Established in 1999 as biennial event, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas (AFoI) was the first ‘ideas festival’ in Australia and among the first in the world. State Government funding ceased in 2015, and now AFoI has been relaunched under the auspices of an incorporated not-for-profit association to run annually from October 2016.
The mission of the AFoI is celebrate the life of the mind by promoting to the public the value of ideas, thinking and innovation as the foundations of civil society and an informed democracy.
Through a program of free events in a centrally located, hub-style environment, the AFoI showcases leading thinkers across a range of topics in science, technology, humanities and the arts. Speakers are drawn from both academic circles and other areas, including media, business, and the creative industries. In doing so, the AFoI takes advanced thinking within specialist circles out to the broader community. Global in context, national in ambit and local in temperament, the AFoI is both incubator and platform for an active, informed citizenry.
The annual AFoI will run over three days, with most presentations and panel discussions open to the public and free of charge, as has been the long-standing tradition. A small number of events will be ticketed. Public participation is another characteristic of the AFoI, with audience question-time built in to every session. Sessions are recorded for subsequent digital archiving and web-based streaming.
The success of the AFoI is underpinned by its unique combination of accessibility, a diverse program, and cutting edge themes relevant to the broader community. In 2013, the AFoI boasted 36,000 attendances across three days, with an estimated 16,000 individual attendees. Interest in the relaunched AFoI has been strong and momentum is building.
The AFoI speaker program will develop hand-in-hand with an on-line presence, via a dedicated website and social media platforms. With the establishment of an annual cycle of AFoI events, this on-line presence will rapidly develop into a valuable, year-round public knowledge resource featuring news, information, opinion and links connecting to relevant activities and organisations, including those of AFoI contributors, partners and sponsors.
Good ideas don’t come cheaply. We need your help to make this a reality.
Become part of this community and support the AFoI today!