Blog | 11 October 2021

Festival of Politics 2021

Edinburgh International Culture Summit is delighted to continue our programme of digital events with our partners, this month in collaboration with the Scottish Parliament. The 2021 Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics returns this year as a digital festival with global reach. With events running 20–24 October, it brings together a range of voices to discuss major issues facing the country and our planet today.

Members of the Scottish Parliament, journalists and academics are included among the participants and speakers, creating a programme designed to inspire the audience and enable them to make informed decisions and choices. The festival hopes to provide a democratic public service. To this aim, they have elected to make all events free to attend and discursive – giving interested members of the public the opportunity to speak directly to an expert in their field and put their questions to them.

With the city of Glasgow imminently hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the Festival of Politics 2021 has dedicated much of their programme to this crucial conversation. Speakers will discuss perspectives both global and local, shine a light on how our leaders are responding to the climate emergency, and offer advice for how we as individuals can all play our part in creating a more sustainable way of living.

Other equally important topics will be discussed during the Festival of Politics 2021. These include the social and economic road to recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic; how to empower the voices of ethnic minorities living in Scotland to become involved in politics; whether Universal Basic Income could end child poverty; future sources of energy; and how society can move responsibility away from victims and collectively challenge acts of violence against women.

Edinburgh International Culture Summit is proud to work in partnership with Festival of Politics. While culture and politics might be thought of as siloed branches of society, both culture and politics express not just who we are as a people, but also who we would like to be. Culture Summit believes that artists and creatives have powerful voices to lend to these important conversations – narratives that speak to the imagination of an audience, that can turn the esoteric into every-day belief, and that can play a crucial role in effecting positive change.

On Friday 22 October a panel of artists and art leaders will join us for Narratives for Change,  discussion of how the cultural world can help conceptualise the climate crisis, encourage greater empathy towards our planet, and develop sustainable working practices. To learn more head over to the Narratives for Change event page where you can also register for the event.

On Sunday 24 October in our second event with the Festival of Politics, we will be looking at the ways in which creativity, expression, action, and sociability can be a force for healing and wellbeing, and how art can help to support people both physically and emotionally. Find out more and register at Eventbrite: How important is culture in the health and well-being of society?

If you are interested in the Festival of Politics and want to explore the rest of the online programme, please visit their website:

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