• Date and time: Wednesday 5 June 2019, 7pm to 9pm
  • Location: St Peter's School, Clifton (Map)
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Hear inspirational personal stories from some extraordinary people making a difference in our world. The acclaimed ‘How to do good’ tour mixes performance with challenging and stimulating speeches and discussion about how everyone can help to address some of the great humanitarian challenges of our age – from the refugee and migration crises to gender equality, healthcare and education.

The successful tour, which is moderated by award-winning broadcaster and journalist Gavin Esler, has already been to Oslo, Stockholm, The Hague, Brussels, Paris, London and New York. It features remarkable figures working in the humanitarian sector, as well as experts from foundations, celebrities from sport, film and TV, and some truly amazing philanthropists.

Back by popular demand, this is the tour’s second appearance at York Festival of Ideas. Come along and hear the moving personal stories of people making a difference in our world. Speakers include:

  • Larry Benjamin - a paediatric ophthalmologist at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, who is a volunteer with the charity Orbis
  • Paul McMaster – a surgeon who joined Médecins Sans Frontières after retirement and has taken part in numerous missions across the globe
  • Chloe Setter – a Senior Advisor on Anti-Trafficking for JK Rowling’s Lumos Foundation
  • Leonard Stall - Founder and Editor-in-Chief of How to do Good: Essays on Building a Better World.

All audience members will receive a complimentary copy of the coffee table book How to do Good: Essays on Building a Better World (London Wall Publishing, price $50).

About the speakers

Larry Benjamin is a paediatric ophthalmologist at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, who has been volunteering with the charity Orbis since 2004. Larry now sits on the board of Orbis UK and leads the programme committee, which oversees the effectiveness of the charity’s work in Africa and Asia. Each year he trains ophthalmologists and treats children in some of the poorest regions of the world. Over the past decade or so, Larry has shared his skills with doctors across 14 programmes in Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, Ghana and Zambia, among others. Last year Larry was nominated and short-listed for the prestigious Humanitarian Award in the Bond International Development Awards.

Gavin Esler is known for his journalistic work on the wrongful convictions of the so-called ‘Guildford Four’ and ‘Maguire Seven’.  Their stories eventually became the basis of the film, In the Name of the Father. Gavin was the BBC's Chief North America Correspondent, based in Washington and covered the Bush and Clinton White House. Over the past two decades, he has interviewed world leaders including Margaret Thatcher, King Abdullah of Jordan and President Carter. He has also interviewed writers and artists including Seamus Heaney, Angelina Jolie, and Penelope Cruz, plus numerous filmmakers. Gavin is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books. His book Lessons from the Top led to a separate career lecturing to audiences including business groups, university business schools and the military. Gavin is Chancellor of the University of Kent.

After a long and stellar career in medicine, British surgeon Paul McMaster made a decision that most 60-something retirees wouldn't: to work in conflict and crisis zones providing medical care to those who need it most. Paul spent 35 years working in clinical practice, teaching and conducting research before joining Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in 2005.  Paul’s first missions with MSF were in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, which primarily focused on surgery, maternal health and infectious disease prevention. In 2008, he became one of MSF's senior surgical advisors. Paul was instrumental to MSF’s response in Haiti in 2010, implementing surgical projects on the ground within a week of the earthquake. It was in Haiti that Paul faced his greatest challenge as an MSF surgeon; performing a lower leg amputation on a young girl with only local anaesthetic, in order to prevent her dying from infection. In 2013, Paul travelled with MSF teams to Syria to provide care to the casualties of violence. In 2014 he went to South Sudan, where he spent a month travelling the country to treat patients wounded and displaced by conflict. And last year he was in Yemen and Nepal.

Chloe Setter is a Senior Advisor on Anti-Trafficking at J.K Rowling’s Lumos Foundation. In this role, she works with governments, global institutions and business to influence policy and practice that helps to protect children from the harms of institutionalisation, trafficking and orphanage tourism.  She is a leading expert on the trafficking of children, having authored several reports and regularly provides evidence to Parliamentary Committees, expert bodies and the courts. She also set up and chaired the first dedicated child anti-trafficking group for the UK Government. Named after the light-giving spell in the Harry Potter books, Lumos is an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded by J.K. Rowling to help the eight million disadvantaged children in orphanages around the world to be returned to their family or placed in a loving family environment. Lumos’ mission is to end the use of orphanages and institutions for vulnerable children around the world by 2050.

Leonard Stall is Chairman of international content and strategic communications company, Touchline. He inspired the launch of Philanthropy Age (philanthropyage.com) an influential not-for-profit magazine title and digital platform dedicated to encouraging and informing intelligent giving. The magazine is a grantee of the Gates Foundation. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of How to do Good: Essays on Building a Better World featuring an array of international thought leaders, philanthropists, celebrities and foundation heads, as well as some ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The book's author and speaker tour has played around the world from Oslo, Stockholm, Brussels, The Hague, Paris, London and New York to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai and the York Festival of Ideas.


The How to Do Good Tour

The speaker tour celebrates the book How to Do Good: Essays on Building a Better World, a collection of extraordinary personal stories from thought leaders, celebrities, statesmen and women, Nobel prize winners, social entrepreneurs, sportsmen and women, philanthropists and others, driving and inspiring positive change. Contributors include: Melinda Gates, President Jimmy Carter, Forest Whitaker, Matt Damon, Princess Astrid of Belgium and many more. 


Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible