Thinkfest 2024 Set To Bring Dynamic Lineup Of Academics And Thought Leaders To Lahore

ThinkFest 2024 will be held from 13-14 January, 2024 in Lahore, at the Alhamra Arts Center. The theme of the event this year is

Thinkfest 2024 Set To Bring Dynamic Lineup Of Academics And Thought Leaders To Lahore

The program for the 7th edition of the Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest, being held at the Alhamra Arts Center from January 13-14, 2024 is shaping up to be a jam-packed series of panels for two days.

The theme of the event for this year is “Winter of Discontent,” with a focus on conflict and the climate crisis. ‘We have chosen the theme, ‘Winter of Discontent’ from Shakespeare’s Richard III, which reflects the lived reality of the world today,’ explained ThinkFest founder and CEO Dr Yaqoob Khan Bangash. ‘There are wars, carnage, climate crises, rise of ethnic and religious tensions, and general instability, despair and uncertainty around the world and we want to honestly assess them,’ he explained. 

The introductory keynote panel will be titled “Reimagining Pakistan: Do we need a new social contract?” with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Miftah Ismail, former Federal Finance Minister and Jugnu Mohsin, journalist and former MPA Punjab as the lineup of speakers.

The event is also slated to host 20 book launches, with the focus of the scholarship being South Asia and Pakistan. 

Day 2 of the event will open with a plenary session with Senator Sherry Rehman, former Federal Climate Change Minister and Rafay Alam, lawyer and climate expert, titled “Is paradise lost? Coping with climate stress in a resilience vacuum.”

The ThinkFest will host multiple talks on issues critical for Pakistan today, ranging from the economy, the education system, energy and the upcoming elections. A key focus of the event is the climate crisis, with multiple talks slated to address key concerns over climate justice, water governance and systems resilience. 

Geopolitics is set to feature as the theme for three panels, exploring the implications of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the war in Gaza and the changing geopolitics of the Middle East.

The upcoming elections will be another key area of concern, with a talk with representatives from all major political parties, including PTI’s Salman Akram Raja, PPP’s Faisal Mir and PML-N’s Ata Tarrar, titled “Parties, Promises, Reality: Elections 2024.” Other panels on the 2024 elections will host federal Caretaker Minister Murtaza Solangi and journalists Raza Rumi, Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi and Fahd Hussain. 

The list of notable speakers at ThinkFest 2024 includes Najam Sethi, Adil Najam from Boston University, Faisal Bari, S. Akbar Zaidi from IBA Karachi, Ali Usman Qasmi from LUMS, Ishrat Husain, Senator Musadik Malik, Ali Cheema, journalist Ejaz Haider, former Finance Minister Salman Shah, Aisha Sarwari, Fawad Hassan Fawad, Salman Akram Raja, Murtaza Solangi, Hamid Mir, Ammar Ali Jan, Salima Hashmi and Raza Ali Dada.

Among the foreign speakers are Ahmet Kuru, from San Diego State University, Juergen Frembgen from Germany, Pippa Virdee from De Montfort University in the UK, Laurence Gautier from CSH Delhi, Sher Ali Tareen from Franklin & Marshall College, Max Hess, Waleed Ziad from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Leila Hatoum from Lebanon, Leyla Jaigella from Germany, Abraham Murad from the University of Oxford, Audrey Truschke from Rutgers University, Siddharth Varadarajan from The Wire in India, Manuel Lima, Amardeep Singh, Rebecca Nixon from the University of Delaware, Pratinav Anil from the University of Oxford and J. Barton Scott from the University of Toronto.

The entire event is free and open to the public.