Seminar series

In this section we illustrate links between Understanding and themes brought out by speakers at GCPH’s seminar series over the last decade.

Seminar series main

GCPH has been running a seminar series in collaboration with the International Futures Forum since November 2004.  The series aims to introduce stimulating perspectives and thoughts relevant to the question of health and wellbeing in the City widely understood.  

Consequently in the 50 or so lectures since inception you will find a wide range of topics are covered by many leading thinkers in the fields of biology, economy, environment and sustainability, city design, urban health and philosophy.

Many of the topics that have been covered are relevant to the domains of Understanding Glasgow.  Below we illustrate relevant links from a selection of the lectures. 


Geoffrey Boulton 'Learning to live with an angry planet: human relations with the Earth in the past and future Geoffrey Bolton (Seminar Series 4)

Indicator links: environment, transport, mindset




Minding the Future Maureen O’Hara (Seminar Series 1) Maureen O Hara

This seminar discussed how to navigate/survive our complex global system.

Indicator links: all aspects of Understanding Glasgow



Tom Devine The Transformation of Scotland: 1980 – 2005 Tom Devine (Seminar Series 2)

This seminar looked at the economic revolution, shifts in social structure, changes in identity  of last 30-40 years.

Indicator links: economic participation, population, mindset



Scots Miserablism Eleanor Yule (Seminar Series 6) Eleanor Yule

This seminar explored the 'miserablist' genre (typical of Scottish film-making), its origins, and its dominance.

Indicator links: cultural vitality, mindset, lifestyle



Tony Hodgson slide Is resilience enough? Tony Hodgson (Seminar Series 7)

This seminar discussed the possibility of synchronous failure in critical systems made brittle by fragmented thinking and which require a new approach to resilience.

Links to the IFF World Model.


Guy Standing


The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class Guy Standing  (Seminar Series 8) 

This seminar described the precariat, part of an emerging class structure shaped by globalisation, and why it is growing

Indicator links: economic participation, population


Bruce Link Health patterns and trends in New York: exploring the idea of fundamental social causes of health status  Bruce Link (Seminar Series 4)

Indicator links:  health, poverty, education



Oliver James


Why Selfish Capitalism Causes Increased Mental Illness Oliver James (Seminar Series 5) 

This seminar explored the links between materialism and 'affluenza' and mental illness.

Indicator links health, mindset


Max Boisot The City as a Complex Adaptive System: Lessons from the ATLAS Experiment at the LHC Max Boisot (Seminar Series 7)

Indicator links: relevant to all domains of Understanding Glasgow and its potential uses to explore strategic questions.



Howard Frumkin slide

Urban vision and public health: designing and building wholesome place Howard Frumkin (Seminar Series 2)

Focused on urban design and planning impacts on health and wellbeing, exploring sedentary lifestyles, traffic, social capital, urban sprawl

Indicator links: environment, transport, mindset, lifestyle


Tim Jackson Prosperity without Growth Tim Jackson (Seminar Series 6)

This seminar discussed the idea that in a finite world our current economic structure and associated growth is unsustainable.

Indicator links: mindset, economic participation, environment, health



A brief selection of snapshots from GCPH’s seminar series can be viewed in this powerpoint presentation.