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Free Speech Champions: Reimagining the Public Square

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Historically, individuals and groups, from artists to academics, religious minorities to civil rights activists, have benefited from freedom of speech and tolerance of different beliefs and opinions. Unfortunately, today, whether on the university campus or in the digital arena, free speech is more likely to be considered a potential problem than something to aspire to.

So, what are the main barriers to open expression and the free exchange of ideas? What can a new generation do to champion and even reimagine the case for free speech? How do we ensure freedom of speech is at the heart of the public square? Do we need to create new spaces to think and speak freely and be exposed to a wide range of ideas?

The launch event of the new and exciting Free Speech Champions project brings together young people, students, academics, writers and public intellectuals to discuss, and hopefully begin, to provide some answers to these fundamental questions.

About Free Speech Champions (http://freespeechchampions.com/)

The Free Speech Champions Project is an exciting new initiative to encourage free speech, particularly among the younger generation. We are inspired by the heroes of past free speech struggles, but our mission is to make the case for free speech in ways that can convince people today.

The Free Speech Champions project is partnered with the Battle of Ideas charity and the Free Speech Union.

Speakers:

Greg Lukianoff
Dr Arif Ahmed
Inaya Folarin Iman
Izzy Posen
Sophie Watson
Emma Gilland
Bradley Strotten
Ella Whelan

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Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

Founded in 2006, our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

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Why join Films For Action?

Goal: To rapidly transition to a just, ecologically sustainable, holistic way of living as fast as possible.

We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

Ultimately, we're just one star in this growing constellation of new media, but we aim to do our part by cultivating the best video library dedicated to transition online, and we hope you'll join us