Big Tent Digital past events
Road to Recovery? Testing, Vaccines and Mental Health
‘We can start to plan for a life going back to normal after Easter, but mass testing will be vital’ says Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
There is much to be optimistic about in 2021 but vaccines and testing must become part of the ‘new normal’, was the general sentiment at Big Tent Digital panel: “Road to Recovery? Testing, Vaccines and Mental Health”, last night (9th December 2020).
From Words to World Changing: How can the UK Government Deliver on its Development Manifesto?
“No good reason for cutting the aid budget right now” say development experts
At a Big Tent Digital event last night (24 November) international development experts from Unicef UK and Centre for Global Development criticised the planned decrease in the UK aid budget and called for the Government to ensure the remaining budget is used more efficiently and that the ambitious pledges outlined in the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto are delivered on.
The Power of Women’s Leadership in Times of Crisis
“The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) needs to be rethought” say experts calling for equal participation from women and minorities
At a Big Tent Digital event yesterday (23 November 2020), panellists from CARE International UK, ActionAid UK, Plan International UK, Women’s Environment Network (WEN) and the Centenary Action Group explored the importance of female leadership in the management of the climate crisis, looking at the intersectionality of empowering women, minorities and local communities.
Virtually Penniless: the Banking Digital Divide
“The market will not deliver” agree experts as the Government looks at how to promote financial inclusion in cashless Britain
At a Big Tent Digital event last night (10 November) Guy Opperman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, spoke with a number of experts on financial inclusion about how to make sure people aren’t left behind as the UK morphs into a cashless society.
Conflict and Poverty: What is the role of the UK?
‘Where’s Number 10’s strategic intent?’ asks foreign policy experts
The UK needs to step up to the plate when it comes to its foreign policy, this was the general sentiment at a panel event organised by Big Tent Digital and The HALO Trust last night (27 October).
Permission Accomplished: How can local authorities tackle corruption risks?
It is time to “stop the rot” of planning development corruption, say anti-corruption experts
A large number of councils across the UK currently do not have the adequate regulations and processes in place to prevent corruption, and if changes aren’t made this risks undermining the public’s trust in local authorities. This topic was debated at an event organised by Big Tent Digital and Transparency International this morning (27 October).
Big Tent: The Queer Debate
The Queer Debate: what are the biggest challenges for the LGBTQ+ community in 2020?
On 15th October, Big Tent Digital hosted its first Queer Debate, where members of the LGBTQ+ community from around the world will meet to discuss a wide range of issues facing its members and find constructive ways through which to increase inclusivity, improve mental health and promote individual freedom.
Education in the Digital Age: Realising rights, access and opportunity
“Are children in the UK getting the digital tools they need?” asks education activists ahead of the new school year
What can the education sector do in order to improve students’ access to digital learning tools, and how should it engage with the private sector to both acquire the most efficient educational technology (EdTech) and enable students to enter the technology sector after graduating? These were questions asked at a digital event hosted by Big Tent Digital last night (8 September).
The Super Department? The Future for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
“We don’t want to see an erosion of transparency and accountability” international aid experts say in response to looming DFID/FCO merger
What are the true motivations behind the creation of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and whose interest will it serve – the UK Government or the world’s poor? These were questions asked at a digital event hosted by Big Tent Digital last night (4th August).
IN Conversation with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Jeremy Hunt MP on UK’s foreign policy outlook: “Britain is not a spent force on the world stage”
In a digital session organised by Big Tent Ideas yesterday afternoon (22nd July) Jeremy Hunt MP, former Foreign Secretary and Conservative Party leadership candidate, put forward his view on UK foreign policy in the post-COVID and post-Brexit world, and why he thinks the country has to remain a leader in international development.
Mental Health and Isolation
The role of community in protecting mental health
“We’re tired of waiting for other people to make change” says youth mental health charity
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on youth mental health was the focus of discussion at a Big Tent Digital event chaired by Luciana Berger, former Shadow Minister for Mental Health, on Thursday night (16th July).
The Lost Generation
COVID-19 and the education gap
“We need to be better prepared”: education experts discuss how to avoid a ‘lost generation’ of UK students
If a concerted effort isn’t made to support students of all ages and backgrounds as they head back to schools in September, the UK risks seeing a “lost generation” of pupils that will struggle to catch up educationally and professionally. This was discussed at a digital event organised by Big Tent Ideas on Tuesday evening (7th July).
