THE NIGHT OF IDEAS

The Night of Ideas is...

A global celebration of thought

Initiated in 2016 during an exceptional evening that brought together in Paris foremost French and international thinkers, invited to discuss the major issues of our time, the Night of Ideas has very quickly become a fixture of the French and international agenda.

Every year, on the last Thursday of January, the Institut français invites all the cultural and educational institutions in France and on the five continents to celebrate the free circulation of ideas and knowledge by offering, on the same evening, conferences, meetings, forums and round tables, as well as screenings, artistic performances and workshops for young people, based on a theme that each one of them has its own way of expressing.

"Cultural centres, libraries, universities and colleges, museums and art centres on all five continents are invited to join the event to offer privileged moments of encounter with intellectuals and artists, actors of change and writers."

A concept

A common date

Each year, on the last Thursday of January

A common theme

"The World of Tomorrow" (2016), "A Common World" (2017),
"Imagination in power" (2018), "Facing the present" (2019),
"Being alive" (2020), "Neighbours" (2021), "Building together" (2022)

 

A common site

which brings together all the programming and resources
to inform the debate:
www.lanuitdesidees.com

 

An event growing with each edition...

The #lanuitdesiddees tag has reached up to 41 million people worldwide.

2018


65 countries
170 debates

2019


89 countries
221 debates

2020


100 countries
238 debates

2021


104 countries
+200 debates

Why participate?

people sitting on chair inside building

You are...

  • A cultural institution (museum, library, art centre)
  • A place of research and teaching (university, college, high school)
  • A citizen organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge (popular university, festival, association)
  • An institution wishing to invite the public to discuss and reflect
    (local authority, media, public service)
  • A French Institute
  • An Alliance française
  • A French Research Institute
  • A French educational establishment abroad

Participating in the Night of Ideas is an opportunity to...

  • BUILD ON THE GLOBAL AUDIENCE of the event to make your activity known, launch an annual cycle, interest new audiences
  • SHOW THE DIVERSITY OF PLACES that contribute to the sharing of ideas today
  • INVITE THE PUBLIC TO EXCHANGE, beyond the compartmentalization of expertise, on the issues that concern you
  • TAKING PART IN AN INTERDISCIPLINARY, INTERNATIONAL, INTERGENERATIONAL INITIATIVE
  • MOBILIZE YOUR PARTNERS by associating them with the design of the debates, to imagine a common evening
  • TAKE POSSESSION, FOR AN EVENING, AN UNUSUAL PLACE to let the public discover it
  • RENEW THE INTELLECTUAL DEBATE in a festive and plural form, by fully involving local stakeholders
  • EXPANDING AND RAISING the traditional audience for debates
  • MOBILIZE LOCAL PARTNERS by offering to host or co-organize the evening and thus participate in a global event
  • PROMOTE NEW VOICES in research, literature, arts and civil society, by relying on the notoriety of the event
  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A PLACE, inviting the public to discover it, for the occasion, at unusual times
  • EXPERIMENT DIFFERENT MEDIA, from radio to digital, as circumstances dictate, exploring new formulas

But also to...

How to participate?

A journey in 4 stages

At the Institut français, the Night of Ideas team is at your disposal to help you develop your program. To ask us questions, make suggestions or
make suggestions or exchange ideas, write to us at nuitdesidees@institutfrancais.com

The "Submit a project" option will be open from December for all places wishing to set up a Night of Ideas.

Please note: once the form is submitted, last minute adjustments to your program should be limited.

If your proposal is selected to be part of the program, you will receive confirmation by email. The public will then be able to discover your Night of Ideas on the website.
You will also receive a link to download the communication kit of the operation.

The French Institute will communicate widely about the global operation, in conjunction with the various media partners.
However, do not hesitate to communicate about your event to your target audience.

On the last Thursday of January, the various events will be relayed on the operation's website and on social networks with the tags #lanuitdesidees and #nightofideas.

Do not hesitate to tag the official pages of the French Institute on your social networks.

Design your program

Imagine your Night of Ideas

The formats that are valid during the day are not the best at night: the academic colloquium with its succession of written interventions, the round table with numerous guests each waiting for their turn or the opinion debate are not necessarily the most appropriate in this context.

Digital formats must be rhythmic, illustrated and interactive: while sitting in front of your screen for two hours of conferences is not very interesting, digital technology allows you to organize real-time exchanges during the speeches, to do polls, to highlight the creation of videogames or to propose interludes by videographers.

PRIVILEGE...

  • BRIEF LECTURES (20 minutes) where the speaker can get to the point
  • DIALOGUES, in which two speakers and a moderator bring together
    the disciplines for 45 minutes
  • MASTERCLASSES which offer the possibility of a unique interview with an outstanding personality
  • DYNAMIC FORUMS where the anchor welcomes, as in a radio show, speakers who follow one another throughout the evening evening

Varying the formats allows for a rhythmic evening.

BECAUSE IDEAS COME IN MANY FORMS,
YOU CAN INCORPORATE IDEAS INTO YOUR NIGHT:

  • CINEMA AND VIDEO PROJECTIONS, with commentary.
  • Live performance sequences, such as dance, concerts, animated stories or poems set to music.
  • READINGS of philosophical or literary texts.
  • GRAPHIC INTERVENTIONS.
  • A CLUBBING and DJ area, with attention to sound interference.
  • A LIBRARY.
  • Areas for RELAXATION and RESTAURATION.

DURING THE NIGHT OF IDEAS, FAMOUS SPEAKERS ARENOT THE ONLY GUARANTEE OF SUCCESS: IT IS FIRST AND FOREMOST THE ORIGINALITYOF THIS EVENT THAT AROUSES THE INTEREST OF THE PUBLIC.

