First Week Into the Conference Preparations
Although the conference is planned only for February 2006, we are now (luckily) already starting the preparations full blast.
We have been meeting with dr. Mike Neary of the Reinvention Centre based in the Sociology Department on campus, which has turned out to be a lucky bid. From being a society with no budget for this year, we now have potential access to a one-time £1,000.- grant to organise this event. Although this will probably still not be exactly enough, it will help us a whole way further to get stuff done.
Marcin Stepan, our society’s president, is presently busy with finalising the day’s programme. Getting the speakers confirmed, appointing chair persons for every plenary session (preferably Warwick persons), having a sense of security about a lecture area to hold the event, all of these points will need to be addressed to give the event a greater sense of tangibility. Once we have a clear outline and vision of what we want, I feel the rest will come naturally… getting into action to organise everything, making a tighter budget, applying for funds, and starting to think about how to reach out to the university community and beyond there. Our idea is, for example, to invite several Polish societies in universities across the UK.
Our interest at the moment also goes out to a conference on “Solidarnosc and Its Influence in the UK”. As Lech Walesa, founder of the movement and former Polish president pointed out, Solidarnosc “changed the face of the Earth”, and possibly not just as traditionally seen within the bloc of communist countries during the 1980s, but also within the western political spheres. It will be interesting to get a better sense of how Solidarnosc was regarded and how it managed to influence political opinion as well as British foreign policy at the time. The conference is set on 12 November at King’s College in London.