The case for putting local communities at the heart of plans for a new resilient Britain
More community involvement needed in social services says Local Trust
Local communities across Britain need to be given a bigger say in the re-shaping of public policy as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the consensus expressed at a digital event organised by Big Tent Ideas on Thursday evening (25th June), Chaired by Rob McMillan, of Sheffield Hallam University.
A Home for All
What do we need to give everyone the security of a safe and settled home during during these unprecedented times?
“We’re at a crossroads” says homeless charity Crisis
Without the right initiatives put in place, a large number of the homeless people currently benefiting from Government-funded temporary accommodation across the UK risk ending up without a place to stay this summer. This was the message of Crisis, the UK’s biggest charity focused on ending homelessness, presented at a digital event organised by Big Tent Ideas on Thursday evening (18th June).
IN Conversation with John Humphrys and David Blunkett
“Communication has been shocking” – Former Home Secretary David Blunkett speaks out on Government’s COVID-19 response
Labour party politician David Blunkett spoke out about the UK Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a digital session hosted by Big Tent Digital on Monday night (1st June), criticising its mixed messages and how it has impacted the outfall of policies.
Big Tent Friends and Student Friends can watch a full replay of this event (Sign in required).
“Stories over scoops” – Janine di Giovanni and Sarah Baxter reflect on their lives as foreign correspondents
On Thursday 28th May, multi-award winning journalist and author Janine di Giovanni and The Sunday Times’ deputy editor Sarah Baxter came together for an in-depth conversation on their careers as reporters, moderated by Emily Benn as part of Big Tent Ideas’ series of digital events.
Janine di Giovanni, who has reported from numerous wars including the first Palestinian intifada and the siege of Sarajevo, explained how she moved from her initial academic path to journalism in order to share the stories of some of the most vulnerable communities around the world.
Group Psychology, Behavioural Science and Designing Policy
Thursday 21st May
“What I found interesting was the horror of the use of the word herd immunity which struck horror in the general public as the use of the word suggest treating people like cattle. It shows the importance of wording and terminology”.Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy UK
On Thursday, Rory Sutherland, Chairman of Ogilvy UK and Liam Halligan of the Telegraph discussed group psychology, behavioural science and designing policy. Rory outlined the benefits of behavioural science can have when developing public policy to help everyone adapt and thrive in times of profound change. Read about the discussions on our website.
The Balancing Act
Thursday 14th May
With grateful thanks to our speakers, Prof. Hugh Montgomery, Prof. Louise Kenny and Dr Séamus O’Neill.
Government needs to set the destination, not the route
On Thursday 14th May, Prof. Hugh Montgomery, Prof. Louise Kenny and Dr Séamus O’Neill came together for a Big Tent Digital event to discuss how the crisis of The COVID-19 response has failed to take into account regional differences, and the easing of lockdown needs to be communicated locally to reflect people’s immediate surroundings and risk factors.
Festival Friend or Student Friend? Click here to view a replay of this session (password required).
Testing the Nation
Thursday 30th April
The Big Tent Ideas Festival and Foundation would like to express their grateful thanks to our speakers, Polly Mackenzie, Paul Davis and Ryan Wain for their excellent and insightful discussion.
Mass testing needed to get us out of COVID-19 crisis
Accelerating the fight against COVID-19 will require a global scale-up of manufacturing of diagnostic tests, and the UK needs a senior minister with sole responsibility for mass testing. These were some of the views expressed in Big Tent Ideas’ first digital event of 2020, hosted on Zoom on the evening of 30 April.
The call for a new ministerial appointment came from Ryan Wain, Strategic Advisor to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change:
“Mass testing is the cornerstone of any viable exit strategy from this lockdown. It must sit alongside other measures including contact tracing and shielding. For this to be rolled out we need to see the appointment of a senior minister with sole responsibility for testing, reporting to the prime minister. On top of the superlabs already created across the country, we need to make sure smaller labs are also working at full capacity, new testing innovations are properly cultivated and scaled, and that the preparation for community testing starts now. Accomplishing this is possible, but will require extraordinary leadership and coordination.”
Professor Paul Davis, co-founder and chief scientific officer at Mologic, discussed how his firm has developed independently validated antibody tests and made ready for scaled-manufacture with capability to process tens of thousands of results every day – relieving testing pressures in both the UK and Africa:
“Extraordinary efforts are currently being made to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and to Mologic it is clear that focus needs to be on not only the mass production of tests, but finding ways of delivering them to everyone in need, wherever they live, while maintaining transparency, responsiveness, and open collaboration.”
Presentation and replay
Friends of the Festival will be able to access a recording of the discussion here (password required)