Hay Festival Digital #Imaginetheworld

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Event 1

Jane Davidson, Mark Drakeford, Sophie Howe and Eluned Morgan

#Futuregen - Wales and the World

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Jane Davidson explains how, as Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales, she helped create the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015—the first piece of legislation on Earth to place regenerative and sustainable practice at the heart of government. Unparalleled in its scope and vision, the Act connects environmental and social health and looks to solve complex issues such as poverty, education and unemployment. She is joined by the First Minister for Wales, the Minister for International Affairs, and the Future Generations Commissioner.

#futuregen is the inspiring story of a small, pioneering nation discovering prosperity through its vast natural beauty, renewable energy resources and resilient communities. It’s a living, breathing prototype for local and global leaders as proof of what is possible in the fight for a sustainable future. Chaired by Guto Harri.

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Event 2

Gloria Steinem talks to Laura Bates

The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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In a special recording of the Hay Festival Podcast, the writer shares her Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion with the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project. For decades, people around the world have found guidance, humour and unity in Gloria Steinem's gift for creating quotes that offer hope and inspire action. From her early days as a journalist and feminist activist, Steinem's words have helped generations to empower themselves and work together.

THIS EVENT WILL BE RELEASED AS THE HAY FESTIVAL PODCAST ON THURSDAY 28 MAY AT 9AM. TO SUBSCRIBE PLEASE VISIT THE PODCAST PAGES HERE.

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Event 3

Naomi Oreskes talks to Nick Stern

The British Academy Lecture: Why Trust Science

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her books include The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Oreskes is on Twitter @NaomiOreskes

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Event 4

Dara McAnulty and Steve Silberman

Diary of a Young Naturalist

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty's world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. "I was diagnosed with Asperger's/autism aged five ... By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system." Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara's intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning. "In writing this book," Dara explains, "I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child's eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere."

Steve Silberman is an award-winning investigative reporter and has covered science and cultural affairs for Wired and other national magazines for more than twenty years. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, TIME, Nature and Salon. He won the 2015 Samuel Johnson/Baillie Gifford Prize for his book Neurotribes.

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Event 5

Wordsworth 250: A Night in with the Wordsworths

All star cast

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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A gala performing of William’s poetry and Dorothy’s journals begins our 250th anniversary celebrations with a superstar cast reading work that will include Intimations of Immortality, Daffodils, lines composed both Upon Westminster Bridge and Above Tintern Abbey, The Prelude and We Are Seven. Hosted and introduced by Shahidha Bari with readings by Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Monty Don, Lisa Dwan, Inua Ellams, Stephen Fry, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Helen McCrory, Jonathan Pryce and Vanessa Redgrave.

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Event 6

Esther Duflo, chaired by Evan Davis

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The 2019 Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo shows how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. From immigration to inequality, slowing growth to accelerating climate change, we have the resources to address the challenges we face but we are so often blinded by ideology.

Original, provocative and urgent, Good Economics for Hard Times offers the new thinking that we need. It builds on cutting-edge research in economics - and years of exploring the most effective solutions to alleviate extreme poverty - to make a persuasive case for an intelligent interventionism and a society built on compassion and respect. A much-needed antidote to polarized discourse, this book shines a light to help us appreciate and understand our precariously balanced world. Her work has never seemed so urgent.

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Event 7

Fernando Montaño

Hay Festival Cartagena Presents: Una Buena Ventura

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Colombian dancer Fernando Montaño is a Soloist of The Royal Ballet and the first Colombian to join the company. He arrived in 2006, was promoted to First Artist in 2010 and to Soloist in 2014. In 2019 he received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Bath University. He will dance accompanied by readings of excerpts from his memoir, translated as A Boy with a Beautiful Dream, about his humble origins and his amazing journey to stardom. At his lockdown studio in Los Angeles, Fernando is now developing a film adaptation of his book. From here he will dance the death of the Swan as a more contemporary version of this quarantine and the marimba dance, inspired by the ballet and folklore of Colombia. Writer Ella Windsor will also read her Foreword to his powerful story.

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Event 8

Stephen Fry

TROY

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The actor and author previews scenes from the third part of his Greek trilogy, which follows Mythos and Heroes.

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Event 9

Erika Stockholm, Jemma Wadham and Raul Loayza Murotalk to Andy Fryers

TRANS.MISSION II: In hot water - Peruvian glacial retreat and its impact on water security

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) present Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The Peruvian strand of the project features Peruvian writer Erika Stockholm, Professor Jemma Wadham from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute, Dr Raul Loayza Muro from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru and a team of glaciology experts. Jemma researches hydrological and biogeochemical processes that occur within glacier and ice sheet systems and in their fore fields, which have a potential regional or global impact. Erika Stockholm is a writer, theatre producer and actress and President of the Asociación Cultural ¡Al teatro por primera vez!.

Using Professor Wadham’s work as inspiration, Erika created a story to spotlight Peruvian glacial retreat and its impact on water security and resilience to natural hazards. The story is called "Glacier Shallap - or the sad tale of a dying glacier" and it can be watched here.

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II pairs NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about ongoing research projects.

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Event 10

Greg Jenner talks to John Mitchinson

Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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In this ambitious history Jenner assembles a vibrant cast of over 125 actors, singers, dancers, sportspeople, freaks, demigods, ruffians, and more, in search of celebrity's historical roots. He reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early eighteenth century, how it differs to ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight. Dead Famous is a surprising, funny, and fascinating exploration of both a bygone age and how we came to inhabit our modern, fame obsessed society.

Greg Jenner is a public historian, broadcaster, and author, and an Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he does some occasional teaching. He is the Historical Consultant to BBC's Emmy & multiple BAFTA award-winning Horrible Histories, and was a key member of the team on Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans. He is the host of the BBC comedy podcast You're Dead To Me!, is a regular voice on BBC Radio 4, and his TV appearances include BBC2's The Great History Quiz and Inside Versailles. His first book A Million Years In A Day was a UK number 1 audiobook bestseller and was translated into nine languages. Chaired by John Mitchinson of Unbound, formerly elf-convenor at QI.

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Event 11

Maggie O'Farrell talks to Peter Florence

Fictions: Hamnet

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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* Shortlisted for the Women's Prize *

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the memoir I Am, I Am, I Am, and eight novels: After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions For A Heatwave, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, This Must Be The Place, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and Hamnet.

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Event 12

Rutger Bregman chaired by Lily Cole

Humankind: A Hopeful History

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.

Providing a new historical perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history, Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. When we think the worst of others, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics too.

Rutger Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think and act, as the foundation for achieving true change in our society. It is time for a new view of human nature.

Bregman is one of Europe’s most prominent young historians. His previous book, Utopia for Realists was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been translated from the Dutch into more than thirty languages. Bregman has twice been nominated for the prestigious European Press Prize for his work at De Correspondent, and his writing has also featured in the Washington Post and the Guardian. His TED talk, ‘Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash’, has been viewed more than three million times.

In 2019, Bregman went viral after calling out tax-shy billionaires at the World Economic Forum in Davos and then again when he confronted Fox News host Tucker Carlson. These videos have been viewed over twenty-four-million times.

Lily Cole is an environmental activist, model, actress and filmmaker. She holds an MA in history of art from the University of Cambridge, was an affiliate at The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow, for her contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes through social businesses. Her book Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism in our Changing World will be published in July.

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Event 13

Mark Lynas

Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Illustrated with extraordinary images and graphics, the climate expert lays out the scale and timeline of threat to the planet. At one degree – the world we are already living in – vast wildfires scorch California and Australia, while monster hurricanes devastate coastal cities. At two degrees the Arctic ice cap melts away, and coral reefs disappear from the tropics. At three, the world begins to run out of food, threatening millions with starvation. At four, large areas of the globe are too hot for human habitation, erasing entire nations and turning billions into climate refugees. At five, the planet is warmer than for 55 million years, while at six degrees a mass extinction of unparalleled proportions sweeps the planet, even raising the threat of the end of all life on Earth.

These escalating consequences can still be avoided, but time is running out. We must largely stop burning fossil fuels within a decade if we are to save the coral reefs and the Arctic. If we fail, then we risk crossing tipping points that could push global climate chaos out of humanity’s control.

Mark Lynas is a journalist, campaigner and author of several books on the environment, including High Tide (2004), Six Degrees (2007), The God Species (2011), Nuclear 2.0 (2013) and Seeds of Science (2018). He has written for CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Times, the Guardian and is a visiting fellow with the Alliance for Science at Cornell University, New York. He lives in Herefordshire.

Chaired by Andy Fryers, Hay Festival's Sustainability Director.

