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Forum/Debatt
Battle of Ideas

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Battle of Ideas 2016


lördag 19 november 2016
Foajé 3 • Fri Entré


Battle Of Ideas return to Stockholm for a satelite event at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern on the 19th of November. This year we are hosting debates on five burning topics, with prominent speakers from Great Britain and Sweden. 

AFTER BREXIT: IS EUROPE OVER?

11:00-12:15
In the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU earlier this year, questions have arisen about the future of the union. Eurosceptic movements are growing across Europe, with varying degrees of animosity to EU institutions, from those demanding radical reform of the EU to those demanding its abolition.

As one of its largest member states leaves, what is the way forward for the EU? Will other member states hold their own referendums to ask their citizens if they wish to follow the UK out of the union? Or could the EU reform its institutions to prevent a swexit or nexit?

Speakers:
Lars Trägårdh, professor of History at Ersta Sköndal Högskola
Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas; author
Göran Rosenberg, author; journalist
Miranda Green, journalist 
Kajsa Ekis-Ekman, author of Skulden, a book on the Euro crisis
Chair: Nathalie Rothschild, journalist at Sweden’s public service radio

FREE SPEECH AND IDENTITY POLITICS: WHO GETS A SAY AND WHEN?

12:30-13:45
Identity politics is on the rise. Increasingly, it seems what one says and the convictions one articulates in public debate, is attached to phrases like ‘As a black woman’, ‘As a gay man’ or ‘As a Muslim’. It seems that society has not satisfactorily resolved issues of diversity, representation and equality. The assumption that everyone has free and equal right ‘to speak‘ is, in fact, in question.

But is respecting people’s identity more important than allowing free and robust debate and freedom of expression?

Speakers:
Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas; author, I Find That Offensive
Bawar Ismail, opinion maker; former board member LUF (The Swedish Liberal youth Party)
Nathan Hamelberg, debater and communications manager Mångkulturellt Centrum
Alexandra Pascalidou, journalist and author
Chair: Nathalie Rothschild, print and radio journalist 

RISE OF THE ROBOTS: WILL MACHINES REPLACE HUMANS?

14:30 - 15:45
From The Terminator to The Matrix and beyond, dystopian visions of a future where intelligent machines subjugate humanity is a sci-fi staple. But in recent years, with robotic intelligence advancing apace, some are suggesting that these nightmares of human obsolescence may soon become a reality.

By giving robots more autonomy, are we ceding some of own? Regardless of how intelligent machines become, should we ever entrust them to make important ethical decisions, such as in warfare where lives hang in the balance? As robots take on more and more human tasks, can we ensure that this leads to more prosperity and leisure time for workers, rather than large swathes of humanity becoming surplus to requirements?

Speakers: 
Timandra Harkness, jornalist and author of Big Data: does size matter? 
Hannes Sjöblad, chairman of Människa+ (Human Plus) and Singularity University advisor.
Joanna Rose, science writer currently at Modern Filosofi
Chair: Rob Lyons, science and technology director, Institute of Ideas

AGE OF TERROR: WHY ARE PEOPLE JOINING ISIS?

16:00-17:15
In recent years, thousands of young European Muslims have flocked to fight for the Islamic State, while ISIS sympathizers have committed atrocities across Europe. But what is driving these people to abandon their lives in a free society to join a vicious band of nihilists?

Speakers:
Professor Bill Durodié, head of department and chair of international relations at the University of Bath.
Imam Abd Al Haqq Kielan, chairman of the SISAM.
Joakim Medin, writer and journalist specialising on the Middle East; author Ayn Al-Arab.
Rashid Musa, chairman at Sveriges Unga Muslimer (Sweden’s Young Muslims).
Kashif Virk, imam Bait-ul-Aafiyyat mosque
Chair: Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas; author, I Find That Offensive

DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA? THE US AFTER THE ELECTION

17:30-18:30
Whatever the result of November’s presidential election, this year’s race has been very different from previous ones. Most obviously, the rise of Donald Trump as a divisive figure with a serious chance of winning the presidency has caused consternation. Trump appears willing to lie with impunity, and appears relatively unshaken by statements and actions that would have forced any other candidate’s resignation. 

What happens next in American politics? Is there any possibility of the country rallying around the president or is politics there hopelessly divided? And what does it mean for the rest of the world?

Speakers: 
Lars Trägårdh, professor of History at Ersta Sköndal Högskola.
Kajsa Ekis Ekman, journalist and author.
Professor Bill Durodié, head of department and chair of international relations at the University of Bath.
Nicole Clifford, fellow at the foreign policy think tank Stockholm Free World Forum and a former Republican Congressional staffer.

The event is a collaboration between Forum/Debatt at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern and the Institute of Ideas. More information on the Battle Of Ideas festival is available here.