Battle of Ideas

From Powerbase
Revision as of 15:09, 3 September 2011 by S Ross (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Battle of Ideas, a project of the Institute of Ideas, part of the LM network

The Battle of Ideas is a project of the Institute of Ideas, which is associated with the libertarian, anti-environmental LM network.

It commenced in 2005 [1] and is an annual two-day debating event held in London. It claims it "makes virtues of free-thinking and lively exchanges of views" and "fosters an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and open-ended exploration of new ideas, research and social trends".[2] In practice, all of the sessions' chairs, around half of the speakers and most of those selected by the chair to contribute from the floor are LM associates. In response to the question, "Is the Institute of Ideas committed to promoting debate or to promoting one side of a debate?", Claire Fox replied "We are committed to debating in general, but make it perfectly clear that we have a position in the debates we organise." [3] Accounts by attendees are here. [4][5][6]


Associated sponsors

Other multi-year sponsors, other LM network entities excluded, are:

Battle of Ideas banner noting the funding of the LM network by pharma giant Pfizer, BT and Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The Times.

Partners and sponsors by year

In March 2011, the Wellcome Trust made a 'Strategic Award' of £825,000 over five years to support "debates about developments in biomedicine"; specifically the Battle of Ideas and Debating Matters. [14]


Battle of Ideas speakers for the 2010 conference, as listed on the website in April 2011, were:[15]

  • Beccy Allen, researcher, Hansard Society; project manager, HeadsUp, an online forum for 11-18’s, politicians and policy-makers.
  • Dave Clements, social policy writer; convenor, IoI Social Policy Forum; co-editor, The Future of Community.
  • Joel Cohen, politics student, SOAS; member, Battle of Ideas Committee
  • Dolan Cummings, convenor, Battle for Politics; associate fellow, Institute of Ideas; editor, Culture Wars.
  • Nick Dusic, director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
  • Tim Finch, director and head of migration, equalities and citizenship, IPPR
  • Claire Fox, director, Institute of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4's Moral Maze
  • Frank Furedi, professor of sociology, University of Kent, Canterbury; author, Wasted, Politics of Fear, Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?
  • Pam Giddy, director, Power 2010; co-founder and former director, Power Inquiry
  • Tony Gilland, science and society director, Institute of Ideas; director,Debating Matters Competition
  • Norman Ginsburg, professor of Social Policy, London Metropolitan University; author, Divisions of Welfare: A Critical Introduction to Comparative Social Policy
  • David Goodhart, founder and editor, Prospect magazine
  • David Green, director, Civitas; author, Individualists Who Co-operate: Education and welfare reform befitting a free people
  • Shane Greer, executive editor, Total Politics; political consultant and commentator
  • Matt Grist, director, RSA's Social Brain project; author, Changing the Subject - how new ways of thinking about human behaviour might change politics, policy and practice
  • Kamaljeet Jandu, national officer, Equality through Inclusion, GMB
  • Geoff Kidder, director, membership and events, Institute of Ideas; convenor, IoI Book Club; IoI’s resident expert in all sporting matters
  • George Lee, prospective parliamentary candidate, Conservative, Holborn & St Pancras; founding member, Black Police Association
  • Kirk Leech, freelance journalist; researcher, development and environment
  • Kevin Maguire, associate editor, Daily Mirror
  • Brendan O'Neill, editor, Spiked; author, Can I Recycle My Granny and 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas
  • Ben Page, chief executive, Ipsos MORI]; Editorial Board, International Journal of Market Research
  • James Panton, politics tutor at St John’s College, University of Oxford; co-founder, radical civil liberties campaigning group, the Manifesto Club
  • Jo Phillips, journalist, former spin doctor; co-author Why Vote – a guide for those who can't be bothered.
  • Mike Savage, professor of sociology, University of Manchester; Director, ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change; author, Culture, Class, Distinction
  • David Seymour, co-author Why Vote – a guide for those who can't be bothered; former political editor, Mirror Group, leader writer, Daily Mail; founder, Student Mirror
  • Gerry Stoker, professor, Politics and Governance, University of Southampton; director, Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance; author, Why Politics Matters: making democracy work
  • Wes Streeting, president, National Union of Students (NUS)
  • Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner; Green Party human rights spokesperson
  • Robin Walsh, editorial assistant, medical publishing company; co-founder, Current Affairs Forum.
  • Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent, Daily Telegraph; author, No Means No!
  • Jeremy Webb, editor-in-chief, New Scientist
  • Richard Wilson, founder and director, Izwe; founder, leading public engagement think-tank, Involve


Facebook: Battle of Ideas


Jon Alexander, Beware the Institute of Ideas Conservation-Economy, 1 Nov 2010
Jenny Turner, 'Who Are They?,' London Review of Books, 8 July 2010
Helge Ogrim, Battle of Ideas, Is the Revolutionary Communist Party still the vanguard? November 6, 2010 · 11:49 am
Press Gazette, The Battle of Ideas: It's a twisted old battlefield Press Gazette, 3 November 2006
Richard Wilson, 'Quite contrary:inside the Battle of Ideas', New Humanist, Jan/Feb 2011


  1. Culture Wars History, Culture Wars website, accessed 31 Oct 2010
  2. About: What is the Battle of Ideas 2010?, Battle of Ideas website, accessed 28 Apr 2010
  3. Hope for the Best - Interview with Claire Fox, website
  4. Who Are They, London Review of Books website, accessed 14 Nov 2010
  5. Beware the Institute of Ideas Conservation-Economy, 1 Nov 2010
  6. Battle of Ideas, Is the Revolutionary Communist Party still the vanguard? November 6, 2010 · 11:49 am
  7. "2005 Partners", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 7 June 2010
  8. "2006 Partners", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 7 June 2010
  9. "2007 Partners", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 7 June 2010
  10. "Partners", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 7 June 2010
  11. "Partners", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 7 June 2010
  12. "[1]", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 26 October 2010
  13. "[2]", Battle of Ideas website, accessed 3 September 2011
  14. Strategic Award supports The Battle of Ideas festival and Debating Matters Wellcome Trust website acc 5 March 2011
  15. Speakers Listing, Battle of Ideas website, accessed 28 Apr 2011