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Festival of Dangerous Ideas

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Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Festival of Dangerous Ideas

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Listen to talks presented at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas – the original disruptive festival. FODI features a line-up of leading experts from around the world, who bring bold ideas to complex issues. The festival seeks to challenge orthodox opinion, interrogate accepted truths, break through filter bubbles, and promote healthy and vibrant civil debate.
 
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show series
 
In our current state of the world, are scientists the new gods? Do we increasingly rely on science to solve our problems, and are we stretching the scientific method to mystique? If we can’t trust scientists, is it possible to still trust science? Tim Flannery is a scientist and one of Australia’s leading writers on climate change. Alok Jha is the …
 
If we don’t think our fellow citizens are capable of making the right choices about what they eat and drink, why do we think they are capable of voting? Since researcher Chris Berg presented this 2015 FODI talk, this question rings eerily true to what many individuals are experiencing today. Who is best placed to make the decisions for us – we the …
 
When someone commits a crime, we want them punished. If wrongdoers go to prison more often and for longer, everyone seems happy. But we live in a system where people do eventually come out of prison and rejoin the community. And this is where what has happened to them in prison really starts to matter. If prisons are a rank breeding ground for reci…
 
With more people coming out as gender fluid, transitioning or on a spectrum of gender identity, it's clear the biological constraints of gender today have loosened. But how do we deal with enduring gender-based social inequality and injustice? Will we ever get to a point in society where gender doesn’t matter? Jesse Bering is an award-winning scien…
 
Today the human race faces existential challenges. Our prosperity has been built on unsustainable economic and environmental practices — but our social and political processes seem incapable of fixing anything. Why are we unable to even acknowledge the truth of our predicament? Chaired by Rebecca Huntley. Satyajit Das is a former financier. He anti…
 
When you're on a bicycle at a red light with no car or pedestrian in sight, do you still wait for the green? Do you obey every single law? Surely fearful compliance with every niggling regulation defies the much-vaunted "freedom" that is the premise of democracy. Maybe that’s what drives our fascination with film and fiction criminality: we envy re…
 
If you've been enjoying our deep dive festival sessions you might want to check out bite sized conundrums in Little Bad Thing, the new podcast from The Ethics Centre. True stories about the things we wish we hadn’t done. Smart, dark, wry, and surprising, this is a show for anyone who’s made a big decision or regretted a small one. Search for Little…
 
What does the future hold? A reign of world peace with stunning medical breakthroughs conquering death, illness and disease? Or a world where human beings have destroyed the web of living things and put our own existence at risk by playing with science we don’t fully understand? Must we think in terms of these extremes to create a positive future o…
 
Why is the right to doctor-assisted dying supported by so many and legal for so few? Helen Joyce became international editor of The Economist in January 2014 having previously served as International Education Editor and Sao Paulo bureau chief. Before joining The Economist she worked as editor of Plus, an online magazine about maths published by th…
 
Edward Snowden has been condemned as a traitor and celebrated as a patriot. In his mind, he is simply a man of good conscience who has followed in the footsteps of family members who have faithfully served the people and Constitution of the USA since the War of Independence. This was the motivation behind his revelation of US secrets. Governments a…
 
No one has a monopoly on truth when it comes to the past and present lives of Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Conservatives tend to deny that Indigenous peoples should have special status in the Constitution. Progressives tend to turn a blind eye to the profound dysfunction that plagues so many Indigenous communities – and refuse to accept that Ind…
 
Why has humanity still not worked out how to make nuclear weapons safe? As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser continues to explore subjects ignored by the mainstream media and gives a voice to people at the margins of society. He’s followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California, spent time with meatpacking workers in Texas an…
 
In the West, slavery is often seen as a dark part of the colonial past. Although it’s illegal in all countries, it remains alive and well—and is growing dramatically. Impervious to recession, it forms a thriving part of the globalised sex industry run by organised crime. International trafficking of women and children for sex is a multi-billion dol…
 
Is innovation overvalued? It is the dominant ideology of our era. But what if building, maintenance and repair prove much more important to our daily lives than the vast majority of technological innovations? Co-founder of The Maintainers, a research group focused on maintenance, repair, infrastructure and mundane labor, Lee Vinsel is an Assistant …
 
One of the last bastions of acceptable discrimination is against fat people. Health arguments reinforce the social and cultural pressure to avoid fatness at all costs. But is it possible to imagine things differently and help women to escape from the complex web of body image, food and weight concerns? Sarai Walker received her MFA in creative writ…
 
