From the Chair: Thank you for an incredible 2018 AFoI

Well – what a memorable experience the 2018 AFoI was for all who attended. Our move to the west end of North Terrace and to July worked for audiences. It was fresh outside but the sun shone for much of the time. The venues were warm and welcoming, and the contributions of our speakers kept the atmosphere buzzing with provocations and much food for thought. Robyn Archer’s opening night Dedication Keynote address set the scene perfectly with a strong call for vigilance regarding the challenges to democracy around the world and the dangers of rising intolerance. These themes were touched on again by a number of speakers throughout the weekend.

As with all good festivals, audiences had difficult choices to make – which sessions to attend and which ones to miss. The good news is that over the coming months, audio from all sessions will be available to stream from our AFoI website.

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas would not happen without the support of so many good people. On behalf of our Board, I extend heartfelt appreciation to  our many guest speakers who gave so generously of their time and thoughts. Starting with our Program Advisory Committee whose collective wisdom enriched the program, thanks also to the many sponsors and event partners who provided cash and in-kind assistance to ensure that the AFoI remains mainly free for audiences.

Our gratitude extends to the dozens of AFoI donors who provided generous support, and of course, many good people volunteered over the weekend to ensure that the venues and events flowed seamlessly. And finally, gratitude, respect and appreciation to our AFoI 2018 Programming and Production team, brilliantly led by Executive Producer Sandy Verschoor. Without this small team of dedicated people, each of whom rose above and beyond the call, there would simply have been no event. You are all gold!

Greg Mackie
Chair and Founder
Adelaide Festival of Ideas

Adelaide Festival of Ideas meets Entrepreneurs Week

Day two of the 2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas coincides with Entrepreneurs Week, and as such, we have focussed our Friday 13th July program on social enterprise and innovation.

We start the day with Katrina Donaghy on Blockchain, and how exciting the future of this technology is going to be, followed by Tim Causer in conversation with Stephanie Johnston on the work of Jeremy Bentham, a radical innovator whose work underpinned the establishment of South Australia. 

Julianne Parkinson, at a Behind Closed Doors networking lunch and learn session, will present on Ageing and Entrepreneurship, Rob Wilmot (UK) from Crowdicity speak on how open innovation can deliver transformational change, and the Don Dunstan Foundation presents Guy Turnbull.

From Singapore we welcome Caroline Seow, a former Systems Engineer with IBM and Head of Marketing, Apple Asia Pacific, who has turned her passions to purpose-driven businesses as transformative agents for maximum societal.

Caroline will then join local champions for social enterprise Sarah Gun from GOGO Events and Kari Allen from The Sparkke Change Beverage Company together with Adam Smith from Torrens University who advocates for the intersection of higher education and corporate social responsibility. The panel discussion will be chaired by Brenton Caffin, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships for Nesta (UK).

The Arts Industry Council of SA will host a forum to explore whether artists as true entrepreneurs can build sustainable practices. The Match Tournament is an energetic pitch session full of ideas on how we can think differently about ageing with the winner winging their way to Copenhagen.

And to close the day, Dr Megan Clark, the recently appointed head of Australia’s Space Agency, will deliver the SIAA Annual Distinguished Lecture on our strategic priorities in Space.

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas will present more than 130 speakers in over 90 FREE sessions from July 12-15. Full program now available in the July edition of Adelaide Review or download from the website.

2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas – From the Chair

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas is an example of what can happen when passion is mobilised and shared. The 2018 AFoI is a rich offering of ideas and a testament to the generosity of spirit of so many speakers. Along with our many volunteers, we invite you to rug up, and be engaged and active citizens.

In a world where opinions are in over-supply – and sound-bites abound. We are bombarded with tweets and brain-farts of ever-more reductive simplicity! the AFoI provides the curious citizen with a menu of more substantial content. Over three days and evenings, as an audience member you can choose your thought-lines and enjoy mixing it up with some of the most interesting people.

To mix metaphors, the 2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas presents a cornucopia of thinking aloud – a smorgasbord of delectable ways of looking at the world from the perspectives of creative imaginations from many areas of expertise.

Of course, to make a free event possible means that we rely on the contributions of cash and in-kind from dozens of great community and business supporters. Without this goodwill, the AFoI could not happen. It is these acts of civic pride, philanthropy and generosity that make this possible.

So – what’s the very best way for you to make this effort worthwhile? Come along and enjoy the stimuli!

This year’s theme – Who’s at the Wheel?


This is an exciting time to be alive, but it can be uncomfortable in the passenger seat.

Where are these new roads heading and will we find our way home? Are we so distracted by visions of the future that we have forgotten to solve the problems of today? Will we still be able to preserve the fine art of being human?

For three days and nights in July, we invite you into a world of new ideas, innovations, inspirations and provocations from 120 speakers, with 40 presentations, 24 panel discussions and five special events. Discover for yourself exactly who’s at the wheel…

Azusa Kyushiki

Azusa is a passionate young professional within the local performing arts events and festivals industry. She is on a journey to spread her love of arts with Adelaide audiences and create memorable experiences!

Belinda Petersen

Belinda is the passionate PR Director of BPPR who loves nothing more than to see her clients plastered in neon lights on TV, radio, online and in print.

Anne Wiberg

Anne Wiberg is passionate about music, arts and a life worth living. She works with arts festivals and organisations both in SA and interstate and continues to chair the board of Music SA.

Helen Richardson

In a former life, Helen was the senior government arts adviser who kept us all in check – now she applies herself (voluntarily) to the pursuit of excellent grammar!

Dani Raymond

Dani is an arts marketer and a festival tragic, with a keen interest in audience development and a (bizarre) love of spreadsheets. Recent recipients of Dani-love include Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas and the Adelaide Fringe.

Sandy Verschoor

Sandy has developed, fostered and promoted some of Adelaide’s richest cultural experiences. She’s addicted to learning and loves nothing better than an epiphany!