Festival of Ideas to bring together key thinkers and innovators

Living Magazines Sol Rogers Festival of Ideas

The University of Hertfordshire will host the Festival of Ideas in June, a unique two-day event at the University’s de Havilland campus in Hertfordshire, bringing together key thinkers and innovators from the arts, politics, heritage, literature and science.

Taking place on 27 and 28 June 2020, the University’s Festival of Ideas is one of the flagship events in the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020.

To coincide with the launch, the first nine speakers have been announced. These include big names from the arts world including Alistair Spalding CBE, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells theatre, and rising star Theresa Lola, who is currently Young People’s Poet Laureate for London.

Audiences can expect a laugh with comedienne, broadcaster and writer, Helen Lederer, who many will recognise from TV show Absolutely Fabulous, and film buffs can hear Paul Hitchcock, former Head of Production for Warner Bros and Paramount, talk about his career in film production.

Sol Rogers (pictured), CEO and Founder of immersive content studio REWIND and Chairman of the BAFTA Immersive Entertainment Advisory Group, will offer insight into what is a growing industry. Those with an interest in astronomy can attend talks from Dr. Stuart Clark, astronomy journalist and fellow of the royal astronomical society.

Speakers also include Dr. Hannah Higham, Curator of Henry Moore Collections and Exhibitions, the historic novelist Katherine McMahon and the sculptor and artist, Diane Maclean.

Further speakers are expected to be announced in February, along with an introduction to some of the festival’s immersive content, with headliners to be revealed in the spring.

The event is also attracting sponsorship from local businesses, with construction and property services company Willmott Dixon announcing a pledge.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University of Hertfordshire, said: ‘This is the first time the University has hosted such an ambitious public event, the purpose of which will be to explore new and exciting ideas that will shape the world over the next decade. Throughout the weekend, we will be presenting a series of lectures and debates, exhibitions, screenings and performances from both high-profile external speakers, talented researchers and innovators, providing something for everyone to enjoy and feel inspired by.’

The event is open to the public and entry is free. Registration is recommended as events are expected to be well attended. Tickets are now available from herts.ac.uk/ideas.

For more information visit www.herts.ac.uk/ideas.