AFoI Story

Since our audience discovered our first event one misty morning in 1999, The Adelaide Festival of Ideas has forged the path for ideas festivals in Australia and internationally.

Our purpose is to celebrate the life of the mind, particularly the public value of ideas, thinking and innovation as foundations of civil society, an informed democracy and a robust economy.

In 2015 a group of long term supporters and true-believers formed a board. This Board of specialist volunteers have regenerated the AFoI as a not-for-profit incorporated association, stewarding the AFoI as it transitions to an ongoing and independent entity.

Over three days in October we bring thought-provoking speakers to Adelaide from around Australia and the world and mix them in exciting ways: scientists of all kinds, policy wonks, philosophers, social and environmental activists, journalists, former politicians, historians, architects, economists, educationalists, theologians and diverse futurists.

Though we have a handful of ticketed sessions, the overwhelming majority of our sessions are free admission so that the audience attends as citizens rather than customers. Speakers and the public come together to address a rich combination of blue-sky thinking and the urgent issues of our times. Global in context, national in ambit and local in temperament, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas is both platform and incubator for an active, informed and inquiring citizenry.