Day Two of the Festival of Ideas

March 26th 2022

10.00 — 11.00 Ty’r Pererin , St Davids: Do we need a tourism tax for places to thrive?

Whilst rural communities such as St.Davids depend on tourism for income and jobs, tourism’s impact are often degenerative, putting housing, local resources and nature under strain. Although often controversial, destinations around the world are introduc-ing tourism taxes, to raise funds and to help mitigate the effects of tourism. Venice, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh have recently joined other popular destinations imposing a tax. Should Wales follow suit? The Welsh Government thinks so, planning to give lo-cal authorities discretionary powers to introduce a tax. 

Andy Middleton in conversation with Professor Terry Stevens

11.15am – 12.15pm City Hall , St Davids: Marxism, Christianity and the common good in today’s world

‘How then shall we live?’ is the most important question humanity can ask, says Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue, one of the 20th century’s most important books on moral and political philosophy. Is he right? If so, how do we go about answering his question, not just in theory, but in practice? And what use is moral and political philosophy anyway, in a world that seems to insist politics is little more than ‘the art of the possible’?

Paul Mason in conversation with Sarah Rowland Jones

12.45pm – 1.45pm Ty’r Pererin , How Books Change the World

Nearly 200,000 books are published in the UK each year. Some of them catch the uplift of spirit, time and place and change the world whilst others languish on un-touched shelves.

Eric Ngalle Charles and Jon Gower talk about the quality that gives some books stand the test of time, place and impact. Chaired by Amanda Stone.

2.30pm — 3.30pm City Hall : The Politics of Sport

In the past few years professional sport has become embroiled in culture wars linked in the main to disputes about racism, whether it is at Yorkshire Cricket Club or in the football terraces. Is taking the knee an expression of solidarity with the Black Lives Matters movement or a meaningless ritual. Although fans would probably agree that politics should be kept out of sport, even in its most inspirational moments, sport does not exist in a vacuum. Whether football or basketball, cricket of gymnastics, social and political contexts shape both the sport and our response to it. 

Eddie Butler, Guto Harri and one other to be confirmed

4.00pm — 5.30pm City Hall : Should we be breaking or remaking Britain?

Brexit, Covid, the challenges arising over the Northern Ireland border and the push for a second Scottish independence referendum are putting the union of the three Brit-ish nations and Northern Ireland under question as never before. From a Welsh per-spective, within a decade we could be in a union of just Wales and England, asking ourselves whether we want to be in bed with an elephant. What should be our response be?


Paul Mason in conversation with Liz Saville Roberts, Lauren McEvatt and Peter Hain, chaired by Bethan Rhys Roberts

6.00pm — 7.00pm City Hall : How can we tap into the power of spirit and place?

St Davids is unique in its history of spirituality and intellectual enquiry. A small city founded on a  thin crust where new ideas have burst forth and flourished.  A leading theologian, who is also an accomplished poet and a renowned academic and practicing poet discuss what makes St Davids so different and why this place is so inspirational. The session is chaired by Brian Griffiths, who will bring all his experience in academia, politics and commerce to bear. This is a bilingual session.

With Rowan Williams and Mererid Hopwood , Chaired by Brian Griffiths

7.15pm —8.15pm – Ty’r Pererin : Saving the Ocean

The oceans are the origin and engine of all life on the planet but are under constant threat from human activity. We dump plastics and waste, and leak oil. Oil spills count for just 12 per cent of the oil – the rest is carried out to sea via runoff from our roads and rivers. There’s more plastic dumped in the sea (8 million tons a year) than fish. Microplastic finds its way into the food chain. There are five giant garbage patches around the world’s oceans – the largest in the Pacific covers an area twice the size of Texas.

With Julie James, Steve Hall. Chaired by Jon Gower

8.30pm City Hall: Close by Eluned Morgan followed by 

Speakeasy – poetry, music, buffet and wine to end the Festival