talks & debates

Our year-round programme of talks and debates showcases leading thinkers, activists, politicians and cultural observers. Be stimulated by new thoughts and ideas, or challenged to see the world with fresh eyes by today’s most exciting speakers.

This season documentarian Louis Theroux reflects on two decades of groundbreaking work and Lenny Henry takes us on a trip down memory lane. Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain talks cake and kids and comedian Sara Pascoe assesses what really matters to humans. We also welcome Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Dawkins, Hannah Gadsby and many more.

see upcoming talks & debates

 

Perhaps you don’t recognise that you have power but if you’re doing something to try to make a change you are already exercising power.
Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder of Ballet Black, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2018
The paradox of the last 20 years has been that we have increased our communication, its frequency, participants and methods to do so. But instead of taking this opportunity to produce a clear picture of the world, the content of that information, and what we actually know, is decreasing.
Yannis Varoufakis, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2015

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Brainchild Festival

Free

Free

7:00 pm
Thu 29 Aug 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 29 Aug 2019
talks & debates
family & young people
Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals with discussion and performance
Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals with discussion and performance
Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Osi Umenyiora, American football defensive end
1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Africa Utopia Member's Salon

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
A woman in glitter on the side of her face
4:30 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
4:30 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
How can the industry better represent diverse identities, both on and off the catwalk?
How can the industry better represent diverse identities, both on and off the catwalk?
Africa Utopia Member's Salon at the Royal Festival Hall

Free

Free

12:30 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
12:30 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
Simon Frederick, actor
1:00 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens
The Music That Made Us
4:30 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
4:30 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
How does the music made by black artists explore the breadth of blackness?
How does the music made by black artists explore the breadth of blackness?
Richard Dawkins, ethologist
7:30 pm
Sun 22 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 22 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Sir John Rowland Tomlinson, opera singer

Free

Free

7:00 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:00 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
talks & debates
What else stirs the soul like singing does? The Royal Philharmonic Society hosts a panel talk
What else stirs the soul like singing does? The Royal Philharmonic Society hosts a panel talk

Pages

highlights

30 Sep
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography
19 Sep
literature & poetry
talks & debates
How much does our own upbringing affect our parenting?
see all events

blog: talks & debates

podcast
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures with Akala and David Olusoga
story
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture