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The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet's seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what's going on.
How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend?
Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. Meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We'll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we'll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate
New Stand-Up from the beloved GBBO and QI superstar.
Sandi is a Danish/British writer and presenter. She has been working on British TV and radio for nearly four decades and in 2014 was made an Officer of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting. She has written over 25 books including fact and fiction. Her latest novel ‘The End of the Sky’ was published in 2017 and her new stage musical, an adaptation of ‘Treasure Island’, will open in December 2018 Sandi is the co-founder of Britain’s newest political force, the Women’s Equality Party.
Presented by Fane Productions
Sandi will also be appearing in the Woodland Trust event on Tuesday morning at 10am, for which there are tickets available - event 166
The pre-eminent primatologist offers a whirlwind tour of new ideas and findings about animal emotions, based on his renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees and bonobos. De Waal discusses facial expressions, animal sentience and consciousness, the emotional side of human politics, and the illusion of free will. He distinguishes between emotions and feelings, all the while emphasising the continuity between our species and other species. And he makes the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we haven’t a single organ that other animals don’t have, and the same is true for our emotions. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
After more than a hundred years of the internal combustion engine, a new automotive technology has arrived. Cleaner, quieter and fun to drive, electric cars are here, and they are here to stay. But how do we get from 2.6% of new car sales in 2018 to the numbers we need to make a real difference to air pollution, and climate change? The Government has set ambitious targets for the uptake of electric vehicles. If we are to meet them, a change in the way people drive and think about the technology is required. Join Robert Llewellyn, TV presenter, author and electric vehicle expert, Jesse Norman, Former Future of Mobility Minister and local Hereford MP, Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Energy Electric Vehicles and Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers, as well as panellists from the motor and energy industries, to discuss this transition. Chaired by TV presenter and author Kate Humble.
It’s twenty years since the Welsh Assembly opened its doors for the first time, instituted in a referendum with a marginal majority on a low turnout, but backed with a formidable soundtrack of contemporary rock music. The Institute of Welsh Affairs brings together politicians and cultural figures to reflect on how ‘Cool Cymru’ helped create an atmosphere for a ‘Yes’ vote, and on what has and hasn’t been achieved in the two decades since 1999. David Melding has been a Conservative Assembly Member since 1999. Bethan Elfyn joined BBC Radio 1 and has now been a champion of new Welsh music for over two decades. Rachel Trezise won the first Dylan Thomas Prize and has become one of the leading writers of prose and plays in post-devolution Wales. Writer Rhian E Jones’s article on the relationship between politics and culture at the time of Cool Cymru appears in the latest issue of the welsh agenda. Dylan Moore is the editor of the welsh agenda and the current Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow.
Jo is live from Hay Festival with special guests including poet laureate Simon Armitage, Jessie Burton, Monisha Rajesh and a special edition of the Radio 2 Book Club with Juno Dawson.
One of Britain’s most experienced and versatile pianists appears at Hay Festival for the first time with the world première of a cycle of Preludes and Fugues by Howard Skempton, a composer loved for his accessible but highly individual and beautifully crafted miniatures. Alongside some iconic romantic repertoire from Liszt, Mendelssohn and Chopin, Howard also plays a selection of piano love songs that he commissioned for his hugely successful album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs. William Howard and Howard Skempton will introduce the repertoire in conversation with Clemency Burton-Hill, commencing the concert at 7.30pm.
Baloji is an artist in motion, a musician, poet, film director, a man of images and ideas. He’s in motion like the inhabitants of Avenue Kaniama in Lubumbashi. In motion like the synthetic Afrobeats he produces, the fruit of an unlikely alliance between rockrumba and futurist funk. In perpetual motion, like his limbs on stage as he fronts the Kaniama Show band, leading them in a sensual voodoo trance. 137 Avenue Kaniama is Baloji’s third album. Baloji means ‘man of science’ in Swahili, but during the colonial period that meaning shifted as a result of Christian evangelisation, to signify ‘man of the occult sciences’ and then ‘sorcerer’. He is full of wonders. His live shows are spectacular, joyful celebrations.
