Philanthropy – Public Ethics – Religion – Global Development

Paul Vallely



speeches, lectures and talks 


Paul Vallely has given keynote speeches and lectures at: St Paul’s Cathedral, Harvard Law School, the British Library, Iona Abbey, Boston College, the Global Ethics Centre in Kings College, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Manchester, Newcastle, Chester, Seattle, Boston College and the London School of Economics.

He has addressed the Cultural Directors of the European Union, the Governors of the BBC, the Catholic and Anglican bishops of England and Wales, Barclays Private Bank Philanthropy Service, the National Conference of Prison Chaplains. He has spoken at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Faith Angle Forum, Westminster Faith Debates, the Margaret Beaufort Institute, the Von Hügel Institute, the Manchester International Festival, Greenbelt.

He has given the Las Casas Lecture at the University of Oxford, the Fisher lecture at Cambridge, the Gilpin Lecture at the University of Durham, the Newman Lecture in London, the Anthony Storey Lecture, and the 600th Anniversary Lecture for the foundation of Manchester Cathedral in 1421.

The topics of his public speaking include:

  • Understanding Polarisation, Church of Ireland Theological Institute, May 2021
  • What the charity of the Middle Ages has to teach Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Manchester Cathedral 600th anniversary lecture, March 2021
  • What does philanthropy mean today? The Royal Society of Arts, May 2021
  • Is philanthropy compatible with democracy? London School of Economics, February 2021
  • Giving to small groups, The World Bank, February 2021
  • Robert Owen and Philanthropy, Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, December 2021
  • How religious and secular traditions shape giving today, Porticus Conference, December 2020
  • Is philanthropy good for international development? Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, November 2020
  • Philanthropy – from Aristotle to Zuckerberg, Barclays Private Bank Philanthropy Service, November 2020
  • 2500 years of philanthropy – what comes next? British Library, October 2020
  • What history teaches us about giving, New Philanthropy Capital annual conference, October 2020
  • Philanthropy – from Aristotle to Zuckerberg, Oxford & Cambridge Club, October 2020


  • Pope Francis and the Lessons of Leadership, Diocese of Brentwood Headteachers’ Conference, September 2019
  • Pope Francis – learning from past mistakes, National School of Formation, October 2018
  • Going forward from the Synod on Youth, National School of Formation, October 2018
  • Can Pope Francis Resolve the Tensions and Differences within the Church and Influence Others Beyond it? Society of African Missions Summer School, July 2017
  • Pope Francis: See, Judge, Act in his life and writings, Young Christian Workers chaplains conference, November 2016
  • Is the Pope a Catholic? Pope Francis and the conservative resistance, Diocese of Salford, November 2016
  • Pope Francis and the Meaning of Mercy, Red Mass of the St Thomas More Lawyers’ Society, Milwaukee, October 2016
  • Pope Francis and Sex Abuse – the Vatican’s Hidden Civil War, Sale Festival, June 2016
  • Pope Francis – Reform and Resistance, 2016 Newman Lecture, Manchester, April 2016
  • Irishness and Catholicism in a northern town, 1916-2016, Catenian Centenary lecture, Middlesbrough, April 2016
  • Pope Francis – The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism, Aye Wright, Glasgow, March 2016
  • What Pope Francis has to say to Educators, Diocese of Westminster Headteachers Conferences, Brighton, March 2016
  • Five Top Tips for the Rest of Your Life, Bishops Blue Coat School, Chester, graduation speech, March 2016
  • What’s new with the Papacy, Lent talk, St Mary’s Collegiate, Warwick, February 2016



  • Truth Telling and the Media, LasCasas Institute, Oxford, November 2015
  • Pope Francis and the Synod: Changing the Way the Catholic Church makes its decisions, The 2015 Tablet lecture, London, November 2015
  • Pope Francis and the Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism, Virginia Theological Seminary, Washington DC, September 2015
  • Pope Francis – the Vatican Bank and Transnational Corruption, Harvard Law School, September 2015
  • Pope Francis: Bringing the Message of a Poor Church to the World’s Richest Nation, Boston College, Gordon College and Fordham University, New York, September 2015
  • Pope Francis and the Meaning of Mercy, Gordon College, Wenham, September 2015
  • How Pope Francis will change Catholic Social Teaching, Inaugural professorial lecture, University of Chester, May 2015
  • Pope Francis – Untying the Knots, Jesuit University of Seattle, February 2015
  • Pope Francis and the Modern World, Jewish Book Week, February 2015
  • Pope Francis – a reflection in relation to the Quinquennial goals, National Archdeacons Forum, Swanwick, January 2015


