Additional Forum for Discussing Ideas
Battle of Ideas
- The weekend, initiated by the Institute of Ideas and organized and supported by a wide range of partners and sponsors, makes virtues of free-thinking and lively exchanges of views. Aims to:
- to showcase new arguments about the core issues of the day, while avoiding getting bogged down in the minutiae of everyday policy
- to initiate open-ended discussions regardless of the demands for immediate practical outcomes, which too frequently act as a brake on innovative thinking
Emulating the best of academia, the Battle of Ideas fosters an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and open-ended exploration of new ideas, research and trends. Additionally we challenge academics to distill their insights for a public intellectual gathering, creating a truly accessible university. The IoI seeks to identify a new generation of public intellectuals, and create a space where they can meet and have their ideas held to account. Listen to discussions at previous festivals online in preparation for this year's Battle of Ideas which will be held on 18 and 19 October 2014, and is hosted by the Barbican - click on Battle of Ideas website link.
Birmingham Salon is a public forum for debate where ideas are vigorously scrutinised and no topic is off limits. The Salon is a fully participative group, not a series of pre-programmed lectures in which people sit passively and listen. Most months we host a debate on a controversial or topical issue. The meetings are open to all.
East Midlands Salon
The idea of a Salon was developed in 17th and 18th Century France. Typically they were created and organised by the aristocratic ladies, to hear the ideas of the great thinkers of the time, to debate their meaning, for entertainment, because they believed ideas were important and because they wanted to know where the world was going, and of course to flirt. The Salon was central to the intellectual ferment of the end of 18th Century. They hosted the great thinkers of the time; Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire. They were the scenes of excitement, outrage, and the shock of the new in a time when ‘the new’ still seemed possible. They signalled a time when the future was still an unwritten book.
The East Midlands Salon is organised in homage to those days which only came to end with the eruption of the French Revolution and the arrival of a new constellation: the age of revolutions. Many historians think that Salons helped develop the ideas that ushered in that age.
Leeds Salon is a recent initiative that has grown out of a book club held regularly in Leeds since early 2008. The Salon aims to provide a public forum for lively and enlightening debate around contemporary political and cultural issues.
If you want to know more about our discussions, please ask to be added to the Leeds Salon Email list.
Liverpool Salon pays homage to the earlier Salons of 17th and 18th Century France because we share their belief in the importance of people coming together to think, talk and debate in friendly and convivial company. Like them, we believe that ideas are important, if we are to know where the world is going and how we might actively shape the future.
New York Salon
The New York Salon's approach is to draw in participants from a wide range of backgrounds. People attending the NY Salon come from the media, business, the arts and academia, and critically minded people from a variety of backgrounds. The Salon discusses both fiction and non-fiction, from authors as diverse as Jonathan Safran Foer and Thomas Szasz.
The NY Salon aims to raise the level of discussion of our culture – from politics and business to science and the arts. They seek to provide environments in which ideas can be robustly debated among critically-minded people from a variety of backgrounds. Whatever the forum – discussing a novel, arguing the merits of a museum exhibition, or organizing a public debate – their goal is the same: to ensure that the assumptions underlying the pressing issues of the day are thoroughly examined.
Inspired by the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment salon and the rather more robust coffee house movement of that age, the Sheffield Salon is part of a small, but growing, nationwide movement of individuals and groups who wish to re-foster spirited debate and rational enquiry.
The Salon aims to develop an intellectual environment where ideas are welcomed. However, although we believe our contributors have a right to hold an opinion, they also have a duty to express and defend it against challenge. We believe it is only through open and uncensored debate that we come to know and develop our own opinions and become able to draw conclusions about the pressing issues of our time.
spiked is an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms. spiked is endorsed by free-thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, and hated by the narrow-minded such as Torquemada and Stalin.
The Zurich Salon advocates freedom of expression and rational discussion in the Enlightenment tradition. It's objective is to push the boundaries of public discussion and to widen our horizons, existing to foster a public space to explore contemporary issues critically and constructively. Nothing is off-limits from politics and philosophy, to business and the arts. No contentious issue or difference of opinion is brushed under the carpet, trusting the audience to come to its own well-founded – most likely, conflicted – conclusions.