Alone, Together

We live in a world of always-on connectivity; in a moment where more than half of the world’s population resides in cities. We live in the digital as much as the physical, where opportunities to create and sustain vibrant communities have never been greater. Yet, in this very togetherness, MIT technologist Sherry Turkle says that our relationships have devolved—though they are wider, they are weaker, more simulated than strong, less meaningful and more mediated. We turn to technology instead of to each other.

We live in a world where we are alone, together. But what does it mean to be a part of a neighbourhood? To be a part of a social or cultural community? To be a citizen of a nation and of the world? How do we balance individuality with the sort of community-building necessary to give individual lives meaning in the first place? How can we re-imagine a civic life that is as engaging as it is promising for the 21st century?


Spur is a national festival of politics, art and ideas and is a catalyst for change in Canada.

Through nationally relevant and locally nuanced discussions, presentations and performances, the festival seeks to spur its participants to action on issues affecting Canadians. Feisty, multi-partisan, forward-looking, and solution-driven, this national railway of ideas will provide Canada with vital new cultural infrastructure for the 21st century.

Founded in 2013, the festival has already grown from three to five Canadian cities, with plans for further expansion across the country. Produced by the Literary Review of Canada in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues, Spur prides itself on its community partnerships, cultural connections and a focus on accessibility and diversity.

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