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BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival: Power to the People in association with Cafe Culture North East

Building Bridges and Other Megastructures

Booking Information

To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.

Venue: Northern Rock Foundation Hall

Tickets: Free but ticketed (Max 4 per person)


Democracy was the most successful political idea of the last century but can it survive the digital age? Anne McElvoy is joined by guests including David Runciman, author of How Democracy Ends, Rod Liddle, associate editor of The Spectator; Caroline MacFarland, the head of a think tank promoting the interests of ‘millennials’ and geographer Danny Dorling to assess the influence of people power in the 21st century.

David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University currently working on a project about the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories in the twenty-first century. David’s books include Politics: Ideas in Profile, The Confidence Trap, and the forthcoming, How Democracy Ends.

Caroline MacFarland is the founder and director of Common Vision (CoVi), an independent think tank with a mission to ‘inspire civic engagement and policy understanding amongst the millennial generation’. Previously, she was managing director at the think tank ResPublica, one of the founding team members of the foundation Power to Change, and a special advisor to the Big Lottery Fund.

Rod Liddle is an associate editor of The Spectator and a columnist for The Sunday Times and The Sun. The author of Selfish Whining Monkeys: How we Ended Up Greedy, Narcissistic and Unhappy, Liddle is a former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Danny Dorling is Professor of Geography at Oxford University and the author of Population 10 Billion. His research focuses on housing, health, employment, education and poverty. His recent books include Do We Need Economic Inequality?, The Equality Effect and he co -wrote Why Demography Matters.

Anne McElvoy is Senior Editor at The Economist, and writes columns for London Evening Standard and a range of other newspapers. She appears as a commentator on news programmes, as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze and presents radio documentaries and BBC Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme Free Thinking.

For your information…

  • Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Monday 5 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Monday 19 February.
  • Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
  • To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.

Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2018