Volunteering at the Battle of Ideas 2019

The Battle of Ideas the Academy of Ideas’s annual weekend festival held at the Barbican, and will be held this year on the 2nd and 3rd November. With thousands of attendees, hundreds of speakers and over a hundred debates over two days, we need a team of enthusiastic and committed volunteers to support us for the Battle of Ideas festival 2019.

“There is such a great atmosphere at the Battle of Ideas. Buzzing with conversation and excitable ideas, I always leave with a great feeling of pride that I have been a part of making it happen!”

Kelvin Hall Battle of Ideas festival lead volunteer

Apply now to be a 2019 volunteer at the Battle of Ideas festival.

So what do our volunteers do?…

We cannot guarantee a position in the role you apply for, but we will try our best to find a suitable role that best matches your skill set.

We need teams of people to help with:

We need help with the logistics in the morning and evening particularly with the setting up and packing down of the festival. We run on a very tight schedule to get everything set up on time so efficiency is crucial!

With lots of high-profile speakers, guests, volunteers and attendees arriving throughout the weekend, there are lots of people who require help and support. You will be there to give them information, register their attendance and support them in finding their contacts.

Event stewards are key to the smooth running of the debates. In working with your room team and Barbican staff, you will need to ensure that debates are ready to go, work with the chair to ensure that debates do not overrun and provide microphone support so that everyone’s contribution can be heard. With this role, you get the additional benefit of seeing lots of the festival’s debates!

In this role, you’ll be working more closely with the core team and getting an overall picture of how the event is run. This may involve a wide range of tasks from liaising with team leaders and floor coordinators, to checking that people are in the right place at the right time.

The Battle of Ideas has lots of important guests and partnerships with external organisations. We need a dedicated team to meet, greet and liaise with our partners and to ensure sponsored debates are going to plan.

In addition, experienced Battle of Ideas volunteers can apply for the following roles:

Team Leader
As a team leader, you’ll support a group of event stewards to ensure that they understand their roles, and that your room is always supported with Battle volunteers.

Zone coordinators
In this role you will be working closely with the core team, and team leaders, to make sure that everything is running smoothly on your floor. With such a big event running in lots of rooms across six floors, it can be difficult to respond quickly to problems that arise, so floor co-ordinators have a huge responsibility here.

“Every time I volunteer at the Battle of Ideas I learn so much! I know way more now about what goes in to organising a festival, and the central team of organisers and volunteers are always there to help you out if you need them.”

Rose Davis Battle of Ideas volunteer

Why should you volunteer?…

Battle of Ideas festival volunteers have access to:

“Volunteering at the Battle of Ideas is so interesting! You get the chance to ask loads of questions and make contributions to fascinating, current topics. Everyone is really friendly and I’ve met so many influential speakers and attendees.”

Lauren Lloyd Battle of Ideas volunteer


If volunteering with the Battle of Ideas sounds like your cup of tea, register your interest using the form here.