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Environmental campaigner Naomi Klein launches new series of York Ideas events

Posted on 14 September 2020

Environmental writer and activist Naomi Klein will launch this year’s York Ideas autumn events series at the University of York.

Naomi Klein launching this year's York Ideas autumn events series

The virtual discussion and debate on 1 October entitled, On Fire: The Case for a Green New Deal will be delivered in partnership with the University of York Students' Union (YUSU) and Teamwork Arts, producers of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) who are partners of the York Festival of Ideas.

The event will be live-streamed on both the York Ideas channel and the JLF Brave New World channel, presented by Teamwork Arts.

York Ideas

Ms Klein who is the author of bestsellers including, On Fire: The Case for a Green New Deal,  will be joined in conversation by the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, Professor Kiran Trehan, a specialist in leadership, and ethical sustainable business practice.

The autumn series will build on the development of the York Ideas virtual events platform which alongside the York Ideas YouTube channel was used to deliver this summer’s 2020 York Festival of Ideas online.  The festival - delivered online due to the Coronavirus pandemic - produced 97 events over 13 days with 45 partners for a global audience of more than 43,000 people in 130 countries.

Ms Klein will invite questions from the audience about her work which examines the impact of economic decision making, globalisation, the effects of capitalism and how they impact on the climate crisis.

The University’s Library – central to York students’ learning experiences -  will also be providing online access to several of Ms Klein’s books, along with multiple print copies of,  On Fire: The Case for a Green New Deal,  for use by this year’s freshers student cohort. The book is being released in paperback with new Covid-related material in mid-September. The Library will also be encouraging all students to explore, debate and challenge the ideas set out in the book for themselves through its promotion of the book as "Book of the Autumn."


Joan Concannon, Director of External Relations at the University of York and Director of York Festival of Ideas said: “We are truly honoured to host Naomi Klein, one of the world’s most influential writers, to launch the York Ideas Autumn events series.

“Ms Klein has worked for more than two decades on the impact of economic decision making, globalisation, and the effects of capitalism on society. We are delighted to host an event that explores how these themes can be harnessed to address the climate crisis. We are particularly honoured to do this in collaboration with YUSU, our fantastic and innovative student union.

“The University of York is a university for public good with a global mindset. We believe passionately in facilitating our students’ ability to engage with a wide range of ideas and research from around the world. That is why we are also particularly proud to work with Teamwork Arts, the producer of Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free festival.

“The York Ideas series will feature a range of additional high-profile speakers in the coming months.”


President of YUSU, Patrick O’Donnell said: "I'm delighted to welcome Naomi Klein to York to kick off our programme of events for the new academic year. Students here at York care deeply about issues beyond our campus, whether in regards to protecting our local environment and campaigning on both global social and climate justice issues. 

"Our student officers are really keen to lead proactive conversations among the student body, where we can all play our role in protecting our communities and the planet. We have a packed programme of events to follow Ms Klein's time with us and we look forward to continuing our discussions with the entire University community over the next year, at a time of significant change across the world."

 Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork arts said: “Our ongoing partnership with the University of York and the York Festival of Ideas is inspiring and we look forward to co-presenting Naomi Klein on October 1st on JLF Brave New World which was set up in the wake of the pandemic to ensure the free flow of knowledge and information across continents.”

The online event is free, open to the public and will take place at 7pm on 1 October.

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