Mercers’ Lecture review

This week we were delighted to welcome James Turner, Head of Communications at Greenpeace International, to Dauntsey’s for his Mercers’ Lecture.

Before his lecture, James joined a group of Sixth Formers for dinner and lively discussion with time to exchange views on a wide range of topics including the fate of the Volkswagen brand, climate change and consumerism as well as the use of non-violent, direct action to bring about change.

An entertaining and thought-provoking Mercers' Lecture followed in which James touched on the early days of Greenpeace, beginning with a group of ecologists, journalists and hippies taking a voyage in a ramshackle fishing boat with the intention of stopping the testing of a nuclear bomb. He also talked about recent successful campaigns most notably Shell’s announcement this week that they are abandoning drilling in the Arctic.

However, the main message and James’s own personal passion is how Greenpeace are successfully using creative confrontation to bring about change. The production of powerful, short films and the use of social media to spread these across the globe has proved to be a very effective way of influencing the big institutions and even our behaviour. Indeed, last year the most viral video in Greenpeace’s history created such overwhelming pressure on the toy company Lego that they ended their 50 year relationship with Shell.

The lecture stimulated many questions from the audience and we would like to thank James for joining us at Dauntsey’s.

Pupils, parents and the local community look forward to the next Mercers’ Lecture from Rosemary Martin, Group General Counsel at Vodafone, on Thursday 08 October.

All lectures commence at 7.30pm and will be held in either the Memorial Hall or the new Pavilion; please check on the School website on the day of the event. Entry is free, but please contact the School if you wish to attend, either by sending an email to or by telephone on 01380 814500. Before attending, please check the website for any alterations to the programme.

For full details of the Mercers’ Lecture season and other events
please see Dates at Dauntsey’s page.

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