It is an opportunity to discover the new intellectual and artistic scenes.

It is also an opportunity to broaden the debate of ideas to many fields and disciplines
and disciplines: natural and engineering sciences, innovators and amateurs
and amateurs, and civil society actors.

EVEN MORE THAN THE NOTORIETY OF YOUR GUESTS, IT IS THE ORIGINAL CHARACTER OF YOUR PROPOSAL THAT WILL HOLD INTEREST. FOR EXAMPLE:

"Night at the beach" (Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2018) - January
corresponds in Argentina to the summer period: hence the idea to invest the hotel of a seaside resort for several evenings of debates, meetings, artistic discoveries and collaborative experiences.

"The night of the oceans" (Tokyo, in duplex with the Cité de la mer in Cherbourg, 2017) - Highlight of this evening dedicated to the ecological, scientific, geopolitical stakes of the ocean: the students gathered at the Cité de la mer de Cherbourg could ask, on the Internet, their questions to the Japanese guests.

"The Night of the Forest (Rio de Janeiro, 2020) - This evening of lectures, round tables and artistic interventions was held in the garden of Parque Lage, in one of the largest urban forests in the world, the Tijuca National Forest.

  • During the Night of Ideas, the most prestigious guests are often booked a long time in advance: anticipation is therefore important.
  • Make sure that the moderators are of high quality, as they will set the pace and tone of the evening. Do not hesitate to involve them in the design of the program.
  • Digital formats allow for a great deal of creativity and interaction, but the constant flow of discussion and questions requires someone to channel and synthesize the audience's feedback to allow for discussion with the speakers.

In the traditional format of colloquiums or conferences, the audience, seated and motionless, watches a series of speeches unfold, the order of which is set by the organizers.

Spreading the program over different spaces, for example in the halls of the same building, allows the public to choose how to spend their evening: at 10pm, go to the movie, listen to this speaker or enjoy the music? Each experience is unique and the wandering contributes to the effervescence of the evening.

THIS CHOICE OF SIMULTANEITY IS THAT OF MANY NIGHTS
OF IDEAS. HOWEVER, IT IMPLIES THAT SEVERAL POINTS MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT:

CONDITIONS OF CIRCULATION AND ACCESS to the different spaces: a relative unity of place is recommended, as the public rarely moves between two distant sites.

GOOD SCHEDULING because the speakers are often tempted to run long. In order for the public to be able to find their way around, it is useful to have one person per room who plays the role of timekeeper.

ENTRY AND EXIT FROM THE ROOMS must be anticipated, because of delays due to queues: intermediate times must be planned to make up for any delays.

SIGNAGE AND PROGRAMMING, which can be a large map-type format, should be given special attention.

CIRCUITS must be studied to ensure social distancing is possible.

The Night of Ideas is an opportunity to move away from the simple face-to-face meeting between the speaker and the audience, without returning to a simple informal discussion. Numerous devices make it possible to encourage the active participation of the public while preserving the knowledge-sharing dimension of the exchange.

The pace of the evening does not lend itself well to the traditional questions from the audience after the speaker has finished speaking. Instead, include a specific sequence in your programme where the speaker can meet up with members of the audience who wish to do so and discuss with them in a space other than that of the conference itself.

In 2019, the Palais de Tokyo organized the Night of Ideas in partnership with the magazine AOC in a speed-dating format: 12 researchers, artists and writers had 15 minutes each to present an idea for the present, about the present, in the present. That's 9 simultaneous performances per hour, and as many opportunities to meet 12 thinkers and artists of today.

In Athens, in 2020, the public was able to participate in a philosophical escape room to question the limits between the biological and the artificial, between the living and the non-living, through an interactive museum of philosophy designed as an escape game with puzzles, locks and riddles.

Ahead of the 2020 event in Lagos, Nigeria, the Alliance Française organized a video marathon to record citizens in short videos that were broadcasted during the Night of Ideas, inviting them to express themselves on what the theme of being alive evoked in the context of their city, their country and Africa.

The evening entitled "Make secrets productive! " (Saint-Louis, Senegal, 2017) invited the audience to come with an object rich in personal history and meaning: the game leader started from this singular example to engage in a more general discussion each time.

Organized in New York at the Brooklyn Public Library, the Night of Ideas traditionally brings together several thousand people throughout the evening. In 2020, they came to listen to nearly fifty speakers for short lectures, but also to participate in practical philosophical discussions about everyday problems.

In 2020, in Baghdad's The Station entrepreneurship lab, the Night of Ideas brought together senior politicians, activists and scientists, before holding a "trial to the world of the 21st century" for "endangering the lives of future generations", in which the ancient city of Basra was a civil party, with a prosecutor representing Iraqi youth.

Between theatre and performance, many experiments aim to renew the forms of public speaking:

Taking inspiration from the media, in Mauritius, in 2019, the French Institute has brought together the country's main media around a time of shared reflection between journalism professionals and Mauritian citizens: some twenty speakers, live TV and radio sets, press caricaturists sketching the debates and an exhibition on the sidelines of the exchanges.

By playing on the codes of the trial: the magazine Usbek et Rica has developed the Tribunal for Future Generations, a way of organizing controversy on the major issues of our time.

Encouraging creativity: in 2019, the Recyclery organized the podcast factory where participants could record a podcast freely.

By investing the space differently: in 2020, the public of the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi was invited to wander through a collection during the Night of Ideas, listening to comments by French and Indian philosophers invited for the occasion.

Do you want to participate in the Night of Ideas?

Please contact us.
We will be happy to answer you!

Contact