A young woman asks a question at the Festival of Debate

Festival of Debate at the Grantham Centre

Festival of Debate is a series of discussions, Q&As, artistic responses, keynote speeches and other public events in Sheffield. Featuring over 70 events of all shapes and sizes, 2019’s programme runs from the 19th of April to the 5th of June. This year’s Festival Strands are Who We Are, Living Together, Our Democracy, Our Planet and Looking Forward.

Grantham Centre Mini-Series

Every year Grantham Scholars put on their own exciting mini-series within Festival of Debate. They attract some of the best speakers going and always provoke thoughtful debate. And all Grantham Centre events are free.


Sustainable palm oil: Utopia or reality?

a poster for the event 'Sustainable Palm Oil: Utopia or Reality?' showing speakers names and event details

2 May 2019, Thursday, 6 – 8 pm

Palm oil is almost everywhere – food, fuel or cosmetics – and its use probably leads to thousands of burnt forest and dying wildlife. So, certified palm oil comes to the rescue. But how sustainable is it? This event explores the implications of palm oil certification on the people, forests and wildlife.

Speakers and panel discussion:

Dr Johan Oldekop, University of Manchester

Michael Guindon, ZSL London

Maud Salber, RFUK

Monica Di Gregorio (University of Leeds)

Catherine Barton (Chester Zoo)

Tickets and more info: bit.ly/2TPJYgl


a poster for 'But Raiding The Earth Is Free' event showing speakers names and details

‘But raiding the Earth is free?’ The importance of circular economy

16 May 2019, Thursday, 5.30 – 7 pm
Due to decades of over-borrowing from our planet’s natural assets, an environmental collapse is imminent. Everything from clothes to packaging follows a life of ‘take-use-dispose’.
By adopting a circular economy, we can reduce the amount of waste we produce. Can this be achieved? Who is responsible? What can be done?

Speakers and panel discussion:

Professor Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield

Professor Lenny Koh, University of Sheffield

Kevin Vyse, On Package Recycling Label

Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield

Maya De Souza, DEFRA

Tickets and more info: https://bit.ly/2HuOJoY


a poster for 'Honey I Shrunk The Economy' event showing speakers names and details

“Honey, I Shrunk the Economy!”

17 May 2019, Friday, 6 – 8 pm
Globally, economic growth is credited with reducing poverty and improving health. However, this growth is based on an ever-increasing demand which requires expanding the use of Earth’s limited natural resources.
Should society aim to reduce the size of the economy and the related demand for natural resources? Or should society prioritize economic growth using sustainable means?

Speakers and panel discussion:

Professor John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast 

Alberto Huerta Morales, Aalborg University, Denmark

Dr Yannish Naik, The Health Foundation

Tickets and more info: https://bit.ly/2Huz1Ky


Climate Justice: How is Global Warming a Racial Issue?

In association with Festival of Debate and University of Sheffield Sustainability Committee
10 May, Friday , 6 -8 pm
Lecture Theatre 1, The Diamond

Tickets for this event are available here: https://bit.ly/2VgA3xE


Grantham Scholars are also involved in ‘Our Planet’ Hub Day, which takes place on Saturday 11 May, 11.30am-6.30pm.

Further information about this event is available here: https://bit.ly/2VbNwXC

Follow this link for tickets: https://bit.ly/2CNb4Li