With ‘normal’ education on hold, a mountain of public debt, high levels of long-term unemployment and the mental health effects of isolation yet to fully emerge, the legacy of COVID-19 disproportionately falls on the shoulders of one demographic above all others … the nation’s youth. Hear from three of Australia’s most dynamic youth voices as they …
 
As lockdowns and quarantines continue, some of us may feel like we're losing our grip on reality. Misinformation and conspiracy theories spread worldwide and algorithms continue to serve up our own custom-made versions of the internet. Are we just a few lines of code away from being a conspiracy theorist? Hear about technology’s role in the spread …
 
In stripping away so much of ordinary life, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a lot about us – not all of it pretty. It’s also confronted us with brutal ethical choices. Who deserves to be saved when you're running out of ventilators? How much are we willing to give up so others can get by? Who gets to decide and what beliefs are shaping their dec…
 
COVID-19 has highlighted the particular vulnerability of the aged. However, as we find out more about the ageing process, we are uncovering new ways to treat it. One revolutionary approach is to look at ageing as a disease and tackle its causes. With breakthroughs in genetics and emerging technologies, scientists have been able to make animals live…
 
#BlackLivesMatter has become the call to action for a generation of US human rights activists to denounce the violence and prejudice still experienced by African Americans. In the wake of the violent deaths of African Americans George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and many others call for change is insistent and consistent. So w…
 
Why are young people worse off than their parents? Why is the gap between older and younger Australians – in terms of work, wealth and wellbeing – growing wider? Is Australia cheating the young? Jennifer Rayner was born into aspirational Australian suburbia during the Hawke years and came out of age in the long boom of the Howard era. Her lifetime …
 
Globalism is a Western construct which may not survive in its current form. Asia’s rising powers are starting to look past global institutions to construct alternatives which could see what we know as the global community become obsolete. Michael Wesley deconstructs our current realities as finite as “just because globalism is so basic to how we li…
 
The latest science suggests that it is too late to prevent human-induced climate change. Technological optimists are now turning their minds to mitigation through techniques of geo-engineering, like giant space mirrors or seeding the oceans with iron to prompt carbon-absorbing algal blooms. But projects to alter the entire planet will expose all li…
 
Recorded in 2011 and the beginning of the Arab Spring, Mona Eltahawy reflects on the hunger for freedom and democracy unleashed within Arab populations living under dictatorship. This is considered alongside questions about whether Saudi Arabia's oil makes Western support for freedom and democracy melt away, and whether the west can't afford to pre…
 
Will we run out of water – and if so, when? Will the Earth suffer? Explore how water drives modern conflict and is not about to stop. Alok Jha is the science correspondent for ITV News in the UK. Before that, he did the same job at The Guardian for a decade, where he wrote news, features, comment and presented the award-winning Science Weeklypodcas…
 
In the late 90s, political theorists, economists and politicians were talking confidently about the “end of history” and the undisputed triumph of liberal "democratic" capitalism. Communism was written off as dead and buried. But after 9/11, the GFC, the Arab Spring, and the protests spreading over Europe, the ideological gloss of capitalism may be…
 
Compassion has become a commodity whose possession marks us as a better person, or better than other people. Writer and commentator Helen Razer diagnoses society with compassion fatigue – and the physical burn out, trauma and psychological depletion is real. Helen Razer is a writer, broadcaster and commentator who is now chiefly engaged in the work…
 
Society preaches forgiveness for the rich and retribution for the poor. Entrenched inequality and its companion, poverty, are the dark side of the American dream for a citizenry united by name, but not by rules. Is the divide fair, the result of natural winners and losers, or is it built into the system? We know that inequality is bad for the rich …
 
In a complex and fast-moving world, if we want to move ahead we need to rethink the conditions for making progress in science, business and society in a fundamental way. We need to realise there is no 'right way', lose our fear of failure, embrace opportunity and take risks. We need to stop looking for leaders who can provide us with all the answer…
 
The stories of Anders Behring Breivik and Lance Armstrong may seem to have little in common, but each shows the consequences of the epidemic of narcissism that marks our age. Our lives no longer centred on social and family groups, but have become highly individualistic. We are primed for narcissism by consumer culture, changing family dynamics and…
 
The tumultuous 17th century Enlightenment created the modern mind. What were the radical forces that shaped this intellectual world view we still share? And how is this under threat today? A.C. Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy, and the author of over thirty books of philosophy, bio…
 
We take you back to the unforgettable Christopher Hitchens. Hitch was the opening speaker at the very first Festival of Dangerous Ideas in 2009. Erudite, acerbic and incisive as ever, Hitch's talk - the original dangerous ideas - holds a very special place in our hearts. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and …
 
