Festival of Dangerous Ideas

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Photograph: Supplied/FODI

Time Out says

FODI has launched a new, digital conversation series tackling the theme of 'Dangerous Realities'

Lockdown may have cancelled the Festival of Dangerous Ideas for 2020, but the fest's knack for drawing some of the most fascinating thinkers in the world together remains intact. On Saturday and Sunday, May 9 - 10, FODI is putting on a livestreamed, online conversation series with a lineup of intellectuals, scientists and public figures, called FODI Digital. Warning: feathers will be ruffled.

Some key names in the now all-digital lineup were scheduled to appear at the festival in April, 2020 – before it was shuttered by lockdown – but in order to keep up with our rapidly changing times, the online series also introduces a range of new speakers engaged in fresh, topical conversations.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd will be joined by a panel of eminent journalists and thinkers including Jason Yat-Sen Li and Peter Hartcher to discuss 'The Truth About China', while prominent Russian writer and defiantly anti-Putin activist Masha Gessen will bring their global perspective to a talk on whether Russia's future lies in its history in a talk titled 'The Future is History'.

As you might imagine, it'd be hard to ignore the coughing, feverish elephant in the room: many of the talks will touch on political and ethical implications of the pandemic, as well as trying to imagine what life could look like in the aftermath of the global event we're living through. As festival director Danielle Harvey said, “The theme for the live festival this year was Dangerous Realities and we seem to well and truly have entered one". 

In a discussion on online communication and misinformation, First Draft’s Claire Wardle and tech journalist Ariel Bogel will unravel recent findings in their monitoring of conspiracy theories. In 'The Ethics of the Pandemic', philosophers Matt Beard, Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Davyd Bukandi remove themselves from the daily mundanities of isolation as a lifestyle to apply a broader lens to the hidden costs of the outbreak – and our response to it. In the radically forward-thinking 'Aging is a Disease' biologist David Sinclair considers the impact of illness on the elderly – and how we could reverse the ageing process.

FODI's 2020 digital lineup is designed to encourage critical thinking in the grey areas of politics and morality – the kind we need more of in our fast-changing age. 

Tune in online at the festival website from 11am on Saturday, May 9. 

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