Bonfire

Firesides

Vichaar Manthan aims to explore the narratives that societies tell each other and to themselves. These stories embody, legitimise and contextualise the knowledge and experiences of a society.  They order a collective memory. The most powerful stories shape our behaviour and in turn influence institutions to react to the world in equal stead.  

At the Sustainable Narratives 2020 conference, we explored the most prevailing and long-lasting stories about how we govern a truly globalised technological world. What are the stories we tell ourselves about how nation-states regulate large, powerful international corporations; or ought to build greater real-time transparency, and therefore greater accountability; or to re-think the relationship between nationalism and fraternity amongst a citizenry? We put each prevailing narrative in the dock and cross-examined it in the light of sustainability. 

2050: Global Order

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Shashi Tharoor explores what he thinks are the biggest challenges facing humanity over the next thirty years. How will technology alter democracy? Is liberty under threat? Will Nationalism outgrow internationalism? How will the Indian story play out in the light of a dominant China, and a nationalist America? Is Europe in a permanent decline? And what will the international order in 2050 look like? Watch online as we explore the toughest challenges facing humanity.

Read our paper here:

The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense

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Professor Gad Saad tells us about his upcoming book on how bad ideas, which are infectious, are harming our ability to use Common sense.  In a very candid exploration he will draw on his experiences at western universities which are often hotbeds for “no platforming”, “political correctness”, and a general drift away from reason. He offers a solution to help us bring reason and common-sense back to the centre ground, and how to defeat the pandemic of bad ideas percolating in our lives. Watch online for the candid and edgy conversation.

Read our paper here:

Understanding Trump and the rise of American nationalism

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Donald Trump is a polarising global figure. He is out to create a new world order by his own accord. A world order where America comes first and looks after its own interests above all others. He has systematically weakened international institutions, and encouraged nationalism all over the world. Watch the conversation online with Suhag Shukla, for an earnest exploration of Trumpism - motives and objectives. 

Read our paper here:

Angrynomics

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The world is an angry place according to Eric Lonergan. This anger is legitimate and long overdue. The disparities between what economists and elites think, and the models they create, in relation to the experience of flesh and blood human beings are widening to a point of political upheaval. Watch online as we explore the remedy of angrynomics.  

Read our paper here:

Sustainable Ethics

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Human beings strive to lead an ethical life. Principles which underpin our experience of the world, ourselves and shape the decisions we make. The world, to a large extent can be said to represent the combined ethics of humanity. What can we do to live a more sustainable life? What does it mean to live sustainably? Watch online as we explore the moral maze of Sustainable Ethics. 

Read our paper here:

Big state small state

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What is better for human flourishing - a BIG state, one that takes a paternal role towards its citizens and proactively intervenes and shapes and guides the life of individuals? Or is a small state better, one that provides the basics - defence, security, and infrastructure, but refrains from involvement in the life of the individual? Will the Chinese model of governance model become the most dominant, or the Scandanavian interventionist model, or the American model of maximising individual liberty? Watch online as we explore the future of the Nation-State with Abhijit Iyer Mitra. 

Read our paper here:

Women & Islam

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Drishti was born in a Muslim household in the United Kingdom. Today she is a Hindu, and the President of the National Hindu Students’ Forum - the largest Hindu student organisation outside of India.

Join us as we explore her journey. How liberated and empowered are women in modern Islam? What do madressas teach young girls about themselves and their place in society? How difficult is it for young people to leave Islam, and what can ex-Muslims do to find their rightful place in society?

Read our paper here:

De-constructing Postmodernism?

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Kushal Mehra

Postmodern thought underpins much of our public life. It has permeated across academia, architecture, art and literature. Postmodern ideas undermine truth claims, and as such liberate the human being from the shackles of societal norms and custom. While at the same time uprooting the individual from the bonds which gave security, a degree of certainty and belonging. Watch online us as we explore what is postmodern thought? Why is it so powerful and all-pervading? 

Read our paper here: