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.

Returning in 2021 to a world reshaped by extraordinary upheaval, and in partnership with the University of Adelaide and as part of Illuminate Adelaide, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas is back to illuminate the challenges and opportunities of our time.

A global pandemic, environmental crises and reckonings across our social and political spheres have shaken up long-held institutions and assumptions, placing us at a once-in-a-generation crossroad. Guest curators Kirstie ParkerIsobel Marshall and Prof John Carty will assemble distinguished leaders and trailblazers in areas of social impact, sustainability, innovation, culture, equality and our place in a shifting world.