Sydney Ideas kicks off another big year

11 February 2014

Another year of inspiring talks, forums and conversations kicked off this week with the launch of the 2014 season of Sydney Ideas. 

The season will feature writer Lionel Shiver, author of the international publishing sensation, We Need to Talk about Kevin, and acclaimed Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga.

Award-winning novelist and author Shriver will be 'In Conversation' with Kate Lilley from the University's Department of English on 27 February, and Atxaga will be in conversation with Anne Walsh from the University's Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies on 5 March.

Also in March, award-winning Chinese poet Yang Lian will be in discussion with translator and Adjunct Professor Mabel Lee which will include reading in Chinese and English. 

Our academics are deeply engaged with the work of these writers and will bring in-depth knowledge and insight to these conversations.

In the 100th anniversary year of the start of World War One, the University will offer many opportunities for discussion with presentations by visiting and internal speakers throughout the year. We start the program with a presentation on Choice or Accident? The outbreak of the First World War by Oxford University historian Professor Margaret Macmillan. Her recent book The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 has been hailed as one of the finest books on the causes of World War One.

Next week's program includes a presentation of the history and future of Corporate Social Responsibility, the Australian Academy of Science 2014 Selby Fellowship Professor Ulrich Steiner on How Nature Makes Materials, and Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, Geoff Mulgan on Six Years After the Crisis: is a different capitalism possible?

Before term another week of events includes Laotian activist Shui Meng Ng on the disappearance of her husband, a leading community and youth development worker in Laos; a panel exploration of the social and political potential of the term the 'Anthropocene' to describe the new geological era in which we live, where humans now control many of the forces that shape the planet; and to start the Power Institute's high-profile program of visiting art history lecturers, the Director of the Getty Research Institute will discuss the work of this premier art history research institution dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts.


For those interested in more personalised learning approaches in higher education, a forum on Beyond MOOCs: online learning and the personalised learning consortium with international visitor Robert Cummings will look at what we have learnt from MOOCs and what the future holds.

For more information visit  Sydney Ideas.