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Festival of Ideas

Festival of Ideas

We want all members of our school community to embrace learning, to listen and to question, to share and to challenge.  Each year all pupils and staff take part in a Festival of Ideas on a particular theme, explored through a wide range of talks by visiting speakers with a variety of stories and life experiences to share.

This year’s Festival was based on the theme of ‘Changing People, Changing Places’.  As Head of Enrichment Jamie Ings writes:

“The past three years have been more turbulent than any other trio for a number of decades. The world has had to deal with a seemingly endless string of globe altering issues. Something that is undeniable is that adaptation has been essential in order to ensure that that global society is able to continue to function. The world we live in is no longer neat and linear. The world is three dimensional, global, interconnected and multi-cultural, and so too are the problems we face. The world has changed, and so have we.”

Thought-provoking talks were from speakers who had broken boundaries, experienced change in their own lives and who seek positive change in an ever changing world.  From Ian Dunne’s exploration of the world of Science through ‘Science Magic’, to female pilot Emma Henderson’s collaboration to support the NHS during Covid-19 through her foundation of ‘Project Wingman’, from latest scientific thinking on the universe and habitation of Mars by Colin Stuart, to the refugee crisis by motivational speaker and podcaster Jaz O’Hara, the founder of The Worldwide Tribe.  Onyinye Udokporo discussed neurodiversity in a changing world and her challenges with dyslexia, while Dipo Faloyin argued ‘Africa is not a Country’, pushing back on stereotypes through an eclectic range of subjects.  Explorer Lucy Shepherd examined the mindset of an adventurer, sharing her experiences of a jungle expedition across an isolated part of the Amazon, while Alex Lewis spoke of overcoming the challenges he faced when losing his limbs due to Strep A Toxic Shock Syndrome.   Mountaineer Stephen Venables gave a fascinating account of his ascent of Everest as the first Briton to reach the summit without assisted oxygen, while endurance athlete Anna McNuff talked of her mission to explore the limits of her own potential.  Geopolitics specialist John Birchall shared his thoughts on the EU and his work with Unicef, while academic philosopher Aaron Ridley discussed Nietzsche and moral philosophy.

We are very grateful to all those who took the time to share their experiences with us during this year’s Festival.

For more information and the full programme, visit Canford Festival of Ideas