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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.

Global and Diverse Leadership

  • Thursday 17 May
  • In this Sydney Ideas talk, Professor Jean Lau Chin from Adelphi University in New York will examine what successful 21st century leadership should look like in our increasingly diverse and global society.

An Ancient and Dynamic History

  • Tuesday 22 May
  • Co-presented with the Department of Archaeology, this event brings together two professional archaeologists to discuss current and future approaches to Aboriginal archaeology.

Food as medicine

  • Wednesday 23 May
  • Are we eating ourselves sick? Could food really help us ward off diseases like diabetes, dementia, cancer and dental or cardiovascular disease?

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.

Indigenous sustainability practices and processes

  • Wednesday 30 May
  • A National Reconciliation Week event with David King, a Gundungurra Aboriginal elder, who will share his insights on Australian Aboriginal Sustainability practices and processes, touching on the prevalence of food wastage.

Introduced Species

  • Thursday 31 May
  • Calling all music and art lovers to a one-hour special event presented in partnership with Vivid Sydney, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Seymour Centre.

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.

The state of the Universe

  • Tuesday 5 June
  • Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt looks at the Universe’s vital statistics and what we do (and don’t) know about the past, present and future.

The Syrian conflict: how it affects economics, health and education

  • Tuesday 12 June
  • What does conflict in Syria mean for GDP, capital stock, fiscal and monitory dynamics, employment, poverty, education, health, human development index, and social capital?

Genome editing: rewriting the code for life

  • Thursday 14 June
  • The capacity to make precise genome edits is slowly changing our approach to medicine, agriculture and our planet. What breakthroughs will it enable in the future?

Peace on the Peninsula? The origins and implications of North Korea’s diplomatic offensive

  • Tuesday 19 June
  • A panel of experts explores the origins and implications of Kim Jong-un’s recent diplomatic activism from North Korean, US, and Chinese perspectives.


  • Tuesday 26 June
  • Professor Kevin McDonald presents case studies with a university student, a computer hacker, and a former drug dealer to demonstrate different radicalisation experiences

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.

Dogs helping people: in families, hospitals, colleges and at work

  • Monday 2 July
  • Some studies show dog owners are happier. Could having a dog indeed help people in their day-to-day lives?

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.

The end of time: the future history of the universe

  • Thursday 16 August
  • Join us for a cosmic journey through space and time, through galactic collisions and hyperactive black holes, and onto the death of the last star.

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

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.