Night of Ideas


The French Consulate in San Francisco, KQED, San Francisco Public Library, and SFMOMA invite you to the second edition of Night of Ideas.


This seven-hour marathon of philosophical debate, keynotes, panels, performances, and interactive experiences is designed to spur dialogue and creative participation on the theme "Living on the Edge."


We live in a world balanced on the edge between immense challenges and even grander possibilities. How do we reckon with these tensions and use them to create new visions for how we live together?

Each floor of the library is devoted to exploring the different edges on which contemporary life in the Bay Area is balanced:

How do we cope with disorder and disruption to fashion new ways to think and be?

What anxieties about the future weigh on us most, and what fascinations will transform the way we live?

How do we find belonging and identity while making space for differences of lived experience?

With consensus about history and facts increasingly fractured, what narratives should we affirm?

How do we transcend limits on movement for a healthy economy and a just society?

Join thought-leaders, creators, storytellers, dreamers, and change-makers as they address these topics in keynote talks and discussion sessions. See a special live broadcast of KQED's Forum with host Mina Kim. Share your own creative voice and exchange ideas in a range of participatory workshops, activities, or open mics. Enjoy spectacular performances and music by local artists shaping the culture of the Bay Area.

Featuring diverse voices and talent from community organizations:
ACLU, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, America Magazine, Asian Art Museum, Art in Action, Bay Area Theater Cypher, Black Benatar (aka Mx. Beatrice Thomas), Burning Man, CAAM, California Humanities, Capoeira Ijexá, Cultural Odyssey, Destiny Arts, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, Equal Justice Society, French Tech San Francisco, Friends of SFPL, Institute for Arts and Science at UC Santa Cruz, Institute for the Future, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, KQED, L'Obs, Litquake, Loco Bloco, LoudSpring, Lycée Français de San Francisco, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Noise Pop, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, Presidio Trust, Qigong Rebecca Grossbard, SETI Institute, The Stud Collective, Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, UC Davis Department of History, World Economic Forum, and more!

For more information and full list of speakers, panelists, and performers, visit

Night of Ideas is co-presented by the the French Consulate in San FranciscoKQEDSFMOMA, and the San Francisco Public Library

The event is made possible by the support of the City and County of San Francisco, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, 836MCultural and Scientific Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the French American Cultural Society, the Institut FrançaisFrench beeMicrosoft, and the Open Society Foundations.

The Main San Francisco Public Library is accessible for wheelchair users. American Sign Language interpreters will be provided. To request other accommodations, please contact or call (415) 557-4557. Requesting accommodations at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Large bags and backpacks are not permitted. Please plan accordingly.

Food and drink will be available for purchase at the event.

WHENSaturday, February 1, 2020 7:00 PM (PT)
WHERESan Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102