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LAHORE: The three-day festival, ‘A World of Tomorrow: Seeking Inspiration and Equilibrium in a New Age’ concluded here at a local club on Sunday. Among other sessions in the festival of ideas, organised by the Beaconhouse Group, the last day had an exclusive session with Zia Mohyeddin and a concert of pop icon Atif Aslam.

“The last day attracted people from all sides as the rooms and all other venues for sessions had no space left 10 minutes after the starting time,” Khurram, a spokesman for the festival, told Dawn.

The day started with a variety of panel discussions, talks and debates from 11am, including Invisible Hands: If Media Controls Global Thinking, Who Controls Global Media?, moderated by Isfundiar Kasuri with panelists, Ghazi Salahuddin, Badar Khushnood, Roilo Golez, Dr Framji Minwalla. The participants and the panelists were of the view that though media looked independent, it was not.

The session on poetry was attended by Munnu Bhai, Kishwar Naheed, Aitzaz Ahsan, Attiya Dawood. The speakers said the poetry could help in nation-building and turning negative behaviours of people into positive ones.

On the topic of Beyond a Binary World: Inclusion of Transgender People in Schools And Workplaces-Shanakht (recognition), the panel discussion was moderated by Munizae Jahangir and attended by Farzana Jan, Naushair Khan, Kami Sid, Bindia Rana.

The others discussions, talks and debates held on the last day were on a variety of topics. Whose Heritage is it Anyway was moderated by Marvi Mazhar with panelists Kamil Khan Mumtaz, Hala Bashir, Kamran Lashari and Shigeyuki Ataka. Spotlight on the Pakistan Women’s Football Team was moderated by Beenish Saleem with panelists Hajra Khan, Sana Mehmood, Sahar Zaman, Sophia Nayab and Shayan Haque. As the World Hold its Breath: The Oval Office and Global Security was moderated by Fahad Husain with panelists were Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Hasan Askari Rizvi, Roilo Golez and Ahmed Rasheed. Private Affairs: Access to Online Personal Information was hosted by Iram Naqvi with panelists Adnan Malik, Sanam Saeed, Deepak Perwani.

There was an exclusive session with Zia Mohyeddin, titled An Evening with Zia Mohyeddin. The discussion, Standardise the Curriculum Across the Country: Public Private Education Partnership was moderated by Omair Rana and participants were Jude Heaton, Andaleeb Abbas versus Dr Lawrence Burke and Kim Langen. Beyond Public and Private: Education Partnerships that Changes Future was moderated by Farwa Baig with panelists Andy Thornton, Ali Khan Tareen, Hassan Khattak and Benje Williams. Moving Towards a Gender-Neutral Society was moderated by Zebunissa Burki with Jamshed Kazi, Kimberley Motley, Aurelie Salvaire, Archana Thapa and Fauzia Viqar and Ways of Saying was moderated by Risham Hosain Syed with presenters—Dr Tariq Rehman, Quddus Mirza, Zain Ahmed and Ali Aftab Saeed.

The other events and talks were on the topics like Getting Kids to Read, Cities of Tomorrow, We All Should Be Afraid of the Cyber Crime Bill, Eye on the Future: Art and Popular Culture in a New Age, Harmonising Acts: Managing Home and Work, Fashion for the Future and Pakistan’s Education Crisis.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2016