DAY 2 – FRI 26 OCT ’18
THE ROLE OF REASON IN A FRACTIOUS SOCIETY
INCONVENIENT IDEAS AND HOW TO DISAGREE
THE DAY AFTER THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE
THE CULTURE OF COMPASSION
LIOR is one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters; a platinum selling album, winner of two ARIAs, nominated a further 6 times, and winner of an APRA Screen award.
Counting for something
In 1988 Marilyn Waring published her seminal text, Counting For Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth, a groundbreaking analysis of how GDP calculations exclude women’s contribution to society through unpaid labour. Thirty years on Marilyn reflects on what has changed and what still needs to be done.
MARILYN WARING CNZM is Professor of Public Policy at AUT University, Auckland. In 1975, at the age of 22 she became the youngest Member in the New Zealand Parliament.
Gender equality is one of the great moral issues of our time. The social landscape is changing rapidly and if you look past the extremes, both men and women exhibit genuine distress and confusion about the current state of affairs. What does it mean to be a good man/women, partner, parent, member of society, role model? How do we create a truly equal society.
The role of reason in a fractious society
Public debate is increasingly dominated by how people feel and “my truth”. The ideal of objective truth is in decline. Julian Baggini argues that, properly understood, reason not only allows room for different perspectives and feelings but is the only way of negotiating between them.
JULIAN BAGGINI is a philosopher and the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books. He was the founding editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine.
Inconvenient ideas and how to disagree
Whether we are talking politics or something as benign as which way to hang the toilet roll, we are increasingly intolerant of those views with which we disagree. Our views are laced with moral judgement, our language inflammatory, and our argument delivered with the intent to win rather than understand or find common ground. Alternative, uncomfortable or ‘politically inconvenient’ ideas are silenced and we find refuge in our political, social and cultural bubbles. ‘Feel free to unfriend me if you disagree’.
How do we re-learn how to listen with an open mind and make contributions with respect, logic, and clarity? How do we prioritize and ensure greater commitment to truth and fact over opinion and restore civility to public and political debate?
Any ordinary day
The day after the worst day of your life
“You open your eyes, swing your body out of bed, eat breakfast, get dressed and leave the house, your mind busy. As you close the front door behind you, rarely is there a tingle of unease that something is off. Later, when the story of what happened next comes to be told, it will start with the day’s deceptive ordinariness, something that will now seem incredible. How could a blindside so momentous have struck on a day that began so unremarkably?”
The day that turns a life upside down usually starts like any other, but what happens the day after? Leigh Sales talked intimately with people who’ve faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. How do ordinary people endure the unthinkable?
LEIGH SALES is one of Australia’s most respected journalists. As the anchor of the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 7.30, she has interviewed dozens of world leaders and celebrities, including Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio and Julie Andrews. She has interviewed every living Australian prime minister and also anchors the ABC’s federal election coverage. Leigh is the winner of two Walkley Awards, Australia’s highest journalism honour; the author of the books Detainee 002, On Doubt and Any Ordinary Day (Oct 2018); and the co-host of a popular podcast called Chat 10, Looks 3 with Annabel Crabb.
The culture of compassion
Drawing on six decades’ experience in social research, Hugh Mackay argues that social fragmentation is the greatest challenge we now face, because fragmentation leads to isolation and, since we are essentially social beings, isolation leads to a heightened risk of anxiety and depression. He suggests we need to become ‘ambassadors for compassion’, rebuilding trust in our local neighbourhoods and communities through a disciplined commitment to the exercise of kindness and respect – especially towards those we don’t agree with. He describes compassion as the only rational response to an understanding of what it means to be human.
HUGH MACKAY AO is a social researcher and bestselling author of 19 books, including The Good Life, The Art of Belonging, Beyond Belief and his latest, Australia Reimagined, published in May.
CHARLES SAMPFORD (AU)
Foundation Dean of Law and Director of the Institute of Ethics, Governance and Law