Living Freedom 2022

Thursday 30 June – Saturday 2 July
Central London

Are you keen to defend free speech? To challenge Big Tech and the growth of online censorship? Want to understand historic ideals of tolerance and moral autonomy? Do you have concerns about attacks on civil liberties or artists being cancelled for their views? Are you interested in exploring the arguments for and against single-sex spaces in an open and tolerant way? Then Living Freedom is for you.


Living Freedom is the annual residential school aimed at anyone aged 18 to 30 that is interested in exploring and debating ideas and issues related to freedom.

Inaugurated in 2017 and run by Battle of Ideas, an educational and citizenship charity, Living Freedom is a school for young enthusiasts for freedom who are keen to get to grips with historical ideas and contemporary ideals. Since 2021, Living Freedom has been supported by Free Speech Champions, a network of young people dedicated to creating a space to think freely and question everything.

This year, the three-day school takes place in central London and is open to those living in the UK and beyond. The school provides a stimulating forum for around 60 young advocates of freedom who will attend expert talks, hear from writers, critics and campaigners, and participate in debates, seminars and workshops. You will also meet and socialise with your peers. 

At Living Freedom school, you will get to grips with the best that has been said and written over the centuries and important contemporary issues. Our expert thinkers and campaigners will help you explore the value of free speech and other freedoms today.

Who should attend?

Living Freedom thrives on an atmosphere of intellectual freedom. This event will appeal to students and graduates as well as to young campaigners, academics, professionals and creatives. In short, Living Freedom is for anyone who values getting behind the headlines and relishes the chance to engage in an open-ended exploration of new ideas.


For full details of the individual sessions, click here.

18:30 – 20:00 OPENING LECTURE
Past, present, future: freedom and the revenge of History


09:00 – 10:00 LECTURE
War on words: George Orwell and the battle over language

10:30 – 11:45 SHORT TALKS
Conversion controversies: Conversion Therapy Bill and implications for freedom

REVISITING CLASSICS OPTION 1: Vasily Grossman – Life and Fate
REVISITING CLASSICS OPTION 2: The Classical Era – Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven


14:00 – 15:00 LECTURE ON LIBERTY
Sexual freedom today

15:15 – 16:15 FREE SPEECH IN ACTION 1
OPTION 1. Fighting for Free Speech in Universities: why, what, how?
OPTION 2. Activism dilemmas: campaigners in conversation

16:30 – 17:30 SHORT TALKS
Is ‘cancel culture’ killing literature?

17:45 – 19:00 PANEL DISCUSSION
Big Tech and online censorship: how can we solve a problem like misinformation?


09:30 – 10:30 LECTURE
A Lecture Concerning Toleration

11:00 – 12:00 LECTURE
Sovereignty after covid


13:00-14:15 WORKSHOPS
What the papers say

14:30 – 15:30 FREE SPEECH IN ACTION 2
OPTION 1. Fighting for freedom: winning the arguments in the public square
OPTION 2. Activism dilemmas: When is a demo a threat to freedom?

16:00- 17:00 LECTURE
Can duty set us free?

17:30 – 18:45 PANEL DEBATE
Can the Bill of Rights save free speech?


How to apply

Please submit a short statement of between 300 and 500 words on:

  • Your understanding of one important contemporary constraint on liberty and one key opportunity for making the case for freedom today and
  • Why you would like to attend the school

Applications must be submitted no later than Sunday 29 May. Attendance will be at the discretion of the organisers. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Wednesday 1 June.



All those who accept their place at the school commit to attending all lectures and workshops for the entire duration of the programme starting at 6pm on Thursday 30 June until the close at 7pm on Saturday 2 July.  Attendees are encouraged to stay overnight on Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July in the accommodation provided, the cost of which is included in the nominal school fee (see below).


If you’ve been selected to attend, you’ll need to pay a nominal fee of £50 before the event. This fee covers hostel accommodation in central London for two nights (including breakfasts), the Living Freedom dinner on Friday 1 July and sandwich lunches on 1 and 2 July.


Should you need further information, please email the Living Freedom convenor, Alastair Donald, at or call +44 (0)20 7269 9233.

Living Freedom is devised and produced by Battle of Ideas (boi)
in association with Free Speech Champions.