Post-truth. Fake news. Alternative facts. The very definition of truth seems to be up for grabs, and our relationship with truth is in a state of flux. New technologies have radically decentralised the means of producing and distributing information. Data, facts and figures filter through narratives that tap into our emotions and personal beliefs. Given this dynamic, how can we promote critical thinking whilst also cultivating empathy? The power of a story well told has never been greater, and reality is subject to interpretation and manipulation. Truth, though, isn’t completely mutable. The quest to uncover truth is a bedrock of human history, and some truths are enduring and undeniable.
On Friday 7th April, let’s meet at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford for TEDxSkoll. Under a 17th century ceiling, we’ll take stock of the concept of truth and its evolving role in social, economic and political progress. We will hear from those who have harnessed truth as a central driving force in their life and work, and those who have dedicated their life’s work to producing fiction. Together, we’ll explore truth as a concept that is not always easy to find, define or grasp, and we’ll embrace that challenge as a unifying—and uniquely human—element.