ISLAMABAD                   -               The 2020 edition of the Night of Ideas (La Nuit des idées) took place on Thursday, and focused on the theme: ‘Being alive.’ Guests from diverse backgrounds - intellectuals, researchers, artists - gathered to discuss the theme all across the five continents.

The goal of the Night of Ideas is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics, and generations. Every year, the Night of Ideas gives the opportunity to discover the latest discoveries in knowledge and arts, to listen to the ones who contribute to bring more ideas to their field, and to take part in the discussion about the main issues of our times.

At the heart of ‘La Nuit des Idées’ 2020 is the question of ecological balance and humanity’s relationship with the world and other species. The phrase can be understood as a command, a call to awareness, action and commitment. What is being alive? What is our place in the living world? How does ‘Being Alive’ impose us to take action? What is our present made of? How to face what our present requires? In a time of multiple emergencies, what memory and what future?

The Embassy of France in Pakistan organized the 2020 edition at COMSATS University Islamabad on Thursday, from 3.30PM to 5.30PM. Brilliant panellists debated and exchanged with a large audience of 100 people (students, researchers, NGOs, artists, etc.) on the theme “Being alive in the age of climate change”.

The panellists included Ambassador Shahid Kamal - Centre for Climate Research and Development, COMSTECH, Dr. Fatima Khushnud - Independent Power Producers Association, Dr. Fauzia Saeed - Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Dr. Zeba Sathar - Population Council, Tanzila Mazhar - Women in Media Alliance, Yousef Bashir Qureshi - artist and fashion designer, and Dr. Jabir Hussein Syed, COMSATS, Department of Meteorology.

The event was opened by an introductory speech of the French Ambassador in Pakistan Dr. Marc Baréty who detailed French-Pakistani cooperation in the field of climate change, through Agence Française de Développement, the Cultural and Cooperation Section of the Embassy of France in Pakistan.

The moderator Ali Tauqueer Sheikh, development sector expert, engaged a passionate debate among the panellists and with the public to create a constant interaction. Contribution of art to the understanding of present times, creativity in arts and science, supporting research and knowledge, prompting awareness and discourse, power of social media to educate and empower the younger generation, change of behaviours and daily habits of ordinary citizens, the need of collective thinking and acting etc. have been among some of the themes discussed by the panellists.