen Adshead, forensic psychiatrist at Broadmoor High Security Hospital, delivered our 3rd Annual Lecture, supported on stage by three contributors who shared some of their own personal narratives.

These were: Marian Partington whose sister was murdered by Fred and Rosemary West; Erwin James, the Guardian columnist and former prisoner who has served a life sentence for murder; and Kemal Pervanic, survivor of the notorious Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia.

Is Violence Ever Justified?

On 12th May 2010 more than 800 people piled into St John’s Smith Square, London, to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu, founding patron of The Forgiveness Project, deliver our inaugural Annual Lecture.

Archbishop Tutu was joined on stage by Mary Blewitt who lost 50 members of her family in the Rwandan genocide; Jo Berry whose father was killed in the 1984 Brighton bombing; and Patrick Magee, the former IRA activist who planted the bomb. The event was chaired by BBC broadcaster Edward Stourton.

Conversations on Forgiveness

Can forgiveness repair communities?

Can radical compassion win the war against violent extremism? – Part 1

Can radical compassion win the war against violent extremism? – Part 2

Can radical compassion win the war against violent extremism? – Part 3

Do you need God to forgive?

How do we deal with unresolved pain and trauma?

Can revenge work?

What’s the point of punishment if society won’t forgive?

Can you move on without forgiveness?

Does knowing a person’s story make it harder to hate them?

How can words help heal pain?

Should you forgive the unforgivable?