Skip to main content
Artist's impression of cells, forming a question mark

Sydney Ideas

Because great minds don't always think alike
Sydney Ideas has been sharing a belief in the value of ideas that make a difference by bringing leading thinkers from Australia, and around the world, to the Sydney community since 2006.

Sydney Ideas is the University of Sydney’s public events program. We open the doors of the University's teaching and research to the whole community. Since 2006 we have held more than 700 events - most of which were free - for more than 120,000 attendees.

If you missed one of our events, we make most of them available as podcasts on Soundcloud and iTunes. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to find out what's on first, and keep up with everything we're up to on Twitter and Facebook.

Australia’s response to asylum seekers and refugees: Implications and challenges.

  • Monday 19 March
  • As part of the Education and Social Work Dean’s Lecture Series, Maryanne Loughry, Associate Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia, will critically explore Australia’s role in this area.

The Rise of Authoritarianism

  • Thursday 22 March
  • This event brings together Professor Pippa Norris and Professor John Keane to discuss their new books and the power of populist authoritarianism. 

Inverse problems and Harry Potter's cloak

  • Monday 26 March
  • Can we make objects invisible? Professor Gunther Uhlmann explores inverse problems, and the progress scientists are making to achieve invisibility.

Artists have never been more important

  • Tuesday 27 March
  • A panel of renowned artists, curators, writers and commentators address the claim that in this moment of planetary environmental crisis, artists have never been more important.

A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer: post show Q&A

  • Tuesday 27 March
  • Join us for a discussion with leading medical professionals and a cast member following the performance of A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer.

The 2018 Michael Hintze Lecture: Global Security Cultures

  • Wednesday 28 March
  • Why do politicians think that war is the answer to terror when wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Mali have made things worse? Why do contemporary conflicts never end?

Cultural diversity in leadership: where does Australia sit in 2018?

  • Wednesday 11 April
  • Join Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence AC at the launch of new research on cultural diversity and Australian leadership.

Beyond trafficking and modern slavery

  • Wednesday 11 April
  • Do we need to reframe our approach to tafficking in order to achieve justice for the world's most vulnerable?

Digital Rights and Governance in Asia: The State of the Arts

  • Thursday 12 April
  • This event explores the dynamic area of digital rights and governance in Asia – the issues, challenges and opportunities for nations and the region.

The False Friends of Democracy

  • Tuesday 17 April
  • A close look at the false 'friends' of democracy - the technocrats wedded to expert procedures; demagogues who make glib appeals to 'the people', and media platforms bent on turning politics into a sensational spectator sport.

Sydney Asian Art Series: Lam Qua, Chinese Export Artist

  • Saturday 28 April
  • The first Sydney Asian Art Series event features Winnie Wong, Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, discussing Chinese artist Lam Qua.

Spatial inequality and Australian cities in a warming world

  • Monday 7 May
  • There are many dimensions to spatial inequality in Australia. This seminar will probe the uneven distribution of the country’s economic and environmental resources, with a particular focus on cities. 

Ocean’s Forms: Process, Structure, and Imagination at Sea

  • Tuesday 8 May
  • A closer look at how philosophy, marine geoscience, art, and literature explore different ways of knowing the sea, and how they might inform one another in the future.

Sydney Asian Art Series: Transcultural Attractions

  • Tuesday 29 May
  • The second Sydney Asian Art Series event features Professor Ajay Sinha discussing the remarkable, large-size photographs of Indian dancer, Ram Gopal taken by American photographer, Carl Van Vechten in 1938.

Why we need to think about inequality and climate change

  • Monday 4 June
  • This panel will bring together speakers who make the case for the necessity of seeing climate change and inequality as entwined challenges.

Making the new energy system fair

  • Monday 2 July
  • This event will discuss the importance of building a new energy system that is fair to all, and what a truly progressive energy system might look like going forward.

Jellyfish behaving badly?

  • Tuesday 14 August
  • They dazzle us, terrify us, nourish us, and fascinate us. They can seem utterly otherworldly, and yet they’re among the more ancient species to inhabit earth. And because of rising ocean temperatures, they are moving.

Sign up for our newsletter

Each month we'll send you details about upcoming events, and a selection of podcasts.

Listen to Sydney Ideas

From arts and culture, to space, technology and the environment, to government, politics and society, we've got a podcast that will interest you.

Contact us

  • Lvl 2, Services Bldg (G12) The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Media enquiries
All media enquiries regarding Sydney Ideas guests should be directed to the Media Office on +61 2 8627 0246.