Battle of Ideas


10.00am – 6.00pm

Devonshire Dome, 1 Devonshire Road, Buxton, SK17 6RY

The Battle of Ideas festival comes to Buxton for a forthright day of discussion on the key issues facing the country

Produced by the Academy of Ideas

with headline partner the University of Derby

Book here


The Battle of Ideas festival is back – and coming to Buxton for the first time! Given the events of the past year and a half, there is a huge need to discuss the state of the world and the wide variety of issues that face us right now. After a great #BattleFest weekend in Westminster, we can’t wait to ignite public debate in Buxton.

There is so much we need to discuss. At Buxton, we’ll be asking how to respond to the ‘new normal’ – whether we should resist it or welcome it; we’ll be tackling the post-pandemic economy – and asking if the government’s promises of ‘levelling up’ are just all hot air; we’ll also be debating cancel culture – whether it is a myth or a stranglehold on free speech; and we’ll also be tackling the green debate – discussing if net zero is an necessity or a new form of austerity. We’ll also have discussions on electric cars, the future of the Union, culture wars and the place of China in the world.

In each debate, we’ll aim to challenge today’s toxic political environment with a broad and diverse range of speakers and perspectives. Everyone – speakers, chairs and audience members – will arrive with the aim of reflecting constructively on the big issues, to dig beneath the headlines, soundbites and memes. The festival is an antidote to echo chambers and ‘intellectual silos’, a unique opportunity to bring different points of view together and challenge each other’s ideas.



Should we resist the new normal? • Letters on Liberty: Beyond the Culture Wars • Transforming the economy post pandemic • China in a Changing World • Electric Dreams? Cars and the Future of Transport • Should we cancel Cancel Culture? • Letters on Liberty: Disunited Kingdom – The End of the Union? • Going Green: Eco-dogma or salvation? • See the full timetable here


Jennie Bristow Nikos Sotirakopoulos Claire Fox James Bembridge Tom Bewick Shahrar Ali Edwina Currie Ajay Jagota Ruth Mieschbuehler Li Sun Jacklin Kwan Flora Huang Alexander McKay Sophie Watson Glynne Williams Vanessa Pupavac Jacob Reynolds Shelagh McNerney Rob Lyons Nicholas Joseph Norman Lewis Nigel Ruddock Dennis Hayes Andy Shaw Alastair Donald Martin Wright Mo LovattElla Whelan


  • Standard ticket – £25
  • Concession ticket – £15
  • AOI associate ticket – £15
  • University of Derby full-time students – £5
  • Find out more, and book your tickets, here.
FREE TICKETS FOR SCHOOL PUPILS We are delighted to make the following special offer to school pupils: a free day-ticket to the Buxton Battle of Ideas festival! Just email with your name, school and an email address to send your free ticket to.