“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance” Alan Watts

We think it’s fair to say that the last twelve months have brought us plenty to talk about. Whatever your point of view, surely we can agree that change is the only constant? Let’s make the best of that by listening to others, being flexible in our views, becoming better informed and showing support and empathy to those who need it most.

We put together the 2017 programme of Festival of Debate before we knew about this summer’s General Election, but of course it brings everything into greater focus.

We aren’t party political. We just want people to get out, get talking and get informed.

Here’s a snapshot of our May events. The Festival continues until the end of June, so pick up a printed brochure around town or visit festivalofdebate.com for the full low-down.

Green Economics: Miriam Kennet & Professor Anthony Ryan OBE
Wed 10 May | 6:30-8:30pm | The Diamond (LT6) | £5 (NUS Free)
Miriam Kennet, economist and founder of the Green Economics Institute, and Prof Anthony Ryan OBE, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and founding Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, discuss green economics.

The Home Truth
Thu 11 May | 7-8pm | Quaker Meeting House | Free
Has privatisation of asylum housing worked? Should housing for the most vulnerable in society be run by a security company? Should asylum housing be traded like a commodity? Discussion hosted by ASSIST.

Tax Dodger ’s Guide to Fargate
Sat 13 & 20 May | 1-2pm | Fargate | Free
The Tax Dodger’s Guide to Fargate is back with new tips on how to dodge tax like the big boys. Join Dodge & Co on a walking tour of Sheffield’s high street. Meet on Cathedral forecourt at 1pm. Don’t miss the new Dodge & Co video trailer at bit.ly/2oc1TP0.

Wordlife Open Mic
Tue 16 May | 7-10:30pm | DINA | Pay What You Decide
A politics-themed poetry and spoken word event, with open mic and featured performers. Email joe@wordlife.co.uk if you want to perform.

Born in Flames + Q&A with Lizzie Borden
Fri 19 May | 6:30-9pm | The Void | Free
Described as a ‘documentary-style feminist science fiction’, Lizzie Borden’s iconic film Born in Flames explores racism, classism and sexism with a US socialist democracy as its setting. A Skype Q&A with director Lizzie Borden will follow the screening. Hosted by Rare Giants. 

Is There a Need for Utopian Thinking Today ?
Thu 25 May | 6:30-8:30pm | Quaker Meeting House | Free
Is ‘utopia’ just wishful thinking, or a dangerous road to dictatorship, or can it play a positive, animating role? An open discussion drawing on your experiences, campaigns and imagination.

Prof David Nutt + Q&A
Tue 30 May | 7:30-9:30pm | SU Auditorium | £5 (£3 NUS)
Prof David Nutt specialises in research exploring the potential medicinal uses of drugs including LSD, MDMA and psilocybin. Prof. Nutt will talk about the barriers to researching controlled substances in the UK and their untapped potential for treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Universal Basic Income : The Sheffield Model
Thu 1 Jun | 7-9pm | Quaker Meeting House | Free
A Universal Basic Income has been proposed as a way of tackling issues including automation and zero-hours contracts. An embryonic model developed for Sheffield will be presented, critiqued and discussed with the audience.

festivalofdebate.com | @FestOfDebate