We live in an increasingly streamlined world. The primary focus of many schools of thought is to achieve the results required in the simplest, most effective and speediest way possible. In such a world, the focus is on the answer rather than the deliberation of the question. The symposium examines the effectiveness of such a precipitate approach and offers participants the rare opportunity to slow down and take stock of their external and internal surroundings.
The central premise of the Agora Dialogue is that everyone has the capacity to influence and inform public opinion and has a duty to do so. Engaging in critical discussion and honest reflection are the foundational tools by which one can weigh up current modes of thought, respond to issues that arise and do so with fluidity and creativity.
These are thoughtful leadership skills and they have the capacity to galvanise attention and encourage action whatever industry a leader works within. It is envisaged that participants of the symposium will leave the five-day course equipped with such tools, and that these tools will be utilised both personally and professionally to inspire and enrich the lives of those around them and bring about a more sustainable and secure society.
The purpose of the symposium is not to influence or alter participants’ current beliefs; on the contrary, it is designed to offer participants space to explore a number of well-chosen texts that present them with wide variety of alternative perceptions and viewpoints on contemporary issues.
The symposium harkens back to a time where contemplation and inquiry were the cornerstones of education and knowledge. Participants are not graded or examined on their familiarity or understanding of the subject matter, only encouraged to explore it with open-mindedness and objective consideration.
Through a process of informed and respectful discourse, the symposium traverses a range of ideas from the early Greek philosophers to contemporary thinkers such as Nussbaum, Piketty and Armstrong. Concepts of justice, equity, climate, freedom and what it means to live a good life are considered through the Agora Dialogue’s reading curriculum.
It is the intention of the symposium to expand an attendee’s appreciation of a range of issues pivotal to having a meaningful engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, in whatever country the participant may live.