Enjoy Dee Madigan's talk on political advertising from FODI 2016. This detailed look at how political propaganda gets made will enlighten, disgust and entertain in equal measures. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmissable speakers from across the festival’s history. Sign up at festiva…
 
Revisit Evgeny Morozov's prophetic talk about the future of technology from FODI 2013. It warns of the growing influence of tech corporations in our everyday lives and describes - with eerie accuracy - the world we live in today. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmissable speakers from…
 
We look back at Philippe Legrain's impassioned talk about immigration from FODI 2016. By flipping current assumptions on their heads, he builds a case for open migration and the potential it has to benefit a nation's society, economy and culture. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmissa…
 
Revisit Vandana Shiva's speech from FODI 2013 on globalisation and its impacts on environment and society alike. This impassioned rebuttal of modern economic dogma forces us to reframe how we think of healthy economies and communities. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmissable speaker…
 
We highlight the work of a FODI favourite, Jon Ronson. Enjoy his unique brand of reporting as he investigates psychopaths at work, at home and in hospitals in 2011’s Psychopaths Make the World Go Round, and uncovers social media’s savage culture of shame in 2015’s Shame Culture. **This podcast contains strong language and themes that may offend som…
 
Revisit Hanna Rosin’s talk from the Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013. Documenting the tectonic shifts in gender equality taking place across America, this is both an inspiring recap of what we have achieved, but also a reminder of how far we still have to go. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlig…
 
In 2014 Swedish Journalist Kajsa Ekis Ekman presented one of most divisive and dangerous talks in the festival’s history. Her talk Surrogacy is Child Trafficking came at a time when the case of Baby Gammy was front of mind in the Australian media. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmiss…
 
Revisit Sam Harris’ life-changing presentation from the 2012 Festival of Dangerous Ideas. This deconstruction of the illusion of free will is challenging and confronting, but Harris makes the argument thoroughly entertaining and accessible for all who are willing to look at life differently. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of…
 
We revisit Naomi Klein’s powerful presentation at The Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2014. This meticulous critique of capitalisms impact on climate change remains one of the most important, impactful and popular talks from FODIs history. A Decade of Danger celebrates 10 years of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and will highlight 10 unmissable speaker…
 
Former law professor Ayelet Waldman saved her marriage and her life by taking LSD. Now she's fighting for microdosing’s wider use. Waldman shares her story and issues a call-to-commonsense at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island. The session is chaired by Natasha Mitchell.โดย Festival of Dangerous Ideas
 
Around the world, we are seeing the rise of nationalism, racism and authoritarian regimes. Will democracy survive the century? Or has freedom has become too heavy a burden to bear in our uncertain world? Pankaj Mishra, Angela Nagle and Tim Soutphommasane discuss the future of our political societies at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockat…
 
Populist tribes around the world have increasing political sway. Can this movement sustain itself? What comes next? Award-winning author and conservative historian Niall Ferguson presents a keynote at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island. The session is chaired by Ann Mossop.โดย Festival of Dangerous Ideas
 
Does the arrival of sex robots mean the end of intimacy or the next sex revolution? Will humanoid dolls regulate sexual perversity or provoke greater harm? Rob Brooks, Dr Nikki Goldstein and Xanthe Mallett give their independent take on the issue at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island. The panel is chaired by Natasha Mitchell.…
 
What we don’t understand often looks dangerous. But if we're going to be able to cope with inevitable and accelerating change, we need to go beyond technophobia and moral panic. Haris Aziz, Khandis Blake, Lee Rollins and Martina Stenzel present a series of short talks at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island, covering specialist topics…
 
Big data reveals the sad truth that we all lie, almost all of the time. Except, that is, when we're online. Why do we treat the internet like a confessional box? What secrets do our searches contain? 'Data whisperer' Seth Stephens-Davidowitz reveals the vulnerabilities and insecurities, the patterns and potential, and the ugly prejudices that our G…
 
Anarchy, resentment and an urge to smash the system are spreading. What caused this age of anger? How can we understand it? And what kind of transformative thinking will help us find our way out of it? Author and academic Pankaj Mishra presents a keynote at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island. The session is chaired by Simon Lon…
 
Insights from big data can cure diseases, control epidemics, end congestion in our cities and aid the just distribution of natural resources. If withholding access to personal data undermines these social goods, does that make privacy selfish? Zeynep Tufekci and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz hash it out at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2018 on Cockato…
 
In the internet culture wars, the ascendant alt-right confronts a complacent left obsessed with identity politics. Has the worst of the internet become reality? Author and writer Angela Nagle presents a keynote at the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Cockatoo Island. The talk is chaired by Kym Middleton.…
 
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