The joy of lectures
In our business we are always on the lookout for new ideas, ways of connecting and understanding people and really anything that sparks thought and debate. We often search for lectures, talks and courses to inspire and enlighten us. In March the Bristol festival of ideas was attended by Sarah – her thoughts…
I am lucky to live in Bristol where throughout the year there are lectures under the umbrella of Bristol Festival of Ideas. The lectures and debates are held throughout the year and cover all aspects of life ranging from world policies, philosophy, architecture, well-being through to policy and everything in between. Two of the recent ones, both promoting books, really stirred up my thoughts.
What Would Boudicca do? by Elizabeth Foley & Beth Coates.
These are two really engaging writers who took the wonderful idea of addressing everyday problems and looking back at some amazing women in history and seeing how they coped with the same problems it made me realise that my stressful times such as catching a train, working out what to eat for supper based on what the local station can provide, dealing with emails and a low phone battery was nothing compare it to the likes of Frida Kahlo, Josephine Baker, Hypatia and Cleopatra, Coco Chanel and Empress Cixi. The lecture was so engaging and so funny but also so well researched that it made me think about how we are all connected in some way,
Enlightenment Now by Stephen Pinker
This was extremely thought provoking, challenging our assumptions that life is awful, the world is in crisis and we are heading for even more disasters. In fact, according to him we have never had it so good. He takes the approach of scientific rationality and liberal humanism that took root in Europe between the mid-17th and late 18th century and using quantitative data proves that we are indeed living in Enlightened Times. There were statements after statements demonstrating through evidence that life has been getting progressively better for most people throughout the world. The subjects he covered included health, wealth, inequality, the environment, peace and democracy. Whilst many in the audience tried to challenge him he countered each one with fact-based response. Very difficult to disagree even if you don’t feel he is right.
So, I am going into Spring looking more closely at media reports promoting doom and gloom and channelling my superwoman ancestors.