Returning to a world reshaped by extraordinary upheaval, and in partnership with The University of Adelaide and Illuminate Adelaide, the 2021 Adelaide Festival of Ideas is back to shed a light on the challenges and opportunities of our time.
Guest curators Kirstie Parker, Isobel Marshall and Prof John Carty assembled a cracking lineup of distinguished leaders and trailblazers to discuss social impact, sustainability, innovation, culture, equality and our place in a shifting world.
What if there is a Planet B?
A new space race is underway to lay claim to the cosmos for profit and power — even as our own world struggles to cope with the legacies of colonialism and capitalism. In light of humanity’s questionable strike rate for taking care of just one planet, what can history, 'space junk' and Antarctica tell us about developing a more considered approach to the heavens? And how can we ensure the wonders of the universe are more than an unregulated utopia for billionaire capitalists?
Speakers include: Dr Alice Gorman, Dr Lisa Bailey and Tim Jarvis AM.
Last year saw CBDs around the world become ghost towns as the coronavirus forced huge sections of their workforce to stay home. For many workers and employers, cutting out the commute and steering clear of major cities rewrote the rules of the workplace, unlocking unseen advantages and fresh challenges. As restrictions ease, how can we use these lessons to improve the way we think about suburbs, cities and populations, and what role will small to medium cities and towns play in this new future?
Speakers include: Dr Norman Swan, Andy Keough, Sandy Verschoor
Social media has fundamentally reshaped the way many of us engage with our friends, our communities, and our world. But it also affects how we view ourselves, from the way an Instagram filter frames our face, to the carefully curated versions of our lives we share online. It allows us to speak our truths, while unleashing torrents of abuse; we are censored, but also left exposed. How can we reconcile these contradictions, and find a way to be ~very online~, without sacrificing our health, happiness and agency? In collaboration with the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender and Robinson Research Institute.
Speakers include: Taryn Brumfitt, Clementine Ford, Prof Megan Warin and Cambrey Payne. MC Tory Shepherd.
Voice, Treaty, Truth
In May 2017, at the Uluru Constitutional Convention, First Nations delegates from across the country met at Uluru and endorsed a landmark call to action that sounded across the continent – the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement is the culmination of 13 Regional Dialogues – a historic deliberative consultation process with 1200 First Nations people on the question of what constitutional recognition means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It calls for a strategic and sequenced reform proposal: Voice, Treaty and Truth with the first step being a Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Australian Constitution. Four years later, the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk with First Nations people to create a better future is being accepted by thousands of Australian people and organisations – even if successive governments have been reticent to hear its call.
Join Professor Megan Davis, constitutional lawyer responsible for designing and enacting the deliberative dialogues which culminated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and Sammy Wilson, first-born grandson of Paddy Uluru, the senior traditional custodian of Uluru throughout the fight for land rights in the 1970s, to reflect on where the statement came from, and where it can take us.
Speakers include: Arrin Hazelbane, Prof Megan Davis. Sammy Wilson, and Sally Scales. Chaired by Kirstie Parker.
Hugo Memorial Lecture: This is demography manifest
How do we make sense of a population as spread out and diverse as Australia? For years, we’ve looked to demographers to carve up, label, and stratify the public into groups and categories, in the hope that these overlapping identifiers might help us understand the shape of the nation. Such complex data rarely makes the front page, but can inform policy decisions that affect all of our lives. So how does it all work, and how can demography help us understand contemporary Australia?
In collaboration with the Stretton Institute and Don Dunstan Foundation.
Speakers include: Prof Adam Graycar and The Hon Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM
From the Ground Up
For thousands of years agriculture has played a transformative role in human society and the planet we live on. Over the past century, an exponential growth in the space, energy and resources required to feed billions of hungry mouths has pushed many of our ecosystems to the brink. But could agriculture also pose the solution? Can we feed and nourish our soil and biosphere, and ourselves at the same time? And how can all of us — growers, makers and eaters too — all do our bit to make sure the planet doesn’t pass its use-by date?
Speakers include: Costa Georgiadis, Graham Brookman, Simon Bryant, Prof Timothy Cavagnaro