Battle of Ideas 2011

Are you planning to attend? It’s taking place at the Royal College of Art, London on October 29-30. During the course of the weekend, over 2,250 people will be participating in 75 different debates involving hundreds of incisive and thought-provoking speakers.

This year’s festival programme includes strands of debate entitled Battle for the World, Battle for Morality, Food Fight, Society Wars, Battle for Our Brains, and Reassessing Politics and Sporting Contests.

It also features keynote debates on: The Battle against the Fates, Profiting responsibly? Business in the big society, Creativity and curiosity: do we make stuff up or find it out? Has tolerance gone too far? Loyalty in an age of whistle-blowing and Wikileaks, Is individualism bad for society? as well as many more discussions on current themes in the arts, science, health, parenting, education, design, international relations and religion.

Internationally renowned speakers include: David Aaronovitch, Jonathan Aitken, Decca Aitkenhead, Anne Atkins, Simon Baron-Cohen, Daniel Ben-Ami, Katharine Birbalsingh, Melvin Burgess, Christopher Caldwell, Matthew Collings, John Cooper, Giles Fraser, Frank Furedi, Maurice Glasman, Tom Holland, Mick Hume, Sue Ion, Rebecca Jenkins, Simon Jenkins, Irma Kurtz, Philippe Legrain, Dame Ann Leslie, Kenan Malik, Paul Mason, Joyce McMillan, Tim Montgomerie, Brendan O’Neill, Ruth Padel, K.A.S. Quinn, Jeffrey Rosen, Jenni Russell, William Saletan, Fiona Shaw, John Sutherland, George Szirtes, Ray Tallis, GM Tamás, Mark Vernon, Tom Watt, Zoe Williams, Alison Wolf, Martin Wolf, Cathy Young and over 300 more.

To provide a taster of the festival, a series of standalone Battle Satellite events will be held across London, the UK and worldwide. Topics for debate range from happiness in Athens and the future of Indian democracy in New Delhi, to Croydon after the riots. The Battle Satellites look to address the challenges facing society in a fast-changing and increasingly globalised age. Foyles at Charing Cross Road will host debates on the oversexualisation of children, and what boys should be reading. The Battle Satellite programme began on Friday 30 September with a special free debate on the future of manufacturing at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum Friday Late, and with over 25 national and international events, the boundaries of public debate will certainly continue to expand beyond the main festival weekend.

Visit to view this year’s festival programme, including satellite events, as well as carefully selected readings for each session and videos of previous years’ sessions.

** School students aged 16-18 are able to attend a day of the festival for free (the second day costing only £10) email There are also a limited number of HALF PRICE Student Champion tickets, allowing university students full access to the weekend festival for just £27.50. Click here to purchase discounted tickets. **

Tickets are available through online booking, or by phone: 0207 269 9220.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *