Shami Chakrabarti, Festival of Debate 2015 (Photo by Nathan Gibson)

Shami Chakrabarti, Festival of Debate 2015 (Photo by Nathan Gibson)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

The Festival of Debate is made up of a series of panel discussions, debates, Q&As, artistic responses and keynote speeches in Sheffield (UK), aiming to create a meaningful dialogue around key social, political and economic issues.

It’s hosted by not-for-profit social enterprise Opus Independents in collaboration with a wide range of partners across Sheffield.

Welcome to Festival of Debate 2017 - our largest programme to date.

We think it’s fair to say that the last twelve months have brought us plenty to talk about. So much has been laid at our collective doorsteps - from Brexit to Trump, immigration to automation - with so much depth and breadth of opinion, fact and fiction to discover, and all of it moving at such a rapid pace across the media spectrum.

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.

The Festival of Debate does not claim to be representative of all viewpoints, but we hope you find something of interest in our 2017 programme. We believe that through the process of talking things over and exploring new approaches, we can work towards informed consensus and new hope for our collective futures and for the next generation.

Now entering its third year, the Festival of Debate is made up of a series of panel discussions, debates, Q&As, artistic responses and keynote speeches in Sheffield, aiming to create a meaningful dialogue around key social, political and economic issues. It’s hosted by not-for-profit social enterprise Opus Independents in collaboration with a wide range of partners across Sheffield.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved and committed their time to seeing this year come together. We look forward to seeing you all at one or more of the events in our 2017 programme.