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Festival of big ideas

September will see a stellar line-up in the city as Leeds International Festival of Ideas presents its ambitious programme as a platform for exploring new ideas and innovation.

T he festival, formerly Leeds International Festival, presents five thought-provoking panel debates running alongside four inspirational keynote speeches exploring and challenging key issues and viewpoints – all impacted on during the last extraordinary 18 months.

The festival has big ambitions, bringing renowned names, experts in their field and some of the world’s most exciting thinkers to Leeds to share thoughts and ideas through a series of compelling discussions and talks, examining everything from loneliness and inequality to the future of food, the media, and economic growth vs sustainability.

And its range of speakers promises to be just as diverse as the subject matter. Leading the line-up are four famous figures – actor, comedian and campaigner Sir Lenny Henry CBE, comedian and presenter Katherine Ryan, architect and campaigner George Clarke and founder of the MOBO organisation Kanya King CBE – who promise to enthral audiences on subjects close to their heart.

And alongside that impressive array of names will be appearances from economic expert and BBC presenter Evan Davis, award-winning writer and broadcaster Alix Fox, Tony Blair’s former Communications Strategist and Chief Spokesman Alastair Campbell, campaigner, speaker and writer Gina Martin, Masterchef judge, Guardian food critic and author Grace Dent.

Leeds International Festival of Ideas runs over a two-week period from Monday 13th until Monday 27th September with events held at a number of key city centre venues. The aims of the festival are to provide a platform for the exploration of new ideas and innovation while confronting the challenges of our time and discussing the world of tomorrow.

Tickets for Leeds International Festival of Ideas and the full programme are available at

Evan davis

Lenny Henry

Katherine Ryan

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