  • Ethical Standards in Public Life, Von Hügel Institute, University of Cambridge, October 2014
  • Pope Francis – Untying the Knots, Clear Voices Festival, Buckfast Abbey, June 2014
  • Pope Francis – Untying the Knots, The McAuley Conference 2014, University of Limerick, May 2014
  • From Manager to Leader – Stories from the Top Table, Cheshire West and Chester Council, May 2014
  • Pope Francis – Justice & Peace Pope? Anthony Storey Lecture,  University of Hull, May 2014
  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio – the complex character behind the simple humility of Pope Francis, 2014 Fisher Lecture, University of Cambridge Catholic Chaplaincy, May 2014
  • What does the life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio tell us about the kind of pontiff Pope Francis is going to be? Faith Angle Forum, Miami Beach, March 2014
  • Can historic global churches maintain central authority or must they devolve?, Westminster Faith Debates, February 2014
  • Pope Francis and Change in the Catholic Church, Patrick Finn Lecture 2014, Dublin, February 2014
  • The Theology of Political Compromise, Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, January 2014
  • Pope Francis and Change in the Catholic Church, Ushaw College, University of Durham, December 2013
  • Who is Pope Francis – and what will he mean for the Church and the world?, Greenbelt, August 2013


  • Self interest and the Common Good, Portsmouth Business School, June 2013
  • News Values & Gospel Values, University of Chester, launch of new MA in Theology, Communications & Media, June 2013
  • Covering poverty in an indifferent world, The Frontline Club, November 2012
  • Can global development deliver us a new paradise? Greenbelt, August 2012
  • The Big Society and Catholic Social Teaching – the state, the market, freedom, participation and accountability, Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester, October 2011
  • What is Development For? Royal Society of Arts, October 2010


  • Is Business a Force for Good in Development? University of Manchester, 2010
  • Religion and the Media, University of Huddersfield 2009
  • A New Global Order? St Paul’s Cathedral 2009
  • Poverty & Conflict: Faith as a Solution or Cause?, Tony Blair Faith Foundation  2009
  • Action and cynicism in public life – achieving real change in the real world, University of Newcastle  2008
  • On Being an English Catholic, London Newman Lecture 2008
  • How to effect real change in the real world – the G8, Geldof and the grassroots, Inaugural Anthony Storey Memorial Lecture 2008
  • Is religion a force for good in the modern world?, Manchester International Festival 2007


  • Re-Moralising Britain: New Labour and the New World Order, Manchester Research Institute For Religion & Civil Society   2007
  • Resident Aliens, Wakefield Clergy Conference 2006
  • Live 8 : squaring the circle of political realism and campaigning idealism, Global Ethics Centre, Kings College 2006
  • Multiculturalism and integration: religion and secularism in Europe today, EU Cultural Directors  2005
  • Africa – Promise and Broken Promise: squaring the circle of political realism and theological necessity, National Justice & Peace Conference, Swanwick  2005
  • Live 8 and the G8, Greenbelt Festival 2005
  • Justice in Britain in the 21st century, National Conference of Prison Chaplains 2005


  • The Fifth Crusade: George Bush and the Christianisation of the War in Iraq, Gilpin Lecture, University of Durham 2004
  • The Future of religion in Britain in the 21st century, BBC Governors 1999
  • The Church and the New Age, Las Casas Lecture, Oxford 1999
  • Evangelism in a Post-Religious Society, Anglican Conference on Evangelism 1999
  • What has the Church to learn from the New Age? National Conference of Priests 1999
  • Towards a New Politics: Catholic Social Teaching in a Pluralist Society, Margaret Beaufort Institute 1998
  • Celebrating 150 Years of Christian Socialism, Christian Socialist Movement 1998
  • Growing Hope, Chelmsford Cathedral 1995

2500 years of philanthropy – what comes next?

British Library

October 2020

Is philanthropy good for international development?

Blavatnik School of Government

University of Oxford

November 2020

Click here

Truth Telling & the Media

Las Casas Institute, Oxford

January 2016


Tablet Lecture 2015

Tablet Lecture Q&A

Politics and Forgiveness: Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy

Gordon College

Wenham, Massachusetts

September 2015

Pope Francis: Bringing the Message of a Poor Church to the World’s Richest Nation

Gordon College

Wenham, Massachusetts

September 2015



The ethics of business and poverty

Global Development Institute

University of Manchester

December 2014


“Paul Vallely has the great skill of being able to interpret the world to an organisation and even more importantly the ability to interpret and communicate that organisation to the world. His observations are sharp and sound, his advice unerring.” Bishop JAMES JONES  chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel


“You have made me proud. Thank you for being the midwife.” BONO


“Paul Vallely has produced the best single volume on the ideas that have shaped philanthropy. Stuffed with astonishing stories and illuminating interviews, this book will be a lasting resource.” ROB REICH  Professor of Political Science, Stanford University


“Paul Vallely’s dedication to the people of Africa, and the world’s poor in general, has been exemplary for the past two decades.” BOB GELDOF


“Paul Vallely has an unusual ability to distil arguments, which may sometimes be technical or complex, into clear and strong messages for those involved in the making of policy.” LORD NICHOLAS STERN  author of the Stern Review on Climate Change


“Paul Vallely has a strategic mind and political instinct for how to make change happen.” JUSTIN FORSYTH former deputy director of Unicef