SERIES

FODI Festival

DATE & TIME

03-04 NOVEMBER 2018

LOCATION

COCKATOO ISLAND

Are there any ideas too difficult, taboo or disagreeable to discuss?

From sex robots to sex clowns, to tying yourself up in lies and rope, the 2018 festival stepped beyond the hype and dove deep into the issues that confront and divide us.  

Thousands crossed the threshold into the Festival’s new home on Cockatoo Island. Two days, 31 sessions, and 45 speakers later, they left with a feast of ideas and new perspectives.

Caliphate host Rukmini Callimachi shared aching stories of violence and honour in ISIS camps; conservative historian Niall Ferguson forced us all to rethink before we retweet; and pop-culture savant Chuck Klosterman had us empathising with the unlucky aliens who colonise us.

Download podcasts of this year’s key speakers and keep on top of 2019 announcements here.

Where you found us this year

Conversations that matter

The Ethics Centre’s popular chill out zones were there to provoke conversations that matter about the issues on the day. Festival goers could pause, make new connections and debrief in between sessions at The Conversation Field, located outside beside the food and beverage marquees.

Hundreds were daring enough to step inside The Big Deep to contribute their own dangerous idea into the sea of truth and trust. The Big Deep was a popular experiential opportunity to share ideas that you wish we could discuss, see the perspectives of others and refuel with a coffee between sessions.

The Ethics Centre team were active both on stage and behind the scenes this year. Dr Simon Longstaff and Dr Matt Beard each ran sessions across the weekend (find out more below),  Kym Middleton and Dr Simon Longstaff chaired a number of discussions and many of our staff volunteered their time to help festival goers get the best out of the weekend event.

 Everyday Ethics Workshop – Dr Simon Longstaff

We ventured into the thorny and nameless ethical choices faced everyday with Dr Simon Longstaff, Everyday Ethics.  The participatory workshop involved audience members in a process of deliberation that traces back to the days of Socrates in the Athenian agora.


The Danger of Scepticism – Dr Matt Beard

Festival-goers entered into a thought experiment with The Ethics Centre’s Dr Matt Beard at The Danger of Scepticism. History is littered with examples of the danger of absolutists. We all need to be sceptical, but Dr Matt asked when scepticism and doubt cross the threshold into dangerous.

Speakers & Artists

Stephen Fry

Chuck Klosterman

Ayelet Waldman

Rukmini Callimachi

Megan Phelps-Roper

Niall Ferguson

Toby Walsh

Pankaj Mishra

Zeynep Tufekci

Judith Sloane

Richard Holden

Roselyn Dixon

Dee Madigani

Garth Knight

Steph Stephens Davidowitz

Tim Soutphommasane

Angela Nagle

Xanthe Mallett

Jeremy Moss

Rowan Thambar

Nikki Goldstein

Tommy Dean

Germaine Greer

Darren Goodsir

Osher Gunesberg

Yianni Agisilaou

John Hewson

Rebecca Huntley

Mick Dodson

Who is it for?


  • THE FUTURIST
  • THE NEWS JUNKIE
  • THE TECH ENTHUSIAST

What you'll take away


  • 01BROKEN BOUNDARIES AND COURAGEOUS QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FRIENDS
  • 02NEW WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT LIE AHEAD
  • 03SPINE-TINGLING MOMENTS

Things to think about