Topical Talk Festival

Take part in the world's biggest news festival for young people.

What are Topical Talk Festivals?

Topical Talk Festival is a seven-week global discussion between schools and leading topic experts on the top news stories and issues of our time: from socio-political topics like racism and equity to sustainability and the "climate crisis". Each festival is packed with inspiring activities, online events and awards for thoughtful conversations and ideas.

Your students will have the chance to

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    Connect with classrooms across the world

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    Engage with leading professionals and topic experts

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    Gain recognition for your school on a global stage


Global discussions

Following classroom sessions, students can log on to our unique online platform where they can discuss the topics covered by our Topical Talk resources.

Students can publish their opinions to a global audience, join informed, moderated discussions with young people from across the world and receive feedback from experts.

The Festival Student Hub is now live.

Explore the discussion

World-class resources

Select from a range of ten Topical Talk teaching resources to teach a weekly one-hour class. Created by teachers and Economist journalists, each resource is designed to support engaging classroom discussions.

Four resources will be available ahead of the launch, while a further six will be published during the Festival.

Topics and resources

Exclusive events

Access seven weeks of exciting events, including live lessons, expert Q&As and more.

Festival attendees will also have access to The Economist's full catalogue of subscriber events across the seven weeks.


How to win awards

Students achieve awards for discussions and standpoints, a final opinion piece which students submit on a topic studied during the Festival. These may be written, film or audio pieces and we encourage students to get creative.

Entries must be submitted by December 12th 2022 and our panel of expert judges will select winning standpoints for each topic.

Stars will be also be awarded throughout the Festival for thoughtful conversations and ideas and additional awards will be presented for stand-out contributions.

Is my school eligible?

The Festival is suitable for learners 10-14 years-old and is open to government-funded schools. Some low-fee paying schools that serve students with high needs (for example, students with special educational needs or those from low socioeconomic backgrounds) are eligible to take part.

Participation in a festival costs £299 per class (up to 34 students) and funding is offered to some schools.

Please note, you must be a Topical Talk account holder to take part. Sign up for your free account here before registering for the Festival.

Already have an account? Fantastic, you're ready to register for the Festival here.

Have a question?

Check out our festival FAQs or email the team at [email protected].

Have a Topical Talk account? Secure your Festival place today

Sign up now