Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2024 full lineup unveiled

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2024 full lineup unveiled
Image: Supplied. Credit: Jodie Barker

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas has today announced the full lineup and program for the 2024 festival, featuring 87 thought leaders and creatives who will be discussing a huge range of topics. 

16 of the speakers hail from overseas, including the previously announced Roxane Gay, US psychologist Jean Twenge, Russian-American writer Masha Gessen, podcaster David Runciman, academic Saree Makdisi and former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper – among many others. 

FODI Festival Director since 2018 Danielle Harvey spoke to CityHub about her excitement at the full lineup’s unveiling, and the need for the festival in 2024: “These are the kinds of times the Festival of Dangerous Ideas really thrives in, where there are increasing complexities where we need a time and place where we can robustly interrogate these ideas.” 

Taking place from August 24-25, the Festival’s 2024 program features a number of keynote speeches from guest speakers and panel discussions discussing everything from children’s usage of social media, identity politics, ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the place of protesting in the 21st century. 

To interrogate these complicated, multifaceted ideas is the very purpose of FODI, and that discussion of dangerous ideas is what keeps Danielle coming back to curate the Festival each year.

“In a world of increasing complexity, escalating diversity and the acceleration of change, there’s a risk that our old ideas have already become stale,” says Danielle. “The festival offers a range of ideas – some you’ll agree with vehemently, others you’ll disagree with passionately.

“The purpose of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas is to come along and test these ideas, yourself and your own assumptions. I always like to say pick someone you’re really excited to see, whose work you’ve been following, and then see someone you have an immediate reaction to or disagree with. It may affirm some of the things that you already felt, but it’s going to feed your curiosity and that can’t be a bad thing.”

Other activities at FODI 2024

Outside of the numerous panels and keynote speeches bringing provocative ideas to Sydney, FODI 2024 is bringing attendees a number of other experiences across the festival’s program. 

Danielle highlights a few: “I’m really excited to be having Newman, an arts maker out of Croatia and Austria, here for a week to create an installation you can climb inside of, high up on the ceiling, made entirely out of sticky tape – that’s one kind of danger, if you’re brave enough to go and do that!”

“We also have Danny Philippou, one of the writers and directors of Talk To Me, curating an evening of his favourite horror films of all time. So if you’re looking for that kind of thrill, that’s there for you – and if you can make it to midnight, you’ll be rewarded.”

“Additionally, you can jump into one of the craziest dinner parties you’ll ever go to with the Last Supper, where you can get up close and personal with talent from the festival.” Danielle promises a wild night: The main rule is that what happens at the dinner party, stays at the dinner party…”

Ultimately, Danielle hopes that the 2024 Festival of Dangerous Ideas provides a safe space to engage in new, unexpected ideas: “Getting out of your news cycles and social media bubbles and really challenging yourself and the ideas around is essential. The Festival is often ahead of the zeitgeist, and this is where you’ll discover a whole range of thinkers and creatives not yet on your radar.” 

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2024
24-25 August, Carriageworks

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