Discover more from Academy of Ideas
Battle of Ideas festival: HUGE thanks, and what next?
After last weekend's fantastic festival in London, we look forward to our Buxton festival on 25 November - and a special discussion on anti-Semitism tomorrow night.
With the dust having just about settled, I wanted to offer my thanks to everyone who took part in our discussions, and for giving such universally thought-provoking contributions on the panels. Without you, the festival would never have reached the intellectual level that it did. Thank you.
The audience also really made the festival come alive. There were some fantastic contributions from the floor and great questions throughout panels – people keep telling me and the rest of the AoI team about their favourite moments over on Twitter/X. It is the audience that makes everything come alive.
The audience were so eager and so numerous that even those at the festival weren’t always able to make it to the sessions they had wanted to go to - the rooms were just too full. But we’ll be releasing video and audio from the sessions soon, so everyone will get a chance to catch up.
For us, the most encouraging thing about the festival was that there was an extraordinary thirst for a new kind of politics - one that takes ideas, debate and free speech seriously - and getting involved in real grassroots initiatives that can challenge divisive and toxic trends. I spoke to so many people in, around and after sessions that wanted to know: What next? Where do we go from here?
Well, I can’t answer that completely, but I can direct you to a few important initiatives you can be a part of.
BUXTON BATTLE OF IDEAS FESTIVAL
First, join us on Saturday 25 November in the Peak District for the Buxton Battle of Ideas festival. It is much like our London festival, and hosted in the magnificent Devonshire Dome. We’ll be covering everything from debanking to whether the NHS is fit for purpose, and from anti-Semitism to shoplifting. Join us for free speech in the peaks. Tickets here.
ONLINE DISCUSSION ON ANTI-SEMITISM
More immediately, you can join us THIS THURSDAY, 2 November, from 7pm for our special event via Zoom, In the Wake of Terror: Anti-Semitism today. This is a chance to continue the discussion about how we should respond to the seeming resurgence of anti-Semitism. Speakers include Laura Dodsworth and Daniel Ben-Ami.
SUPPORT OUR WORK ON SUBSTACK
Subscribers will know that Substack is the most effective way to stay up to date everything we do at Academy of Ideas to defend free speech, extend the public square and democracy, and beat the culture war. We have essays here on everything from education to AI, privacy to day-to-day politics, and what’s happening with my work in the House of Lords. We also feature our ongoing series Letters on Liberty.
But more than simply staying up to date with our news and views, you can become a paid subscriber and make a vital contribution to our work. We genuinely run the Academy of Ideas on a shoestring budget and its only thanks to the support of people like you that we are able to put on events like the Battle of Ideas festival. If you want to see more of these events, become a paid subscriber (where you’ll also get discounts to future events and regular copies of Letters on Liberty) or simply make a donation to the Academy of Ideas.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL
Finally, and obviously, you should follow us on Twitter/X, on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, and also subscribe to our podcast. That way, you’ll be the first to know about future events, and about the release of audio and video from this year’s festival.
For now, I hope to see you on Thursday, and then in Buxton at the end of November.
Claire – and the whole Academy of Ideas team