In June 1969 police raided New York gay bar the Stonewall Inn. Matt Todd’s book Pride charts the events of that night, the days and nights of rioting that followed, the ensuing organisation of local members of the community – and the fifty years since in which activists and ordinary people have dedicated their lives to reversing the global position. Todd, the former editor of Attitude and author of Straight Jacket, is joined by transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and YouTuber Calum McSwiggan to celebrate the milestones in the fight for equality, from the victories of early activists to the gradual acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in politics, sport and the media, and the passing of legislation barring discrimination.
The Welsh publishing house throws a poetry party featuring four new collections from supremely talented poets. Costa Award-winning Jonathan Edwards reads from Gen – a book of sharp yet beautifully warm and humane poems. The title refers to people of Edwards’ generation and his recognition of the preoccupations of the age group that he shares. Catherine Fisher’s first collection for twenty years is The Bramble King, which includes poems on imaginary planets and princes, on the summer solstice, on drawing, on a glass shop – and a clockwork crow (title of her Blue Peter Award-shortlisted children’s book). Rhiannon Hooson’s beautifully resonant first collection The Other City was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year. Elizabeth Parker’s In Her Shambles is a fantastic debut of spikey, provocative, declamatory and wonderfully energetic poems. All four poets contribute to Seren's new Poems from The Borders anthology published in celebration of the English/Welsh Marches.
Wake up and re-energise with our morning yoga class. Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision, alignment and attention to detail and is an inclusive and accessible yoga practice. Mats are provided; wear comfortable clothing; all abilities welcome. More info at wyevalleyiyengaryoga.com.
On a walk in the some of the most spectacular mountainscape, the geopark expert for Brecon Beacons National Park will share some of the geological wonders of the National Park and the stories behind the landscape of the Black Mountains between Hay and the Usk Valley. The walk will be abouut 3.7 miles long, with a 250 metre ascent.
Please wear appropriate footwear. Numbers are limited. There will be a bus journey to and from the walk location; return to Festival site by 12.30pm.
The challenges and opportunities facing our woods and forests are many and varied, from climate change to rewilding, from greenbelt development to urban woods. We have to focus on increasing tree plantings but cannot ignore the threats facing our ancient woodland. “Ten thousand oaks of 100 years old are not a substitute for one 500-year-old oak” – Oliver Rackham. Tree experts George Peterken and Archie Miles discuss the state of the woodland with Natalie Buttriss, Director of Woodland Trust Wales, and Woodland Trust Ambassador Sandi Toksvig.
In June 1916 Field Marshal Lord Kitchener set sail from Orkney on a secret mission to bolster the Russian war effort. Just a mile off land and in the teeth of a force 9 gale, HMS Hampshire suffered a huge explosion, sinking in little more than fifteen minutes. Kitchener’s body was never found. Remembered today as the face of the famous First World War recruitment drive, at the height of his career Kitchener was fêted as Britain’s greatest military hero since Wellington, though he was considered by many to be arrogant, secretive and high-handed. From the moment his death was announced, rumours of a conspiracy began to flourish, with the finger pointed variously at the Bolsheviks, Irish nationalist saboteurs and the British government. Laws is an historian and served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Focusing on republican politics in ancient Rome, the speeches of Cicero and parallels between ancient and modern political speech, Van der Blom explores what the study of ancient rhetoric contributes to current debates about political communication. Van der Blom is Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Birmingham, founding director of the Network for Oratory and Politics and the leader of a research project into the crisis of speech in modern British politics.
Join cardigan-wearing Armadillo and tuba-playing Hare along with their bestselling creator Jeremy Strong as they ponder the meaning of life and cheese sandwiches! Jeremy will be talking about his inspiration for this new collection of funny tales, and the generally strange life of the writer.
Join Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet for a brand new singing-and-prancing show. Supertato and Barry the Fish with Fingers are back and this time they are joined by new friends, Cake and Snowball. Find out more about their fun-filled stories in this mad-capped interactive and veg-tastic event.
Join Story Builders from Discover Children’s Story Centre (discover.org.uk) as they swish-swash, splash-splosh, squelch-squerch, stumble-trip and tiptoe their way through this classic adventure from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Help celebrate the 30th year of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt in this interactive storytelling event.