The Festival of Dangerous Ideas

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is an annual event held in Sydney, Australia, that brings together provocative and influential thinkers to discuss and debate various controversial and challenging issues. It is organised by the Sydney Opera House and the Ethics Centre and has been held since 2009.

FODI aims to stimulate public debate and encourage critical thinking on a range of issues that have the potential to do bad things (or even good things). Speakers at the event have included politicians, academics, journalists, activists, and artists, and topics have ranged from politics and social justice to science, technology, and the arts. I went to a panel discussion where Adam Tooze, a well-known British historian and Professor of History at Columbia University, spoke about American decline. This topic has been in decline for many decades.

During the festival, attendees can participate in various events, including panel discussions, debates, lectures, and workshops. The event is typically held over a single day on the weekend.

A break-out discussion at FODI. This discussion was about “cancel culture”.

In addition to the main festival events, FODI includes various other activities, such as book launches, film screenings, and networking events. The festival is open to people of all backgrounds and encourages participation from a diverse audience, and is perhaps the most well-organised ”conference” I have ever attended.

Overall, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas is an opportunity to engage with some of the most pressing and controversial issues of our time and to challenge thinking and beliefs.



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