Festival of Politics discusses life in a digital age


Life in a digital age and the use of social media to empower people are today’s hot topics at the Festival of Politics.

Life in a digital age and the use of social media to empower people are today’s hot topics at the Festival of Politics.

Opening with, ‘Is the internet good for democracy?’ the event is chaired by Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh Susan Deacon, alongside representatives from Microsoft and a digital agency. Kevin Dunion, the Scottish Information Commissioner, chairs the ‘Access to information? There’s a website for that!’ event that explores whether new media actually makes it easier for people to ask for information. In Intellectual Property and the Law, former Runrig member Pete Wishart MP discusses why and how the system should be reformed.

Other events today include:

BBC Scotland’s will host its ‘Big Debate’, where audience members will be able to put their questions to a panel of politicians on the news of the week.

In the ‘Young Voices’ session, BBC Scotland’s Ken MacDonald, Cathy McCulloch from the Children’s Parliament and John Carnochan the Head of Strathclyde Police Violence Reduction Unit join a panel of policy and planning experts to consider how children’s voices can influence national and local panning, with a special look at the vibrant EcoCities project.

Is Scottish education inspiring our pupils to reach for the sporting challenges? – With the Olympic and Commonwealth Games on the horizon, a panel of speakers including BBC presenter and former Scottish international rugby player John Beattie and Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP, sporting chiefs and academics debate whether schools are playing their part in inspiring pupils to engage with sport and reach for sporting challenges.

Burnsong Political Songhouse – Burnsong provides time and space for some of Scotland’s most talented songwriters to collaborate and create new work. Tonight’s line up of Frank Marstokk, Annie Grace, Patricia Panther, Aly Macrae, Stevie Palmerand Lisa Rigby present their songs of protest and concern.

The P Word by Israel Horovitz – The Byre Theatre of St Andrews will showcase their production which is based on a newspaper story of a teenage pregnancy pact on Facebook and explores the choices facing young people in an age of social media.

Programme availability and tickets:

  • Online from www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk
  • By telephone: 0131 473 2000 (calls via RNID Typetalk: 18001 0131 473 2000)
  • By post: to the Festival of Politics, Hub Tickets, The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
  • In person: The Scottish Parliament or The Hub.

Full details of the festival programme are available from www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk
Or follow us: Facebook www.facebook.com/festivalofpolitics and twitter @festofpol

Festival Partners

This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with

  • Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
  • The Law Society of Scotland


The Festival, which runs from 20 - 27 August, presents a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate. On their way to and from events, visitors will be able to view one of the largest and most prestigious photographic exhibitions - the World Press Photo exhibition 2011. Striking images taken by the world’s leading photojournalists that depict dramatic, life-changing events from around the world, line the public entrance to the Scottish Parliament. Photographic events for the public will take place alongside this year’s Festival sessions.  

Members of the media should contact:
Sally Coyne: 0131 348 6265 RNID TypeTalk calls welcome
Email: sally.coyne@scottish.parliament.uk

For public information enquiries, contact:
Telephone: 0800 092 7500
Textphone users can contact us on 0800 092 7100. We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service.

Text message: 07786 209888
Email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk

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