The UK’s first Festival of Economics in Bristol on 23-24 November was a triumph, I think it’s safe to say. Despite horrible weather affecting travel, around 1400 people attended altogether over four sessions, and the debate was fantastic: lively, informed, engaged. So already plans are underfoot for next year’s follow-up – and warmest thanks to this year’s sponsors and supporters, the Government Economic Service, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Princeton University Press, the Royal Economic Society and Wiley, as well as Business West and Bristol Chamber – and my huge thanks to the leading spirit of the Festival of Ideas, Andrew Kelly, who responded enthusiastically earlier this year to my tweeted suggestion that the UK needed a Festival of Economics. The videos of the event will be online shortly – I’ll update this with a link when they are. The live tweets are under the hashtag #economicsfest.
I went to Bristol with one book to give to someone and (as is the way with books) came back with four to read: Estates by Lynsey Hanley, The Slow Food Story by Geoff Andrews, The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart and Competing in Capabilities by John Sutton. The Festival pop-up bookstore was provided by the fab Arnolfini bookshop. I think next year we need to include an Economics Cafe with some debates….