[Worldkings] Top ideas organizations in the world (P. 37) Institute of Art and Ideas (UK): A vibrant and progressive knowledge hub in the UK


(Worldkings.org) The Institute of Art and Ideas brings together the world's leading thinkers on today's biggest ideas. It provides free talks, debates, courses and interviews on topics ranging from science and politics, to philosophy and arts.

The Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI) is a British philosophy organisation founded in 2008. Covering the fields of philosophy, science, politics and the arts, as of October 2021 the IAI's online platform IAI.tv hosts more than 3000 videos, articles, courses and podcasts from internationally renowned thinkers, with new content updated daily. The IAI is responsible for organising the bi-annual festival HowTheLightGetsIn, the biggest philosophy and music festival in the world aimed at "tackling the dearth of philosophy in daily life", in addition to monthly IAI Live events.


The IAI was founded by philosopher Hilary Lawson with a mission to explore "the cracks in our thinking, in order to change how we think and how we change the world”. The IAI's first festival, Crunch, focussed on the visual arts and was held in November 2008 in the wake of the financial crash. In May 2009, the IAI held its first philosophy festival HowTheLightGetsIn in the book town of Hay-on-wye. In the following few years the festival grew rapidly and by 2011 included 360 events running over ten days. Since HowTheLightGetsIn began the IAI has put on more than 4000 events.

The IAI's festival HowTheLightGetsIn formulates its theme and programme around debates with headline speakers and live talks, in addition to live bands and soloists, comedy, cabaret and DJs. Speakers have included Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, Liz Truss, Roger Penrose, A.S. Byatt, Paul Krugman, Jess Phillips, Rory Stewart, Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Bianca Jagger, and Slavoj Žižek, along with musicians Brian Eno, Clean Bandit, Laura Marling, and comedians James Acaster and Robin Ince.


In October 2011, the IAI launched an online platform IAI.tv with videos of the debates and talks at its events. Its audience has grown steadily since it was launched first passing 10 million views in July 2020. Nowadays, IAI.tv is an online platform publishing articles, videos and courses. It includes three sources of content: IAI Player, IAI News and IAI Academy.

IAI Player is an online channel where the debates and talks curated by the IAI and hosted at the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival are released and made available online.

IAI News is an online magazine of ideas. It publishes philosophical articles on science, politics, and the arts along with core philosophy themes such as metaphysics and language.

IAI Academy is an educational platform of online courses in philosophy, politics, art and science aimed at fostering a progressive and vibrant intellectual culture.

Beginning in September 2016, the IAI has published its weekly podcast, Philosophy for our Times, featuring IAI debates and talks from the HowTheLightGetsIn festival. In 2021 the podcast was ranked as the Best UK Philosophy Podcast by FeedSpot, based on traffic, social media followers, domain authority and freshness.


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