FESTIVAL OF DANGEROUS IDEAS

THE FESTIVAL OF DANGEROUS IDEAS RETURNS LIVE TO SYDNEY
ON 17 - 18 SEPTEMBER 2022

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is the original disruptive festival that brings to light important conversations that push the boundaries of conventional thought. It presents a line-up of international and local thinkers and culture creators, inviting the public to immerse themselves in ideas and conversations that encourage debate and critical thinking.

FODI was co-founded by The Ethics Centre and the Sydney Opera House in 2009. It was presented at Sydney Opera House for eight years and in its ninth year inhabited Cockatoo Island with a festival presented by The Ethics Centre with UNSW Sydney Centre for Ideas.

Across ten festivals and counting, FODI has had local and international experts from a diverse range of disciplines take to the stage to bring to light different perspectives on the most divisive issues we face.

The FODI 2020 program was to be the 10th Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Due to take place at Sydney Town Hall – a nod to the traditional meeting and rallying place for communities – it was to feature sessions and performances that explored climate change, meritocracy, giving, tech, politics, capitalism and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival had to be officially cancelled on 16 March 2020.

In May 2020, FODI launched a series of digital video conversations taking inspiration from the original FODI 2020 theme of ‘Dangerous Realities’, with online sessions streamed via the festival website. The series interrogated the reality of the current pandemic and its wider implications for our world and society. Watch now

In February 2022, FODI released a bold new podcast FODI: The In-Between, an audio time capsule recording a moment in-between two eras. Eight conversations between 16 of the world’s biggest thinkers capture the dangerous ideas of this moment in time. With guest speakers including Stephen Fry, Roxane Gay, Waleed Aly, Sam Mostyn, Slavoj Žižek, Naomi Klein, and more, The In-Between tackles the big issues of our world and future, from climate change and global politics to artificial intelligence, truth, and social media. Listen now

Festival of Dangerous Ideas is a curated festival. In 2022, the Festival Director is Danielle Harvey (2011–2022) and the co-curators are Simon Longstaff (2009–2022) and Ann Mossop (2010–2022).

FODI’s 2022 program features over 72 speakers and artists, including 8 international guests. A razor-sharp line-up of thinkers, artists, experts and disruptors from around the world and across Australia will converge on Sydney to dissect and discuss the spikiest and most pressing issues of our moment in a huge weekend of panels, talks and events at Carriageworks from 17-18 September.

Explore the 2022 festival program and book your Festival Multipack today at the FODI website.

1,000

ALUMNI OF EXPERT SPEAKERS, BRINGING TO LIGHT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON LIFE'S MOST DIVISIVE ISSUES.

9

NUMBER OF EVENTS SINCE 2009, MAKING IT THE ORIGINAL BIG THINKING FESTIVAL

157,000

TICKETS SOLD TO AUDIENCES HUNGRY TO EXPLORE THE BOUNDARIES OF CONVENTIONAL THOUGHT

GET INVOLVED

The next Festival of Dangerous Ideas will celebrate 10 years of brilliant, challenging provocative minds, and game-changing perspectives. For partnership enquiries or speaker submissions visit www.festivalofdangerousideas.com.au.  To be informed of any volunteer opportunities for next years festival please connect with us.

FODI’s evolution

2020

Australia’s original provocative ideas festival, returns to the heart of Sydney in 2020 for its 10th festival. April 3 to 5 will be a milestone weekend of provocation, contemplation, critical thinking and preparation for the battles of the next decade. Program released 29 Jan.

2018

This year The Festival of Dangerous Ideas returned in a new format and new location. Held on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island, the program was a collision of ideas, art installations, live theatre, and panel conversations that stepped into the boundaries of common thought. FODI explored the blurring of truth and trust, internet sub-cultures, fascism, privacy, LSD and the end of the world as we know it. Headline thinkers captured minds and social feeds with Stephen Fry,  conservative historian Niall Ferguson, author Pankaj Mishra, Ex-Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper, Ayelet Waldman,  Germaine Greer, rock star of AI Toby Walsh, sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein, criminologist Xanthe Mallett and artists Betty Grumble, Garth Knight and Riley Harmon.

2016

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas completed its final year at the Sydney Opera House with Jesse Bering, Andrew Bolt, Molly Crabapple, Alicia Garza (Black Lives Matter), Henry Rollins (Black Flag (band),  Lionel Shriver and more.

2015

Solo sessions and panels featured the likes of Tariq Ali, Naomi Klein, Peter Greste, Gabriella Coleman, Paul Krugman, Laurie Penny, Jon Ronson, Eric Schlosser and Gideon Raff, exploring themes including the economy, artificial intelligence, climate change, cybersexism, addiction and sugar.

2014

Brought our view of ourselves and our place in the world into question, exploring the fringes of loneliness, masculinity, narcissism, modern slavery and classism. Speakers included  Pussy Riot,  Masha Gessen, Steven Pinker, Elizabeth Kolbert, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Malcolm Fraser, Lydia Cacho, Alissa Nutting, Tim Flannery and Mark Latham.

2013

In 2013 thinkers including Arlie Hochschild, David Simon, Hanna Rosin, Evgeny Morozov, Vandana Shiva, Dan Savage, John Safran and Peter Hitchens explored topics including outsourcing, conspiracy, masculinity, inequality and drugs.

2012

In 2012, Over 50 speakers examined topics including: “All Women Hate Each Other”, “Israel is an Apartheid State”, “The Devil is Real”, “Genital Cutting is Normal”, “We are all Sexual Perverts” and “A Foetus is not a Person”. Speakers included Sam Harris, Germaine Greer, Brian Morris, Tara Moss, Illan Pappe, Jason Silva, Shiv Malik, Ed Howker, Jane Bussmann, Jesse Bering and Tim Harford.

2011

In 2011, FODI delivered a host of cutting edge thinkers including Julian Assange, Jonathan Safran Foer, Alexander McCall Smith, Jon Ronson, Slavoj Žižek, Mona Eltahawy and Philip Nitschke. Diving into the shadows with talks including “WikiLeaks has not gone far enough”; “Psychopaths Make the World Go Around”; “Ecstasy is No More Dangerous Than Horse-riding”and “All Women are Sluts”.

2010

In 2010 Geoffrey Robertson and Alan Dershowitz opened the address with the debate, “The Sins of the Fathers: Should the Pope be held to account?”. Other speakers included Christian Lander, author of the  “Stuff White People Like” with a tongue-in-cheek etiquette guide to Caucasian culture and New York newspaper columnist, and creator of the free range kids movement, Lenore Skenazy on how she was labelled “America’s Worst Mom”.

2009

In the inaugural 2009 event, the festival’s made dangerous beginnings with the opening address was given by Christopher Hitchens on the topic of “Religion Poisons Everything”

FODI Alumni