Bristol Ideas: Democracy and Freedom of Expression series

This event is part of a 2021 series on democracy and freedom of expression. Bristol Ideas are committed to looking at solutions to the great challenges that face us – what individuals, leaders, mayors, councils, governments, cities, communities, nations and others can do to support, strengthen and extend democracy and freedom of expression.

The series includes: programmes on the future of democracy, May elections, the monarchy, constitutions, English devolution, House of Lords reform, votes at 16; work exploring freedom of expression through the year; and a focus on democracy and cities in Festival of the Future City (20-21 October).

The project partners include English PEN, Prospect Magazine, the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath and the Observer. More events will be launched soon. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #FOIDemocracy and #CommonCurrency

About the speakers

Timothy Garton Ash is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and he writes a column on international affairs in the Guardian. He is the author of ten books, including: Essays, Sketches and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s (2000); Free World (2004); Facts are Subversive (2009); and Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World (2016), which draws upon a major Oxford university research project built around the 13-language website

Nigel Warburton is a freelance philosopher and podcaster and bestselling author of several popular introductory philosophy books including A Little History of Philosophy; Philosophy: The Basics; Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction; and Freedom: An Introduction with Readings. He has also co-edited two books based on his popular podcast, Philosophy Bites, which he makes with David Edmonds. Follow him on Twitter @philosophybites

A partnership between

What is Common Currency?

English PEN sits at the intersection of literature and advocacy, championing the freedom to write and the freedom to read.

Common Currency is our centenary programme - a unique project that combines timely debates on freedom of expression, creative campaigning and a celebration of diverse voices. It seeks to ignite a national conversation around issues of freedom of expression, led by writers and readers.

Every event in our programme is inspired by one of three key themes, based on our 100-year history:

1. Free speech and democracy

2. Languages and ideas

3. Celebrating women