The Festival of Economics, one of the largest events of its kind in the UK, will take place in Bristol between 13 and 18 November 2017 and promises to deliver a broad and inclusive agenda of talks and discussion. The festival, led by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership as part of the year-round Festival of Ideas, is in its sixth year and is expected to draw in over 5,000 people.

Triodos Bank, Europe's leading sustainable bank, is headline sponsor for the first time and will be promoting messages around sustainable finance, ensuring that lessons are being learnt by the financial industry ten years on from the economic crash.

The festival has been programmed by Professor Diane Coyle (University of Manchester) - winner of the recent Indigo Prize for suggesting a better way to measure the wealth of modern nations than gross national product (GDP). Festival highlights include:

  • Keynote Address on Wednesday 15 November, 18.30 from Stephanie Flanders, former BBC Economics Editor and head of the newly formed Bloomberg Economics unit
  • Eric Beinhocker of University of Oxford and author of the influential The Origin of Wealth on Thursday 16 November, 18.30
  • Writer and commentator Michael Lewis on the origins of behavioural economics
  • Sessions featuring leading commentators and specialists on: on the future of money; statistics, lies and truth; trade, Trump and Brexit; robots and the gig economy; who owns Britain; and the fourth industrial revolution.

And in a special advance event:

  • Robert Peston, political editor of ITV, on his new book WTF: What the F--- Happened and What Happens Next? on Friday 10 November, 18.30

Andrew Kelly, Director of the Festival of Ideas, said: "Each year, experts from around the world debate with each other - and their audiences - some of the key economic questions of our time. We're honoured this year to have over 50 speakers looking at issues as wide ranging as the economics of the NHS, the fourth industrial revolution, and the future of money.

"We're delighted this festival is now associated with Triodos Bank. We have aspirations to make the festival bigger and reach new audiences, and the bank's support will help us achieve this."

The festival is highly regarded for offering some events free of charge and accessible pricing elsewhere. It includes a day for schools to debate economics issues with free entry, travel grants, and free attendance at the wider festival events. It also includes an annual schools competition where six schools compete against each other on solutions to pressing economic and societal problems.

Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK, said: "It is high time more alternative thinking is promoted around our economic and financial system and for us to work harder to create a global economy that works better for people and planet.  We need to move the debate on from what has gone wrong. In banking, we have proven at Triodos that money can be a force for social, cultural and environmental good and deliver sustainable growth. This is why we remain optimistic and have put our support behind this fantastic festival and greater debate on an alternative economic future."


Twitter: @FestivalofIdeas #economicsfest
Catch up with Festival of Economics via our YouTube channel and on SoundCloud.

All events take place in We the Curious (At-Bristol), apart from the Gordon Brown and Michael Lewis talks.

Media enquiries 
Ed Grattan, PR and Comms Manager
Triodos Bank
[email protected]
01173110229 / 07817413792

Notes to editors

About Festival of Ideas

Bristol Festival of Ideas aims to stimulate debate and discussion for all. Established in 2005, the year-round festival covers a wide range of topics and welcomes, among others, scientists, artists, journalists, historians, novelists and commentators on all subjects.
Bristol Festival of Ideas is an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership that includes Arts Council England, BusinessWest, Bristol City Council, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol.

About Triodos Bank 
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way. With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request.