The writer and tech-geek reimagines Tim Berners-Lee’s invention and asks how the mantra 'This is for Everyone' can play now in a digital sphere of social media, hacking and global connectivity. With BBC Click's Spencer Kelly.
The Economist Platform
The British-American economist examines the formation of policy in the post-truth world, and reconfigures how expertise is mediated and how we manage the boundaries between advisors and politicians. Shafik was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and is the incoming Director of the London School of Economics. Chaired by Zanny Minton Beddoes.
Questions of masculinity have been at the heart of Sheers’ writing for 20 years, in his plays Mametz and The Two Worlds of Charlie F, in his fiction Resistance and I Saw A Man, and in his poetry – most clearly in Pink Mist. In 2012 he was also artist in residence with the Welsh Rugby Union. Here he interrogates ideas of masculinity in essay form, and reimagines a man’s world.
In this first of the Festival's flagship 30th anniversary project sessions, the Spanish international trade lawyer re-imagines the European Union. González Durántez was previously the Middle East Adviser to the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.
We have the most relentlessly tested school students in Europe. We have constantly revised SATs and GCSE structures. Is any of this encouraging or cultivating learning? How could we develop better ways of valuing both students and teachers? Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. Chaired by Peter Florence.
The charismatic novelist, who explores love and passion and freedom in her fiction, re-imagines the union of loving human beings. Her books include Why Be Happy?, The Passion, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and most recently The Gap of Time.
Wall Street and The City like to operate under the flag of Adam Smith; his free market economic ideas are often considered to be a defining bedrock of capitalism. In reality, those financial capitalists today have completely forgotten the core essence of his ideas; indeed, their vision of capitalism and the modern company totally perverts them. Tett’s reformation is a call to arms for all devotees of Adam Smith – to return to his original ideas about market forces and reform that idea of capitalism in a fundamental manner. Tett is US Managing Editor of the FT and the author of The Silo Effect, Fool’s Gold and Saving the Sun. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
How will health improvements and a declining birth rate, economic uncertainty and political turbulence affect an ageing population in Britain and around the world? There are new challenges here for states and for individuals. How might we re-imagine lives that run four score years and ten, and longer? Harper is Professor of Gerontology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing. She is the author of How Population Change will Transform Our World. On 1 May she will be become the Director of The Royal Institution. Chaired by Guto Harri.
Our healthcare system has been one of the bedrocks of British identity since its introduction by Aneurin Bevan in 1948. It employs 1.2 million people and treats one million people every 36 hours in England alone. It is free at the point of delivery to all UK residents. The Consultant Neurologist proposes reforms for a sustainable future. O’Sullivan’s book Is It All in Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness won the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize. Chaired by Julian Huppert.
The author of the magnificent book The Silk Roads proposes a new way of understanding the past and of connecting context and ideas so that we might learn the lessons of history. Frankopan is Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.
Everyone has experience, and the deeper your experience of a given subject or area, the greater your expertise. In a culture that trumpets anti-intellectualism, how might we reconcile and re-present academic expertise and practical experience? Churchwell is professorial fellow in American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Where do we belong? What passport and what papers do we carry? The international human rights lawyer proposes a new form of internationalist identity, and the adoption of the Tobin Tax that would help fund a universally available Citizenship of the World. Chaired by Guto Harri.
The Turkish novelist reimagines the concept of honour, also the title of her 2015 novel. How has the word come to be understood in different communities? Can it be rescued from the grotesque association with the world “killing”? What might a truer application of honour mean for men and for women, for society and humanity? Chaired by A. C. Grayling.
The passionate and powerful poet re-imagines the way in which the State might raise children placed in its care. Sissay is Chancellor of the University of Manchester. His foster parents placed him into care at the age of 12. He lived in care homes until he was 18. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.
Valentine is the 2017 Hay Festival International Fellow, and a multi award-winning writer of YA fiction. She explores ways in which teenagers might be better understood and empowered. Her novels include Finding Violet Park and Fire Colour One. She is joined onstage by young readers to discuss her reformation of adolescence.
In the wake of Colombia’s 2016 Peace Agreement, which put an end to more than 60 years of civil war, the philosopher and law professor reimagines our understanding of conflict, of truth, reconciliation and justice. Guardiola-Rivera is the author of What if Latin America Ruled the World?, Story of a Death Foretold and the forthcoming A New Art of War. Chaired by Helena Kennedy.
Our food system is in crisis: soaring rates of obesity and diet related ill-health, environmental degradation and escalating greenhouse gas emissions as well as record levels of waste which deny food to the hungry. How do we create a system that enables all citizens to eat affordable, healthy food regardless of where they live and what they earn? Could Brexit create a solution? Is a Food Act an answer? Boycott proposes a complete reimagining of how we farm, how we shop and how we eat. Rosie Boycott chairs the Mayor of London’s food policy unit. Chaired by Dan Saladino, presenter/producer of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
In a time of international turbulence and insecurity; a time when the world is seeing migrations of people escaping from the immediate terrors of war and the disruptions of climate change; at a time of multiple and fluid identities, the novelist from Bangladesh interrogates the notion of national borders. Where do you draw the line? She re-imagines the walls and checkpoints as places of welcome and refuge. Anam is the author of A Golden Age, The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
Godfrey champions a radical vision, not only for the delivery through state and independent sector schooling, but for the very purpose of education in the UK.
Godfrey is one of the most highly regarded educationalists in Britain. He chairs England’s representative body for all sixth form colleges, the Council of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, and for 18 years has been Principal of Hereford Sixth Form College – the TES college of the year. Chaired by Peter Florence.
If we’re going to win the climate war, the battle cry has to be positive. “Pain now or apocalypse later” just doesn’t cut it, and nor does “save the planet”. The climate scientist and strategist argues that it’s time to stop focusing on disaster and start pouring our energy into imagining – and creating – the promised land. Because fundamentally the planet doesn’t care what we do. This is about saving ourselves. Chaired by Jim Al-Khalili.
The Reformations project is the programming spine of the Hay Festival’s 30th anniversary year. Great writers and thinkers have been invited to reform authorities and institutions in the spirit of Martin Luther, whose 95 Theses were published 500 years ago in 1517. In this powerful polemic, the leading civil rights lawyer proposes radical progress in international Human Rights and Equality law. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Sheers’ contribution to the Festival’s 30th anniversary project is a powerful poem addressed to his two daughters. It conjures a reformation of masculinity that is enlightened and inspiring. Sheers’ recent work includes the poem Pink Mist, the National Theatre Wales play Mametz and the Aberfan television film poem The Green Hollow.