Festival of Debate 2023

12 Apr 2023 - 26 May 2023

The Festival of Debate is the largest annual non-partisan politics festival in the UK, taking place every spring across South Yorkshire.

Back again for 2023, this year there's over 60 events across three strands – Democracy, Inequality and Climate – which will be hosted at venues across Sheffield and beyond, 12 April - 26 May.

For the ninth edition of the festival, once again there's a challenging and diverse programme of events, featuring an array of well-known keynote speakers, alongside a wide-ranging schedule of community events led by grassroots groups, partners and individual citizens.

2023 keynote highlights include, artist and philosopher Brian Eno, Britain’s biggest housing campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa, broadcaster and writer of Not So Black and White Kenan Malik, educator and indigenous and land rights advocate Vanessa Machado de Oliveira, neuroscientist and drug law reform advocate Prof David Nutt, foreign affairs journalist Tim Marshall and British DJ and MC General Levy.

Many of the events are free entry, while ticketed events are priced as low as possible to encourage involvement.

For the full programme of events & tickets: festivalofdebate.com

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Founded in 2015 by Opus Independents, the Festival of Debate creates opportunities to bring people together to share new ideas and provides a vital platform for exploring the most important political, social and economic issues of our time at a point when a lack of trust in government, NGOs and the media means our society is “deeply and dangerously polarised,” according to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer.

The festival is strictly non partisan – it’s an open platform that encourages active citizenship and democratic engagement that anyone can contribute to.

Events are not just debates between people with opposing views. The programme includes discussions, Q&As, artistic responses, keynote speeches, performances and plays that explore politics, economics and society.

Previous editions of the festival led to the launch of the international UBI Lab Network, the world’s biggest citizen-led movement working towards the introduction of a Universal Basic Income.