Theme: Evolving Society

Inspiring Focus Days examine the future of higher education, re-imagining the city and creating inclusive societies, while other events explore philanthropy and diversity.

What's on

Sun
17
Jun

Re-imagining York

With its unique mix of heritage and hi-tech, what is the plan to re-imagine this historic city? Find out from speakers including Bob Allies of Allies and Morrison, developers of the masterplan for York Central; Francis Glare, Principal, BDP; Andy Shrimpton, Founder of Cycle Heaven; Helen Graham of the University of Leeds; and Timothy Ireland from the Kent School of Architecture.

Sun
17
Jun

Building Sustainable, Successful Communities

How do we create successful communities? Join speakers including housing policy expert Rebecca Tunstall of the University of York, David Rudlin of Urbanism Environment and Design (URBED), and leading architects Riccardo Marini, Founder of Marini Urbanismo, Irena Bauman, Director of Bauman Lyons and Clare Wright, Founding Partner at Wright & Wright Architects.

Sun
17
Jun

Technology and Transport

Our speakers, including Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects, Stephen Joseph, Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport, Harbinder Birdi, Head of Infrastructure and Transport at Hawkins\Brown, Efrat Blumenfeld-Lieberthal of Tel Aviv University and transport planner Paul Osborne, help us re-imagine city living.

Sun
17
Jun

Exhibition: Re-imagining the city of York

Master of Architecture students from the Kent School of Architecture, Canterbury present innovative visions for the city of York. Join them for a thought-provoking exhibition - ‘Design for Galactic Life on Earth: How can architectural intervention be used to instigate change?’

Sun
17
Jun

Cities of Today and Tomorrow - CANCELLED

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event is cancelled. Apologies for any disappointment.

Sat
16
Jun

Imagining the Impossible: Life without cars

Adventure cyclist and author Josie Dew has cycled over 505,000 miles across six continents and 49 countries. Join Josie at Cycle Heaven as she discusses life without cars. Best known for writing about life in the saddle on world cycling adventures, hear how that translates into everyday family life with three children.

Fri
15
Jun

China in Drag: Travels with a cross-dresser

Approaching the end of his eight-year stay in Beijing, BBC correspondent Michael Bristow decided he wanted to write about the country’s modern history. To assist him he asked for the help of his language teacher, who was born just two years after the communist party came to power in 1949. Hear how Michael, author of China in Drag: Travels with a Cross-dresser, gradually realised that the teacher’s story is the story of modern China.

Fri
15
Jun

Building an Inclusive Economy: Where are the big ideas?

Join Andy Wood of the Inclusive Economy Partnership, Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, Roger Farmer of the University of Warwick, Neil McInroy of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (Preston) and Ander Etxeberria of the MONDRAGON Corporation as they present innovative ideas for creating an inclusive economy.

Fri
15
Jun

The Impact of Poverty on Households, Homelessness and Health

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of the social enterprise Turning Point, presents the keynote speech on the impact and consequences of homelessness. Our expert panel, including Sam Thomas of the Health Foundation, Sara Davies of the University of Bristol and Julie Rugg of the University of York, then discuss the big ideas for solving homelessness.

Fri
15
Jun

Solving UK Poverty

Just how big a problem is poverty in the UK and who is impacted most? Join Claire Ainsley, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Executive Director, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, and Helen Pearson, author of The Life Project, as they discuss the scale of the problem and how it is affecting life chances for the most vulnerable in our society.

Fri
15
Jun

Connecting the Dots: Global inequality, poverty and wellbeing

We are delighted to welcome three world-leading experts to present compelling evidence about inequality and its impact. Join us as David Pilling, Africa Editor of the Financial Times and author of The Growth Delusion; Kate Pickett, author of The Inner Level, sequel to the acclaimed The Spirit Level; and Danny Dorling of the University of Oxford, author of Peak Inequality: Britain’s Ticking Time Bomb, kick off a day exploring new and radical ideas of how to solve poverty and inequality.

Thu
14
Jun

Diversify: Six degrees of integration - CANCELLED

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event is cancelled. Apologies for any disappointment.

Wed
13
Jun

Cycling City: Why aren't we there yet?

