Get your thinking cap on for the 4th Night of Ideas on 31 January 2019!

The 4th Night of Ideas is slated to be held on 31 January 2019 on the theme of “Facing the Present”.

The Nuit des Idées in France and around the world

Since its creation by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Institut Français in 2016, the Night of Ideas has been held every last Thursday in January. It brings together philosophers, writers, researchers, intellectuals, students, whistleblowers, artists and political figures in France and abroad, around a set theme.

The event is coordinated by the Institut Français and organized in culture and knowledge venues. Speakers and the public are invited to discuss their vision of the present and debate solutions for the challenges of tomorrow as regards equality, ecology, education, urban planning, science, politics and technology, during events that include conferences, meetings, forums, round tables, film screenings and artistic performances, as well as more unique formats such as a model European Parliament at the ENS, collaborative sound creations in Paris, Saint-Ouen, etc.

France’s diplomatic and cultural network in action

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’s diplomatic and cultural network is involved in supporting this initiative each year, which has led to the event expanding far beyond capital cities. This year, events are being organized across entire countries including eight towns and cities in Tunisia and Spain, and nine in Colombia. The Night of Ideas is also being extended from one night per year to fourth evenings in Argentina and fifth special sesssions in the United States.

The Night of Ideas: Facts and Figures:
  • More than 1,000 speakers
  • 70 participating countries over 5 continents
  • 120 towns and cities in France and around the world
  • 180 events
  • 200,000 participants
  • 41 million users of the event hashtag #lanuitdesidees

Guests of honour at the Quai d’Orsay: Philippe Descola and Theaster Gates

This 4th Night of Ideas will see two guests of honour take part in a dialogue at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris on the evening of 31 January 2019:

Philippe Descola has been a professor at the Collège de France since 2000 where he was appointed Chair in Anthropology of Nature. His work has revolutionized thinking on the ecological issues of our age and offered a new perspective on human sciences. His book entitled “Par-delà nature et culture” published by Gallimard in 2005, is a key title in contemporary thought.


Theaster Gates is an artist and professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago specialized in social arts. His work is inextricably linked to his social activism, which can be seen in space development projects in underprivileged areas of Chicago. Gates’ 2009 design-build project, the Dorchester Projects, continues today and aims to transform Chicago’s abandoned spaces into artistic creations involving artists, researchers and architects as well as local residents, to enable them to participate in the transformation of their community.

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© Judith Litvine / MEAE

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© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama - 4e édition de la Nuit des idées le 31 janvier (...)

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama - 4e édition de la Nuit des idées le 31 janvier (...)

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama - 4e édition de la Nuit des idées le 31 janvier (...)

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama - 4e édition de la Nuit des idées le 31 janvier (...)

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

Image Diaporama -

© Judith Litvine / MEAE

The Night of Ideas: Video Teaser

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