Festival topics

There are eight discussion topics for Festival 2024. Take a look at the details below!

Resources will be available to download from their publish dates.


Standpoint support

Use this lesson to support students to plan, create and submit their Standpoints before March 20th.

Publish date: February 29th 2024


Topic 1

AI: education and the future of work

In this lesson, students will think creatively about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) could affect the future of education and work. They'll investigate how technology can take and make jobs before discussing how education might need to change for a world in which technology leads the way.

Publish date: January 15th 2024


Topic 2


From floods and forest fires to droughts and famines – worrying headlines about climate change often dominate the news and this is having an impact on people’s mental health. In this lesson, students will consider different perspectives and negotiate about how much “climate-crisis” news is too much – before hearing an expert’s advice about how to deal with eco-anxiety.

Publish date: January 22nd 2024


Topic 3

Prisons: emergency in Ecuador

In this lesson students will study information about a gang member who escaped from a prison in Ecuador. Then they’ll investigate how this news story links to bigger problems with Ecuador’s prison systems, before discussing: what’s going wrong?

Publish date: January 29th 2024


Topic 4

Business and politics: what could go wrong?

In a world where it’s easier than ever to share opinions, many businesses have made the decision to step into politics. Advertisements starring activists, “woke” slogans and decisions about who – and who not – to deal with have all made the news. In this lesson, students will take part in a series of mini debates to explore scenarios about what might happen when businesses and politics mix.

Publish date: February 5th 2024


Topic 5

Immigration: divisive policies

As part of a plan to stop asylum-seekers making dangerous journeys to the UK, the government has proposed a new policy that will send some to Rwanda. However, like many other immigration policies, the UK's plan is divisive. In this lesson students will consider a range of perspectives and policies to explore why.

Publish date: February 12th 2024


Topic 6

Women in media

In time for International Women’s Day 2024, this lesson gives students the chance to hear from dedicated changemakers in the media industry. They’ll hear from Zanny Minton Beddoes, the Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, alongside other leading investigative journalists, activists and editors, who will each spark a discussion about how best to achieve gender equality both in the news and behind the scenes.

Publish date: February 19th 2024


Topic 7

The Enhanced Games: are they fair?

Billionaire Peter Thiel has invested in a performance-enhancement-drug-friendly sports competition as a reinvention of the Olympic games. Some say the Enhanced Games will help people to learn more about what people are capable of. However, others aren’t sure it’s the right way forward – for athletes or the future of sport.

Publish date: February 26th 2024


Topic 8

The Indian election: what's the fairest system?

In 2024 around 2 billion people will vote to choose new leaders in elections that will affect 4.2 billion people – over half the global population. India, home to over 1.4 billion people, is one of the countries heading to the polls. But when so many people are involved, what’s the fairest system to choose a new leader? In this lesson, students will take part in some number-based games to help them decide.

Publish date: March 4th 2024