Festival Of Dangerous Ideas 2013 – 2nd-4th November [SYD]

One of the annual events in which my inner-cerebrate fan boy is allowed to surface is Festival Of Dangerous Ideas (FODI). That’s right, I dreamed of being an intellectual too once, but unfortunately when I hit around twenty-three the ambition started to manifest itself in to bitterness as opposed to excitement for change. Events like TED and FODI are as much a call-back to the more interesting and socially-minded years of my life.

Hosted at Sydney Opera House, the three day events brings out the finest speakers across all sorts of ever-important topics that you often forget to care about on the 9-5 treadmill. Last year Jason Silva stole the show with his keynote presentation titled ‘We Are The Gods Now‘ in which he discussed the power we hold as a universal society due to the leaps in technology we make. If you’ve got a spare hour you can view the entire thing below, with the last twenty minutes or so being q&a with the audience.

Pretty stimulating stuff. Not everyone was on point last year; it’s definitely time for Peter Fitzsimmons and Germaine Greer (who we once highly respected) to pipe down or at least stop getting paid for opinions. But in all cases some form of thoughts were provoked and discussed, and this is what lead to over-excitement this year where we booked considerably more sessions for nearly every day of the festival.

Crowd Source The Government‘ is a panel dealing with Australia’s ever-scrutinised and changing refugee policy, and along with ‘The Australian Dream Is Over‘ and ‘We Are Asia’s Quarry‘ make up the topics closest to FODI’s geographical home. David Simon (author and creator of The Wire) is giving the keynote titled ‘Some People Are More Equal Than Others‘, which alongside John Safran’s session discussing racism, poverty and murder in the deep-south of America is definitely going to be a highlight of the weekend.

Also worth mentioning is the Australian premiere of The Unbelievers, the documentary film that follows public intellectuals Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on worldwide speaking tour. Krauss will actually be part of the q&a panel after the movie on Sunday night, and bound to get the fundamentalists in a knot. You can check a short-trailer below, and be equally amazed at the incredible cameo list.

There’s over thirty sessions all up with the usual mix of religion, sexism, technology, social and economical issues that will be discussed and presented in ways you’ve never thought of. If you’re in the area, book some tickets and get down this weekend, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

For the full schedule and run down of topics head here and scroll down the left: http://fodi.sydneyoperahouse.com/