Battle news
20 September 2012
Battle of Ideas 8 timetable now available

The Festival weekend includes 80 debates across the two days. View and print out the Timetable as a two-page PDF.

20 September 2012
Great Battle of Ideas 2012 deal for school pupils

Together with the Hargrave Foundation, we are delighted to make the following special offer to school pupils: a free day-ticket to the Battle of Ideas festival, for either Saturday 20 or Sunday 21 October. And if you want to attend the whole weekend you can do so for just £10 for the other day! Just email stating which day you would like to attend free, the name of your school and give a postal address to send your free ticket to.

17 September 2012
Read why the Battle of Ideas 2012 essay

Claire Fox’s essay Why the Battle of Ideas 2012 says today “it is difficult to assert the importance of freedom in 2012 without people raising a range of caveats: do we mean unregulated freedom to exploit? Aren’t the media, bankers and big business too free? How can we trust organisations that want the freedom to hide their secrets?”


23 August 2012
Lloyds Scholars Programme: Student Champion 2012 tickets
Lloyds logo

We are offering current undergraduate and postgraduate students a limited number of Lloyds Scholars Programme: Student Champion 2012 weekend tickets for just £27.50 - half the normal concession rates.

Tickets can be bought from the Barbican website, here.

30 July 2012
UK and international Battle Satellites announced

The initial progamme of UK and international Battle satellite events is now listed on the website. Check back for updates as more are announced and plan your October in the run-up to the Battle of Ideas festival itself.

26 July 2012
Battle of Ideas 2012 programme released

The Battle of Ideas 2012 programme has now been released: you can see the titles and times of sessions through the weekend on the website; browse through sessions by strand; the keynotes; and by theme.

Full details of sessions and speakers will be released through August.

Tickets will be available very soon: check back for more information.

28 March 2012
Battle of Ideas 2012 at the Barbican
Barbican main entrance

We are delighted to announced that, from this year, the Battle of Ideas festival will be held at the Barbican in London as an ongoing partnership. Obviously it is very exciting and a great honour to be working with one of the world’s leading arts centres: new challenges and adventures lie ahead. We leave the wonderful Royal College of Art, our home for 7 successful years, with sadness but will continue collaborating with the RCA on a variety of Battle of Ideas related projects into the future.

Moving to the Barbican allows us a fantastic opportunity to reconceive the festival in its eighth year: to expand the numbers, but also to realise our ambition of making the Battle of Ideas a focus for Europe-wide intellectual discussions about the key social, artistic, economic, political and scientific issues of our times. One positive aspect of this new Battle of Ideas home is the use of some fabulous new spaces for the weekend’s 70+ debates, from the cinemas and the Pit Theatre to the conservatory and the myriad nooks and crannies in the many foyers. It will be great fun taking over such a prestigious venue for a weekend and making it come alive with the buzz of debate. This year the Battle of Ideas weekend will be held on the third weekend of October: 20-21 October 2012. Put the date in your diary and we’ll see you all there.


Has tolerance gone too far?

"The Battle of Ideas was a great success; it enabled large numbers of people to hear and interact with well-known speakers who have thought about and contributed significantly to the discussions of many important issues."
Richard Swinburne, emeritus professor, philosophy of religion, University of Oxford; author, 'The Existence of God and The Evolution of the Soul'

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