FODI Digital

Things to do, Talks and discussions
FODI Digital
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

An online adjunct to the Festival of Dangerous ideas tackles urgent topics in dangerous times

Presented by the Ethics Centre, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) has always challenged us to open up our minds and our hearts. FODI invites us to listen without prejudice; to think deep and debate; and to dream of a better world and fairer Australia.

Bringing together some of our brightest minds and giving them free rein to broach the dangerous topics that matter most, the festival has revelled in taking us to the uncomfortable places, to the conversations we need to have. Lockdown may have temporarily stopped the IRL iteration, but it couldn’t derail the mission.

Pivoting to FODI Digital with a wildly successful series of online talks earlier this year, they lit up lockdown with luminaries like broadcaster, author and Wiradjuri man Stan Grant, and Norman Swan, the voice of medical wisdom in these trying times on the ABC. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and stand-up comedian and journalist Vicky Xu dissected our difficult relationship with China. And US-based, Russian-born political journalist and LGBTIQ+ activist Masha Gessen joined and Q&A host Hamish Macdonald. You can binge their wise words over at the FODI YouTube channel.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the festival has pulled off a hat trick of awesome for their second FODI Digital series, assembling three leading experts on some of the most imminent threats in today’s dangerous times. Professor Marcia Langton kicks it off on September 10 – Dangerous Fictions will see the insightful academic, anthropologist and geographer pose the question: can we stomach the truth about racism in this country?  

Then whistle-blower Edward Snowden joins FODI co-founder Simon Longstaff from political asylum in Moscow via satellite on September 24. Surveillance States asks how far a government should be able to go in curbing the freedoms of its citizens in the pursuit of national security. While his defection from the US National Security Agency grabbed global headlines, the digital privacy debate is writ large here in Australia too.

And then on October 11 David Wallace-Wells – The Uninhabitable Earth sees the deputy editor of New York Magazine and author of the bestselling book of the same name ringing the climate crisis klaxon. While it was at the forefront of our minds at the start of the year, as bushfires ravaged much of the country, another global panic distracted our attentions. But do we have any time left to delay if we want to have a world left to hand over to the next generations? 

FODI Digital tackles danger head-on, and you can stream these critical conversations from the safety of your living room. Tickets for all three online talks can be purchased on the FODI website, at $10 each for Langton and Wallace-Wells, $15 for Snowden, or $30 for the lot. And if you're itching to hear what they have to say, jump on it now, because the on-demand videos may or may not be posted on YouTube until later this year

It’s a great way to engage with the disruptive festival that invites you to immerse in meaningful conversations that challenge the status quo, at least until we can all gather in one room together again. You can find out more at or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


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