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Festival of Debate We've just revealed the blockbuster line-up for this year's Festival of Debate

Headliners at the UK's largest non-partisan politics festival include James O'Brien, Jackie Kay and George Monbiot.

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An event at last year's Festival of Debate.

Adva Photography.

The UK’s biggest non-partisan politics festival is returning to Sheffield this spring for its tenth edition, with more than 60 events exploring topics ranging from clean air and river health to neighbourhood democracy and food systems.

The Festival of Debate runs from 16 April to 25 May at venues across Sheffield and online, and aims to highlight potential solutions to systemic problems like climate breakdown, inequality and the democratic deficit. It's hosted by Opus, the worker-owned social enterprise that also publish Now Then.

"This year’s festival is the most ambitious we’ve ever put together, and we’re really excited about what we’ve got planned," said festival director Joe Kriss, who has programmed the Festival of Debate since it was founded in Sheffield in 2015.

"We’re facing a series of intersecting crises in this country and in this city, from the cost-of-living crisis to the continuing effects of the pandemic. We’re really interested in finding systemic solutions to those problems, helping Sheffield and the wider world transition to a more sustainable and equitable future."

On 18 April, legendary Sheffield venue The Leadmill play host to acclaimed performance poet Hollie McNish, who will read from her new collection 'Lobster: and other things I'm learning to love'.

Journalist and BBC presenter Sathnam Sanghera will speak about 'Empireworld', his book which examines the lasting legacy of British colonialism and how it continues to shape the globe, on 30 April at the Workstation.

On 10 May, author and LBC presenter James O'Brien will take to the Leadmill stage to examine 'How They Broke Britain', which "reveals the shady network of influence that has created a broken Britain of strikes, shortages and scandals".

Described by Naomi Klein as "a galvanising takedown of neoliberalism's 'free market' logic," economics and politics writer Grace Blakeley will discuss her book 'Vulture Capitalism' on 13 May.

On 18 May, the BBC’s first disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring goes 'Among the Trolls', offering a deep dive into the heady world of conspiracy theories, online hate and fake news.

Sir Michael Marmot, the UK's foremost expert in public health, will talk about the devastating effect inequality has on health in this country and what we can do to fix it on 21 May at Millennium Gallery.

There’s more poetry at The Leadmill on 23 May as Jackie Kay reads from her new collection 'May Day', which spans several decades of political activism ranging from feminist and LGBT+ struggles to the Black Lives Matter movement.

For a bonus event after the main festival up at Crookes Social Club, writer George Monbiot will speak about his new book written in collaboration with Peter Hutchison, 'The Invisible Doctrine', which unpicks the history of neoliberalism and the corrosive effect it's had on our society over the past four decades.

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An event at last year's Festival of Debate.

Adva Photography.

Alongside this range of headline talks are dozens of panels, workshops and interactive sessions throughout the festival that explore alternative and emerging solutions to some of the most pressing issues that we collectively face.

These range from 'Moving Towards Conscientious Consumption' and 'How Can the River Don Ask For Help?' to 'The City of Empaville and Participatory Budgeting', 'Rethinking Retrofit: Communities, Construction and You' and 'Food Waste: Whose Responsibility is it?'

Opus, the Sheffield-based worker-owned company that founded and continue to host the Festival of Debate, exists to find solutions to complex systems problems. The full programme for the festival is out now.

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