Join Rachel Aldred of the University of Westminster as she helps us re-imagine York as a true cycling city on a par with Groningen, Copenhagen and Cambridge.

Wed
13
Jun

Museums, Micro-volunteering and a New Era of Audience Engagement

What is micro-volunteering? Why should you consider it? Join Hannah Rose Mather, Culture and Heritage Supervisor at Jarrow Hall, Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, to discover the benefits of micro-volunteering.

Tue
12
Jun

Organising British Crime: James Morton in conversation with Mark Roodhouse

James Morton, author of the bestselling Gangland series, talks with crime historian Mark Roodhouse about the challenges of researching and writing the history of serious and organised crime.

Tue
12
Jun

The Business of World Cup Football

The Soccer World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events across the globe. In an event chaired by Greg Dyke, former Chairman of the Football Association, management historians Kevin Tennent and Alex Gillett of the University of York explain the organisation and marketing of some of the most successful world cups in history.

Tue
12
Jun

Ladders and Greasy Poles: Social mobility today

What does social mobility really mean in Britain today? Is establishing a meritocracy a realistic, or even a desirable, social goal? Our panel of speakers includes educationalists and social activists Melissa Benn, Diane Reay and Terry Wrigley.

Sat
9
Jun

Nowherelands: An atlas of vanished countries 1840-1975

Drawing on fiction, eye-witness accounts and historical sources, writer Bjørn Berge casts an unconventional eye over lost nations. Join him to hear the stories of countries that once existed but have now have been erased from the map.

Sat
9
Jun

Seebohm Rowntree Re-considered

Seebohm Rowntree was a major figure locally, nationally and internationally, known through his pioneering work on poverty, as well as other areas of social action and concern. Join Jonathan Bradshaw and Bill Sheils of the University of York as they examine the context of Rowntree’s work in the early 20th century and consider its importance and relevance in today’s world.

Sat
9
Jun

York’s Dark Past: Crime, punishment and justice

Delve into York’s dark past as we investigate the city’s hidden secrets and reveal the history of crime, justice and punishment. Take a tour of the Debtors’ Prison at York Castle Museum or join us for a guided crime walk. Of if you prefer to take things at your own pace, be among the first to try out a new self-guided podcast walking tour.

Fri
8
Jun

UK Tuition Fees: The future of university financing

What is the future of university financing? Join experts speakers including Amatey Doku, Vice President (Higher Education) of the National Union of Students, Jack Britton of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Lorenza Antonucci of the University of Birmingham and Diana Beech of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Fri
8
Jun

York Law School 10-year Anniversary Moot

As part of the York Law School’s tenth anniversary celebrations, you are invited to a public moot featuring two teams of students from the School, with Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrbarti acting as judge.

Fri
8
Jun

Brexit, Culture Wars and Universities

What is the role of universities in post-Brexit Britain? Following a keynote speech by Nicky Morgan MP, former Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, our panellists discuss whether universities have lost public trust in the aftermath of Brexit and how they can better engage with the public.

Fri
8
Jun

Social Mobility, Skills and an Inclusive Economy

What is the value of UK universities and what is their place in the economy? Experts including Lee Elliot Major, Chief Executive of The Sutton Trust, Claire Crawford of the University of Warwick, Kate Barclay of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Andy Westwood of the University of Manchester address the relationship between universities, skills training, and social mobility.

Fri
8
Jun

Lessons from Australia: What can UK education learn from Australia?

Join Margaret Gardner, Vice-Chancellor of Monash University and Chair of Universities Australia, as she discusses education in the age of disruption and innovation with BBC News Education Correspondent Sean Coughlan. What lessons can we learn from the Australian higher education sector?

Fri
8
Jun

The Impact, Value and Future of UK Universities

What are universities for? Who are they for? How do they enhance society? Join Lord David Willetts, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation and former Minister for Universities and Science, and William Whyte, author of Redbrick: A Social and Architectural History of Britain’s Civic Universities, as they put the issues into context.

Wed
6
Jun

How to Do Good

Inspirational personal stories from some extraordinary people making a difference in our world. The acclaimed ‘How to do good’ tour mixes performance with challenging and stimulating speeches and discussion about how everyone can help to address some of the great humanitarian challenges of our age – from the refugee and migration crises to gender equality, healthcare and education.

Festival themes