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Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas returns – this time to Cockatoo Island

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Written by
Emma Joyce
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Often controversial thanks to its line-up of provocative speakers, the annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas lived a long and prosperous life at Sydney Opera House until 2016 (in 2017 the festival was replaced with the solutions-first Antidote festival). Now, under the leadership of longstanding FODI curators Ann Mossop, Danielle Harvey and Simon Longstaff AO, the festival will be given a new life on Cockatoo Island later this year.

Taking place over November 3-4, the ninth Festival of Dangerous Ideas will explore themes of trust and truth. “Knowing who to trust and what to believe has never been so complicated,” says FODI director Danielle Harvey. “[The festival] has a legacy of exploring polarising ideas and making bold curatorial choices. These dangerous conversations are even more critical when truth and clarity are hard to find.”


This iteration of FODI is a collaboration between the Ethics Centre and UNSW Centre for Ideas. Both organisations have “a strong commitment to freedom of inquiry, freedom of speech and knowledge exchange for the public good,” says Ann Mossop, who is the director at the Centre of Ideas at UNSW.

It’s not yet known who the speakers will be in the 2018 festival, however tickets are expected to be released in August.

See our critics’ picks of the Vivid Ideas program, which starts next week.

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