Living Freedom 2020

Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 April 2020
CIEE Global Institute, London

Explore the past, present and future of freedom at this three-day school for 18- to 25-year-olds.

About Living Freedom

Living Freedom is our annual residential school aimed at 18- to 25-year-olds interested in exploring ideas as they relate to the past, present and future of freedom.

The three-day school is hosted at the CIEE Global Institute in central London providing a stimulating forum for around 40 young advocates of freedom who will attend expert talks and participate in meaningful debates. As well as the chance to get to grips with key thinkers and engage in a series of intellectual challenges, the school provides a social forum, offering a chance to meet and socialise with peers from throughout the UK and beyond.   

LIVING FREEDOM 2020
HERETICS AND DISSIDENTS: CHALLENGING ORTHODOXIES IN 2020

To live and think freely has always meant challenging orthodoxies. Traditionally, when free thinkers, such as philosophers and scientists, experimented and explored new ideas, they were branded heretics and could face persecution for deviating from received wisdom.

Today, Western societies see themselves as open and tolerant. But is heretic-hunting making a comeback? After all, from the campus to the workplace, whether our sincerely held views or the words we use, dissenting from the norm can be perilous. 

What are today’s orthodoxies and why do they so rapidly take root? What is heresy and who are the heretics of today? For those seeking to live freely today, could the figure of the heretic be something to aspire to?

View the outline provisional programme below.

How the school works

Delivered by a series of experts, thinkers and campaigners, this school challenges all attendees to develop their critical faculties and take the intellectual risks required to achieve the ambition of making a fresh response to contemporary constraints on freedom. Alongside specialist lectures on the philosophy and history of freedom, there will panel debates, workshops, seminars and group-based tutorials.  Social events will provide plenty of opportunities for networking.

Who can apply

The school is open to anyone between 18 and 25 years of age, regardless as to whether they are currently studying or in employment.

Application process

To apply to attend the school please submit a short statement of between 300 and 500 words on:

  • What is currently the main constraint on our liberty and the key opportunity for making the case for freedom today and
  • Why you would like to attend the school and how you will potentially benefit from it

Applications must be submitted no later than Monday 2 March 2020. Attendance will be at the discretion of the organisers. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Wednesday 11 March.

COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM

Attendance

All those selected to attend will be deemed to have committed to attending all lectures and workshops for the entire duration of the London-based school starting at 6pm on Thursday 2 April until the close at 7pm on Saturday 4 April; and to residing overnight on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 April in the accommodation provided.

Fees

Attendees pay a nominal fee of £50 which is payable in advance of attendance upon confirmation of acceptance. This fee covers hostel accommodation for two nights in central London, an evening meal on 3 April and sandwich lunches on 3 and 4 April.

Venue

CIEE Global Institute, 46-47 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4JP

Enquiries

Should you need further information please contact Living Freedom convenor Alastair Donald by emailing alastair@theboi.co.uk or calling +44 (0)20 7269 9233.

Programme

DAY 1 : THURSDAY 02 APRIL

18:00
Registration, welcomes & introduction

18.30 – 20.00 Introductory lecture
From the origins of heresy to the new inquisitions

20.00
Drinks

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 3 APRIL

09.00 – 10.00 Lecture
Demonology: a short history

10.15 -11.30 Lecture shorts and seminars
1. The Alchemists
2. The Inquisition
3. The Dissidents
4. The McCarthyites

11:45 -12:45 Lecture
‘Denialism’: the new blasphemy?

13:45 – 15:00 Lecture and workshop
From vegans to trans: should our beliefs be legally protected?

15:15 – 16:15 Roundtable debate
The great ‘unwokening’: rebelling against consensus?

16:30– 17:30 Lecture and workshop
Moral Maze: should good causes refuse money from bad sources?

17:45 – 18:45 Lecture double header
From drill to comedy: is media effects theory killing culture?

20.00 – late
Freedom Dinner

DAY 3 – SATURDAY 4 APRIL

09.30-10.30
What is scepticism?

11:00 -12:00 Lecture double header
The wars over words
• Newspeak: George Orwell and policing language
• The Heretic-Hunter’s Dictionary (2020 edition)

12:00-12:45
Expert Led Seminars
• Group A: Individuals vs identities: how can we move beyond ‘tribal’ politics?
• Group B: Children: a moral shield against dissent?

13:30 -14:30 Breakout workshops
What the Papers Say

14:30 -15:30 Lecture
From nation states to policing culture: the significance of borders today

16:00 -17:00 Roundtable conversation
Thoughtcrimes and punishment: challenging heretic-hunters

17:00 – 18:00 Closing Lecture
Thinking about the future: challenging conformism

18:00
Closing drinks reception