Hivos co-organising international think-fest: the G8 of philosophy

April 9, 2014

On 18 April, Hivos, together with public broadcasting foundation Human and the popular Filosophie Magazine, will invite the top of the world’s philosophers to Amsterdam to help us gain insights and gather expertise into the most important issues of our time.

Through a unique crowdsourcing initiative, the public has chosen Peter Sloterdijk, John Gray, Chantal Mouffe and Zygmunt Bauman as the greatest current thinkers. Aziz al-Azmeh, Benjamin Barber, Damon Young, Markus Gabriel and Sophie Oluwole received a wild card. Together they will be asked to tackle issues such as justice and politics, the environment and sustainability, ethics and happiness, the economy, education and development. These topics are not only important in the Netherlands, but also worldwide.

Hivos has been part of the organising committee because we realise that the division of the world in North and South – and by extension ´our problems´ and ´their problems´ – is becoming blurred. Economic crises and climate change are questioning our Western models. Polarisation and intolerance are burning issues in some Muslim countries, but are also considered a latent problem in the Netherlands. The G8 of Philosophy will address a range of social questions we have collected from practitioners in the Netherlands, such as:  As religion loses its importance in Western Europe, have we lost the virtue of caring for others? How do we deal with the growing education gap between citizens in our societies? And what to do about the people’s crumbling trust in their political institutions?

On 18 April in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we will tap into the expertise of global thinkers. Their ideas will be used to start up new projects that are of value everywhere – along the lines of ‘think global, act local.’

The G8 is sold out, but the evening will be documented through a live blog, long-reads and film. Parts of the programme will be broadcasted by Human.