Big Ideas Forum: Protecting the Legacy of Freedom: The Ideas of The Enlightenment in the 21st Century
CIS has often been instrumental in gathering key intellectuals, policymakers and authors together in Australia. Such occasions are an ideal opportunity to present to the public a discussion on a topic of importance for our society, and the international community.
The CIS Big Ideas Forums began in 2002 with the idea of presenting to the public a discussion on a specific topic, led by the foremost thinkers. It is an opportunity for the Australian public not only to listen to leading international experts and prominent authors, but also ask questions and participate in the discussion - Sydney Writers' Festival
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies. Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992, and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006.
In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society, and on defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made "Submission," a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.
Frank Furedi is a social theorist and a prolific author whose books have been translated in 12 languages. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
Furedi’s research is oriented towards the study of the workings of precautionary culture and risk aversion in Western societies. In his books he has explored controversies and panics over issues such as health, children, food, new technology and terrorism. At present he is completing on education and the contestation of authority in contemporary society. Furedi’s books and articles provide an authoritative yet lively account of key developments in contemporary cultural life. Using his insight as a professional sociologist, Furedi has produced a series of agenda-setting books that have been widely discussed in the media. Furedi regularly comments on radio and television. He has appeared on Newsnight, Sky and BBC News, the Today programme, and a variety of other radio and television shows.
Furedi’s articles are published in the New Scientist, Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, Independent on Sunday, The Times, Sunday Times, Observer, Sunday Telegraph, Toronto Globe and Mail, Christian Science Monitor, Times Higher Education Supplement, spiked-online, Times Literary Supplement, L’Espresso, Harvard Business Review, Die Welt and Die Zeit amongst others.
Dr. Arthur Herman
Dr. Arthur Hermas is the author of The Scottish Enlightenment: The Scots’ Invention of the Modern World and Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age.
Dr. Jonathan Le Cocq
Dr. Le Cocq is a Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Music. He specializes in the lute and historical performance.
He also is the Head of Centre for Music for Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Canterbury.
James Spigelman is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW. He also serves as the Lieutenant Governor of NSW.