Festival of Ideas 2019

FoI 2019

During October 2019 Edge Hill University will host its fourth Festival of Ideas which explores the theme of ‘Exchanges: Creativity, Community, Curiosity’ in a stimulating programme of events.

The exchange of ideas is the fuel of the knowledge and creative economy. Locally, nationally and internationally we are all involved in sharing concepts, swapping insights, and trading opinions. This year’s festival explores communication, reciprocity, and transactions in all areas, from policy making to healthcare, social enterprise to cultural production. Be the exchange you want to see.

The festival will be programmed by Edge Hill University’s three Research Institutes, the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE), the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR), and the Health Research Institute.

More Information for 2019: click here


FoI 2018

Festival of Ideas 2018: EQUALITIES


During May and June 2018 Edge Hill University hosted its third Festival of Ideas which explored the prism of Equalities, incorporating the 100th anniversary of women of a certain criteria getting the vote, as well as responding to other current topics in the media. It aimed to open up interdisciplinary debate about past injustices and what can be done to work together to formulate an equitable future society.  The festival was programmed by Edge Hill University’s three Research Institutes, I4PICE and PGMI.

I4P and the Festival of Ideas:
The following were key I4P events during the 2018 FoI…

14th June 2018
Neoliberalism, Marketisation and Higher Education
Professor Roger Brown, Southampton Solent University
Roger Brown is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Policy and former Vice Chancellor of Southampton Solent University. For the past ten years he has been studying and writing about the marketisation of higher education (both internationally and in Britain), economic inequality and, most recently, Neoliberalism. This lecture will tease out the various connections between them. In particular it will show how, through marketisation, Neoliberalism is having the same impact on the provision of higher education as it is on society and the economy more generally.
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1st June 2018
Artistic Methodologies for Social Justice Symposium
Dr Victoria Foster
The arts can provide effective ways of working with marginalised communities to produce knowledge about their lives and to communicate this knowledge to a wider audience. There is a growing interest in the ways that visual arts, poetry, drama and music can be employed to highlight social inequalities and to provide solutions to them.
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21st May 2018
Merseyside health – why is it worse than elsewhere?
Health inequalities in Merseyside have long been a topic for public debate. Despite significant media attention there has been little progress over the years. This round table discussion has been organised with experts from public health, academia and representatives from charitable organisations to explore why progress in this area is so slow and what can be done about it.
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17th May 2018
Festival of Ideas 2018 – Launch Event
Now in it’s third year, the festival is programmed by Edge Hill University’s three Research Institutes (I4P, ICE and PGMI).  The Festival of Ideas is a series of talks, exhibitions and performances to engage academics, students and members of the public in conversations upon a common theme. This year throughout May and June, the festival will explore the prism of Equalities, incorporating the 100th anniversary of women of a certain criteria getting the vote, as well as responding to other current topics in the media. It aims to open up interdisciplinary debate about past injustices and what can be done to work together to formulate an equitable future society.
More Information


FoI 2017

Festival of Ideas 2017: IDENTITY


During June 2017 Edge Hill University hosted its second Festival of Ideas which explored themes of Identity and Belonging in a stimulating programme of debates, talks, films, exhibitions, round-tables and performances.  The festival had been programmed by Edge Hill University’s three Research Institutes, I4P, ICE and PGMI.

IDENTITY draws on academic strands within the University’s three research institutes and is a response to public discussions about, and intellectual speculation on, what makes us who we are. The programme will look at Identity as incomplete, protean, restless, open-ended, flexible, and versatile… existing in fluidity rather than ‘fixed’ characteristics.

Ideas around patient identity will be explored, focusing on the importance of the patient voice, which can easily be overlooked in a metrics-driven health and social care system, and the individual needs, values, beliefs, preferences and social circumstances that underpin personalised treatment and care.

The Festival will open up debates on gender fluidity and non-binary sexualities, on the current momentum of political fluidity using Scottish independence and Brexit as examples of the concept of conflicting and mutating notions of identity, as well as the contrasting ideas of identity shaped by class, age, gender, sexuality or disability. It will also look at the way in which place affects identity, examining the ‘North’ in the wake of the Northern Powerhouse, the diasporic cultures of exile and displacement prompted by global migration, and the concept of regional, urban or rural identities.

As we enter an era where our identity will be increasingly defined and decoded by the algorithms of artificial intelligence, how will human beings respond to the impact of technological classification?   #EHUIdentity

FoI 2016

Festival of Ideas 2016: IMAGINING BETTER


During February and March 2016 Edge Hill University launched its first Festival of Ideas with a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society under the main theme Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.  The festival had been programmed by Edge Hill University’s three Research Institutes, I4P, ICE and PGMI.

FoIIMAGINING BETTER – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.  A festival of creative thinking for challenging times, making space for crucial conversations and new ideas for the arts, healthcare and public policy. An exciting collection of talks, exhibitions, films and performances explored issues such as children’s rights and citizenship, arts and social justice, innovative strategies for current healthcare issues, racism in sport, cultural identities and much more.

The Edge Hill Festival of Ideas had been inspired, in part, by the work of the internationally respected cultural theorist Stuart Hall and built on the University’s tribute to him on the occasion of his death in 2014. A key part of Hall’s work and his contribution to ideas and the academy was his invitation to think in a multi- or inter-disciplinary way, and to encourage critical thinking and questioning. #EHUFoI

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