[Seventh of a series of blog posts about sessions at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas on Saturday 22nd October]
So, had a great time at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas today. Met some very interesting people (some famous-ish, some as obscure as me). And while not ever disgruntled, I was also not completely gruntled. I never am.
As well as ‘welcome to country’ and acknowledgement of the importance of the land to the original occupants, there could be two other pre-beginning things.
- An acknowledgement of carbon dioxide – its growth in the atmosphere as the central geo(physical)political fact of the 21st century, and the fact the kind of life we attendees take for granted is part of that growth [here’s an example]
- An acknowledgement of the isolating impactof neoliberalism and many top-down forms of communication (such as being ego-fodder at an event).
And there. therefore the MC asks everyone to turn to a person next to them or behind them (i.e. a stranger) and simply greet them, verbally or with a handshake and perhaps chat for a minute.
next up – and this is crucial – all the speakers to spend no more than a third of their time on the diagnosis of what is wrong, and two thirds of their time on what they would do about it/like to see done about it.
We really need speakers who can address the ‘why have we failed in the past’question. What road blocks prevented us from achieving what (we knew) needed to be achieved, in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s (pick a decade, any decade). What do we need to do differently to sustain social movement pressure? How do we avoid the perils of the smugosphere?
Keep data on who asks questions (age and gender) and aim for 50/50 (on the basis tha
Before Q and A, have people turn to the person next to them to get help honing a question. This may improve the gender balance of questions (see this blog post on ‘meetings are institutionally sexist‘)