This could be as a result of understanding the wisdom of crowds. So this is our chance to turn those tables on the writers and thinkers that have graced Hay Festival over the years.
Hay Festival organizers asked a panel to come up with 25 questions which would be put to the audience. These questions are;
- Why do we read novels?
- 25 years ago, the whole world lived in fear of an aids pandemic, the Berlin wall divided east and Western Europe, China and Latin America were considered part of the developing world and less than 1% of the world's population used mobile phones or computers. What changes will we see to the way we live now in 25 years time?
- What was the last thing you made with your hands?
- Which smell makes you happiest?
- Do you think we are reaching a point at which technological 'progress' kills the spirit and what we are or will it liberate us all?
- Which freedoms are you prepared to trade for greater security?
- How can we see the ratio of women to men reach equality in every walk of life, from birth to death, in education, work and play?
- What would you do if you knew you would never be caught?
- What piece of writing has most changed your heart and mind? Phrase, lyric, letter, book, poem, inscription.
- Would you like the United States of America to a) grow stronger? b) stay more or less the same? c) grow weaker? Why?
- 25 years from now climate change will have created over 100 million refugees. Where should they go?
- Are you happy? If yes, why? If not, is there something you can do about it?
- How will the world benefit from a realignment of economic superpower in the 21st century?
- Are religion and democracy incompatible?
- Half the world's languages are so seriously endangered that they are likely to die out during the course of this century. Does it matter?
- What determines what food you buy?
- Will genetically modified crops and lab meat save the world from famine?
- What can the country and the city learn from each other?
- If you became the leader of your country what would you fix first?
- Which season matters most to you and why?
- Mental health problems afflict 25% of us every year. Do we need to treat the perception of mental illness in the sufferer or in society?
- Is it possible to truly care about events that will happen after the death of one's great grandchildren?
- Teach us something important that you know.
- Which living leaders, writers, scientists, and artists, are opening the doors of the future for humankind?
- We're building a library of literature, music and cinema. Which one book, film and album would you contribute to it?
These questions have reminded me of rapper 50 cent who saw this way before them! When he came up with his 21 questions.
This questions in my opinion do NOT feature or address Africa because the 'panel' which came up witht e questions is mainly compromised of people from Europe [not that I have any 'beef' with Europeans or Eurocentric thinking]. Also it could be as a result of Hay festival having a massive footprint in other continents. In Africa Hay has a presence ONLY in Kenya through Storymoja. However, this said, question 2 is the one I relate to;
25 years ago, the whole world lived in fear of an aids pandemic, the Berlin wall divided east and Western Europe, China and Latin America were considered part of the developing world and less than 1% of the world's population used mobile phones or computers. What changes will we see to the way we live now in 25 years time?
It would also be great to map out the responses in a website so that we can see the response of the world. I plan on attending the festival and raising more Africa centric questions and telling the world what I think. Will you?