Big Ideas Are Back For "Aspiring Conversations"

14 February 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Ireland’s former President Mary Robinson lead the programme for
Wanaka’s Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas to be held in Wanaka from 6–8 April.

The session featuring the two leaders is one of 11 events in the festival programme. Festival director Philip Tremewan says this year’s programme reflects the, “post-truth world we live in where social media and fake news often hold sway.”

“Aspiring Conversations turns that around in a weekend where we gather as real people in real time to hear speakers who have real expertise in their fields – from history to human rights, from science to song. It’s a time for reflection, discussion and debate.”

Nine speaker sessions during the festival feature subjects as diverse as politics, justice, the universe, diet and disease, depression and anxiety, natural resources, and mining.

Two special performance events are included in the programme. ‘Memories in Song’ features New Zealand singer-songwriters Warren Maxwell, Reb Fountain and Anthonie Tonnon in conversation with music journalist Nick Bollinger and singing songs that dip into their memories.

And not to be missed is Dutch performance artist Nick Steur whose mind-boggling show FREEZE! will make you question the laws of physics.

Tickets for Aspiring Conversations are on sale from Friday 23 February through the Aspiring Conversations
website -

Aspiring Conversations is sponsored by Milford Asset Management and is presented in association with
McKinsey & Company. The festival is supported through grants from Creative New Zealand, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, and Queenstown Lakes District Council.