Recording of a debate at the Battle of Ideas festival 2019.
Today’s political culture seems obsessed with dark, apocalyptic visions. From young people staging ‘die-ins’ to protest about the environment to talk of an ‘insect apocalypse’, fears and threats loom large. Extinction Rebellion argues that the threat of catastrophe means we must reject growth and material progress in favour of a new eco-austerity. Even proponents of new technology often see it as a means of avoiding environmental catastrophe rather than transforming the world for the better. What can we learn about the present from our attitude to the future? Do we need to recover our faith in the future – and by extension, ourselves?
DR SHAHRAR ALI
home affairs spokesperson and former deputy leader, Green Party; author, Why Vote Green 2015
professor of history, Royal Holloway, University of London; author, Searching for Utopia: the history of an idea; fellow, RSA
DR ASHLEY FRAWLEY
senior lecturer in sociology and social policy, Swansea University; author, Semiotics of Happiness and Significant Emotions (forthcoming)
editor, spiked; host, The Brendan O’Neill Show; writer, the Sun and the Spectator; author, A Duty to Offend
CHAIR: JACOB REYNOLDS
partnerships manager, Academy of Ideas; co-convenor, Living Freedom and The Academy, boi charity