Economics commentator Stephanie Flanders, Nobel Prize-winning Jean Tirole and former prime minister Gordon Brown all feature in the 2017 Festival of Economics.

The Festival of Economics, one of the largest events of its kind in the UK, will take place in Bristol between 13 and 18 November 2017 and promises to deliver a broad and inclusive agenda of talks and discussion. The festival, led by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership as part of the year-round Festival of Ideas, is in its sixth year and is expected to draw in over 5,000 people.

Triodos Bank, Europe’s leading sustainable bank, is headline sponsor for the first time and will be promoting messages around sustainable finance, ensuring that lessons are being learnt by the financial industry ten years on from the economic crash.

The festival has been programmed by Professor Diane Coyle (University of Manchester) – winner of the recent Indigo Prize for suggesting a better way to measure the wealth of modern nations than gross national product (GDP).

Festival highlights include:

  • Keynote Address on Wednesday 15 November, 18:30-19:30 from Stephanie Flanders, former BBC Economics Editor and head of the newly formed Bloomberg Economics unit
  • Eric Beinhocker of University of Oxford and author of the influential The Origin of Wealth on Thursday 16 November, 18:30-19:30
  • Writer and commentator Michael Lewis on the origins of behavioural economics on Monday 13 November, 18:30-19:30
  • Sessions featuring leading commentators and specialists on: on the future of money; statistics, lies and truth; trade, Trump and Brexit; robots and the gig economy; who owns Britain; and the fourth industrial revolution.

And in a special advance event:

  • Robert Peston, political editor of ITV, on his new book WTF: What the F—Happened and What Happens Next? on Friday 10 November, 18:30-19:30

Andrew Kelly, Director of the Festival of Ideas, said: “Each year, experts from around the world debate with each other – and their audiences – some of the key economic questions of our time. We’re honoured this year to have over 50 speakers looking at issues as wide ranging as the economics of the NHS, the fourth industrial revolution, and the future of money.

“We’re delighted this festival is now associated with Triodos Bank. We have aspirations to make the festival bigger and reach new audiences, and the bank’s support will help us achieve this.”

The festival is highly regarded for offering some events free of charge and accessible pricing elsewhere. It includes a day for schools to debate economics issues with free entry, travel grants, and free attendance at the wider festival events. It also includes an annual schools competition where six schools compete against each other on solutions to pressing economic and societal problems.

Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK, said: “It is high time more alternative thinking is promoted around our economic and financial system and for us to work harder to create a global economy that works better for people and planet.  We need to move the debate on from what has gone wrong. In banking, we have proven at Triodos that money can be a force for social, cultural and environmental good and deliver sustainable growth. This is why we remain optimistic and have put our support behind this fantastic festival and greater debate on an alternative economic future.”

More information about the events can be found here.

Follow on Twitter@FestivalofIdeas and #economicsfest and catch up with previous years’ Festival of Economics via our YouTube channel and on SoundCloud.


Triodos Bank


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