The English-Speaking Union is an international charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. It is an independent, non-political, and educational charity with members in over 50 countries. Its purpose is to create global understanding through English at a time when English is positioned as the increasingly shared language of an interdependent world.
The ESU works through people-to-people exchanges, scholarships, debating and public speaking activities, conferences, seminars and national and international programmes made possible by the generosity, interest and expertise of its members worldwide.
A Steering Committee to establish ESU Iceland was created in the autumn of 2008. The committee's seven members come from various sectors of Icelandic society, including academia, business, journalism and the non-for-profit sector. ESU Iceland's mission is to uphold the objectives of the global ESU, specifically by hosting and promoting lectures and seminars in English. ESU Iceland has also sponsored Icelandic secondary school students to attend international public speaking competitions.
Past Events of ESU Iceland include:
Lectures by BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan, UK House of Lords member Lord William Wallace, Professor Andrew Wawn, folklorist Terry Gunnell, and many others
Competition to send two Icelandic students to an annual international public speaking event in London which attracts participants from dozens of countries
Film nights Joint-sponsorship of events with the embassies of the UK, US, Canada and India in Iceland
Members-only dinner at the UK Ambassador’s residence
ESU Iceland Board Members are:
Robyn Mitchell, Chair
Jón Ingi Hannesson, Vice Chair/ Public Speaking Dyah Anggraini
Kristen Mary Swenson
Kent Lárus Björnsson