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Off the cuff and unfiltered, live talks are where you hear the content you can’t Google.

The UNSW Centre for Ideas presents thought-provoking and challenging ideas in a public program of talks with big thinkers and thought leaders.

An initiative of UNSW Sydney as part of the ambitious 2025 strategy, the program is a platform for public debate and sharing of knowledge that is open to everyone.

The big thinkers and thought leaders that have graced our stages for live talks include award-winning author Margaret Atwood, Yale Professor of Psychology Paul Bloom and World Vision Chief Advocate Tim Costello.

The 2018 program included controversial artist Andres Serrano, who took the us into his confidence. Indigenous leader Megan Davis and award-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times talked openly about race. Australian of the Year, Michelle Simmons unpacked the world of quantum computing. Bob Brown tackled Australia’s record on the environment. Everything we thought we knew about truth was flipped on its head by “rock-star moralist”, philosopher Michael Sandel.

The Centre for Ideas was the co-presenter of the 2018 Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The Festival has been a champion of courageous public conversations and this commitment to provide a platform for debate of all kinds aligns perfectly with the Centre’s ethos. At a time when difficult questions about truth, global politics and our relationship with technology preoccupy us all, the Festival is more relevant than ever. A selection of the talks are now available online as podcasts. Our recommendations are; New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi on reporting ISIS, Stephen Fry's ode to the late Christopher Hitchens, technology sociologist Zeynep Tufekci on the perils of big tech companies, and UNSW Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh examines the end of the world (as we know it).



Venue Access

The Centre for Ideas strives to make every event as accessible as possible. Please refer to the event pages for venue access details.

Where the wheelchair icon is displayed, the venue/location is wheelchair accessible. If this symbol is not displayed, access may be limited and assistance by venue staff may be required. To ensure the best possible experience, please discuss all access requirements with the venue before you book. Venue contact details will be included on the event pages.

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