With an idea sparked by dinner parties he’s held over the past decade, former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan is hosting a public discussion that he hopes will challenge people and leave them inspired.

The public salon, put on by Sullivan’s Global Civic Policy Society, features eight speakers from diverse fields, including a top B.C. judge, a brain researcher and an artist.

Each person speaks for seven minutes on the topic of their choice — the link between music and creative thinking, the nature of truth, or how the human organism is unable to deal with the environmental crisis.

“The goal of the society is to challenge, inspire, entertain and inform the general public,” Sullivan said. “My life as a city councillor and a mayor, led me to believe that democracy is much better off if we share ideas.” The seven-minute time limit, Sullivan said, forces the speaker to focus in their presentation to the “essence of their ideas.”

Speakers include B.C. Court of Appeal chief justice Lance Finch, Vancouver Sun columnist Peter McKnight, UBC dean of music Sal Ferreras and Ken Lum, the artist who created the neon cross, Monument To East Vancouver, at Clark Drive and Great Northern Way.

Joining them are historian Chuck Davis, Bill Rees, creator of the ‘Ecological footprint; brain researcher Dr. Max Cynader and Nicole Aube of Doctors Without Borders.

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