The author made plans to cycle the legendary Via Heraklea. It was an ancient path that took him deep into the world of the Celts: their gods, their art, and, most of all, their sophisticated knowledge of science. Gradually, a lost map revealed itself, of an empire constructed with precision and beauty across vast tracts of Europe. Oriented according to the movements of the Celtic sun god, the map had been forgotten for almost two millennia.
Consider a world where gold is worthless, banks do not exist and international trade is banned. Would our lives be better if all work was fun, debt was wiped out and anybody could live wherever they wanted?
The official line is clear: the UK does not ‘participate in, solicit, encourage or condone’ torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when it comes to dealing with potential threats to our national security, the gloves always come off. Chaired by Philippe Sands.
In the next hundred years, the world will need to deal with the same amount of social development witnessed in the past 43 centuries – the rebirth of the city state, the battle for new energy, disappearing borders, the desire of the world’s people to move to developed nations. The former ambassador explores the core principles of a progressive C21st foreign policy: how to balance interventionism and national interest, and to use global governance to achieve national objectives. He discusses smart power, soft power and the new interventionism alongside lessons from the most notorious leaders and diplomats across the world including Talleyrand, Kissinger, Mandela and the Kennedys.
A former frontman, teacher, boxer and salesman, at 36 Tom Fletcher became the youngest senior British ambassador for 200 years. He pioneered using new technology to connect with people across a Middle East in upheaval. He is now a Professor of International Relations, and a campaigner for global education, the creative industries and coexistence.
The anthropologist takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. Fox has deciphered yet more enigmatic behaviour codes, adding new rules, new subcultures, new chapters and over a hundred updates. She talks to Sarfraz Manzoor.
Drawing on new genealogical research, original records and expert testimony, the historian and broadcaster reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. He shows that the great industrial boom of the 19th century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. Chaired by Amol Rajan.
Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone economic cycles that veer from boom to bust. The campaigning economist and broadcaster argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and profound that this time capitalism itself will mutate into something wholly new. Chaired by Jane Davidson.