A collection of films, comments, articles, links, images and more linked to events in the Bristol Festival of Ideas ongoing programme. Written and edited by Andrew Kelly, Director of the festival, with guest contributions. Comments are the views of authors and not of Bristol Festival of Ideas nor Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. The Bristol Festival of Ideas is run in association with the Observer.
2016 marks the 800th anniversary of the first mayor of Bristol; the first anniversary of Bristol’s first elected mayor; 250th anniversary of the Bristol Old Vic; 70th anniversary of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School; 65th anniversary of the founding of the University of Bristol Theatre Collectiion; 65th anniversary of the Festival of Britain (which Bristol played a part in); 40th anniversary of Concorde entering commercial service; 50th anniversary of the opening of the Severn Bridge by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; 20th anniversary of the abolition of Avon County Council; among others. It is also the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme; 25th anniversary of the founding of the WWW (HP had role here); 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death; the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia and the 225th anniversary of the first publication of the Observer (media partner of the Festival of Ideas). There’s plenty of opportunity for celebrating Bristol that year, promoting debate about the city, and having a wide range of activities linked to all these anniversaries as well as looking at the future of the city and its place in the world.
The plan in 2016 is to have a celebration of the city. It builds on Bristol Cultural Development Partnership projects that in the past have celebrated Brunel (2006); the aviation industry (2010) and next year the city wide commemoration of the First World War. There’s also the potential to link to 2015 and the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. King John – who signed Magna Carta – had his official residence in the city in Bristol Castle. And there’s the added potential of following on from 2015 and Bristol being European Green Capital.
It’s an opportunity to have a festival of the city, market it internationally, and to help build the future of the place.
Tim Harford has enjoyed recent success in promoting economics through national media channels such as his hit BBC Radio 4 show ‘pop up economics’. Each show focuses upon a small subtopic of economics and illustrates to listeners how the academic principles of the subject are applicable to real world scenarios to which they can relate.It is by means of this format that Harford presented to a full to capacity crowd in the @Bristol conference centre last week.
It is not unreasonable to assume that the global financial crisis (GFC) dating 5 years back is well over. Yet on closer inspection, the world still continues to reel from its effects. The poor performance of the last 3 years has led economists to label this period as the ‘lost decade’; even more recently at an IMF Research Conference, Larry Summers has gone further to describe this generation as an era of ‘secular stagnation’. While the UK has seen some moderate return to growth over the last three periods, there is no uncertainty about the question that plagues everyone’s minds: Is this economic recovery truly sustainable?
“The Problem of the Banks” took place at @Bristol on 23rd November 2013 as part of the Festival of Economics Series. Ed Conway, Economics Editor for Sky News, chaired a fascinating panel discussion that explored the changes that could be made in the banking sector to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis.
Saturday’s most popular event at the Festival of Economics promised to be thought provoking. A large, eager audience arrived to hear and be heard on the controversial subject of inequality, a much pored over topic in recent years, and for some, a topic that inspires much sentiment. The panel, chaired by Julia Unwin, comprised of a diverse mix of leading figures in academia, the media, and thinktanks. A last minute stand-in saw Paul Johnson from the Institute of Fiscal Studies join the panel to offer his thoughts on inequality.
Recovery or not recovery? That was the question Margaret Heffernan, Will Hutton, Andrew Sentance, and Simon Wren-Lewis discussed this evening at the Bristol Festival of Economics. I say discussed because despite the opposing ideas addressed by the panel, the never ending array of questions deemed a good indicator of the audience’s uncertainty. From debating whether GDP is a relevant method of measurement for the economy to whether austerity delayed our recovery, it certainly led to an exciting two hours.
Our thanks to audience member, Polly Moyer, for this contribution:
I am a ‘frequent flyer’ when it comes to attending FoI events.Each time I go to an event I am enriched and empowered by knowledge, often shared freely. The festival opens doors for both the public and the speakers and organisations involved.Because the FoI has a flexible approach, it is able to contain events on a wide range of topics.It also features themed events, such as the Festival of Economics.