The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
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If we peel back religion, politics, economics and other big players in our collective pursuit of the ‘common good’ … what do we end up with? How are our ideas of goodness formed – and can they ever be agreed upon?
As globalisation and technology draw the world closer together, they’ve also revealed chasms in how we relate to each other as nations, cultures and individuals – and how we resolve conflicts. What happens when good intentions are incompatible?
We’ve assembled a diverse and insightful group of thinkers to thrash out the practical questions of ethics. Raimond Gaita, Anne Summers, Gregory Phillips and Alan Duffy will come together to seek out and dissect: are there basic values or ideas of goodness or fairness that we can all share? What, specifically, are they? What even is ‘ethical’, should we strive for it – and can there be a middle ground? Hosted by Mark Colvin.
Raimond Gaita has published widely to academic and non- academic audiences. In 2009, the University of Antwerp awarded Gaita the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa ‘for his exceptional contribution to contemporary moral philosophy and for his singular contribution to the role of the intellectual in today’s academic world’.
Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is author of nine books, including the classic Damned Whores and God's Police, Ducks on the Pond, The Lost Mother, and The Misogyny Factor.
Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa. He is a medical anthropologist, with twenty-five years’ experience in leading change.
Gregory is Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, is an Associate Professor of Aboriginal Health, and serves on several boards and committees, including chairing the Cathy Freeman Foundation and AHPRA and the Australian Medical Council’s Indigenous health strategy groups.
Alan is a research fellow at Swinburne University, creating model universes within supercomputers to study the growth of galaxies, from the Big Bang to the present day. As well as learning how galaxies form, these simulations let him uncover the nature of the invisible Universe; made up of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. He then tries to explain these discoveries and more on TV with ABC Breakfast News and Ten's The Project as well as live to all ages from year 2 primary school classes all the way to general audiences.
Mark Colvin is an Australian journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster. He has been the presenter of PM, one of the flagship Australian radio current affairs programs on the ABC Radio network, since 1997.
The Interrobang – a new festival from the Wheeler Centre – is looking for the best questions in the world.
Ask your questions and vote on others, then join us on 27–28 November for a feast of frequently unanswered questions – as we present your most controversial, revealing, funny and insightful ideas to a 28-strong Brains Trust of the world’s most inquisitive thinkers.
Pose your question at The Interrobang festival website. We’re building this festival on your curiosity, so brace yourself – and wonder hard.
• City of Melbourne
• The University of Melbourne