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Event 14

Sally Davies

The John Maddox Lecture - The Drugs Don't Work

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Antibiotics add, on average, twenty years to our lives. For over seventy years, since the manufacture of penicillin in 1943, we have survived extraordinary operations and life-threatening infections. We are so familiar with these wonder drugs that we take them for granted. The truth is that we have been abusing them: as patients, as doctors, as travellers, in our food. No new class of antibacterial has been discovered for twenty six years and the bugs are fighting back. If we do not take responsibility now, in a few decades we may start dying from the most commonplace of operations and ailments that can today be treated easily.

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies was the Chief Medical Officer for England and the first woman to hold the post. She holds a number of international advisory positions and is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Introduced by Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief of Nature.

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Event 15

Jon Sopel talks to Guto Harri

A Year at the Circus: Inside Trump's White House

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Welcome to the White House, five months out from an election that will define America's recovery.

At the heart of Washington, there is a circus. It's raucous, noisy and full of clowns. Reporting on it is a daily cacophony. Four major stories can blow up and blow out before breakfast, and political weather systems are moving at warp speed. The one thing absent from the weather forecast is the tranquil eye of the storm. That we never see.

In A Year at the Circus: Inside Trump's White House, BBC North America Editor, Jon Sopel, takes you inside Trump’s West Wing and explores the impact this presidency has had on the most iconic of American institutions. Each chapter starts inside a famous Washington room, uncovering its history and its new resonance in the Trump era.

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Event 16

Jonathan Bate

The Poet Who Changed the World: William Wordsworth and the Romantic Revolution

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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A dazzling new biography of Wordsworth’s radical life as a thinker and poetical innovator, published to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.

William Wordsworth wrote the first great poetic autobiography. We owe to him the idea that places of outstanding natural beauty should become what he called ‘a sort of national property’. He changed forever the way we think about childhood, about the sense of the self, about our connection to the natural environment, and about the purpose of poetry.

He was born among the mountains of the English Lake District. He walked into the French Revolution, had a love affair and an illegitimate child, before witnessing horrific violence in Paris. His friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge was at the core of the Romantic movement. As he retreated from radical politics and into an imaginative world within, his influence would endure as he shaped the ideas of thinkers, writers and activists throughout the nineteenth century in both Britain and the United States.


In association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Wordsworth Trust

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Event 17

Elif Shafak

Imagine the World in the time of the Coronavirus 1: Social Justice and Dignity

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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In this first of a series of short talks specially commissioned to engage with renewal the Turkish writer reflects on issues very close to her heart such as social justice, dignity, human rights, equality, public benefit, diversity…. and a new kind of political action. Elif Shafak is an activist for women's rights, minority rights, and freedom of speech. Her latest book 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker prize and for the Prix de Livre Etranger in France.

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Event 18

Paul Dolan and Magdalena Skipper talk to Rosie Boycott

Covid-19: What do we mean when we say we're guided by the Science?

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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What are the medical imperatives? What are the dangers of the virus, isolation, domestic abuse, mental health crises and poverty? By focusing on the most vulnerable and elderly, are we doubling down on generational injustice? The behavioural economist Paul Dolan, author of Happy Ever After discusses the societal pressures and implications with Magdalena Skipper, the editor of Nature magazine.

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Event 19

Naomi Millner, Ted Feldpausch and Juan Cárdenas in conversation with Andy Fryers

TRANS.MISSION II: The history of life - understanding the natural resources of Colombia

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) present Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The Colombian strand of the project features Colombian writer and activist Juan Cárdenas and a team of experts led by Dr Naomi Milner and Dr Ted Feldpausch. Using the research work as inspiration, Juan has created a piece of creative writing to communicate the socio-ecological systems within Colombia and their response to environmental change. Dr Naomi Millner is Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Bristol and is working on one of three linked research projects under The Exploring & Understanding Colombian Bio Resources programme. Dr Ted Feldpausch is an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter whose research focuses on tropical forest and savanna ecology. Juan Cárdenas is a writer, creative writing teacher and activist who has worked extensively with Afrocolombian and indigenous communities mapping oral traditions.

The story that Juan created using the research is called “Espiral” and can be watched here

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II pairs NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about ongoing research projects.

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Event 20

Peter Lacy

The Circular Economy

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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We stand at a crossroads, with rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions, massive technological change and now an increasing array of social and environmental challenges. We are pushing planetary boundaries to their limits, with climate change and threats to biodiversity and oceans as just a few examples. Our current linear “take, make, waste” models of production and consumption will not be sustainable; the circular economy model offers a powerful means to decouple growth from use of scarce and harmful resources, enabling greater production and consumption with fewer negative impacts.

Our inaugural book Waste to Wealth (2015) identified a $4.5 trillion value at stake by 2030 through a radical departure from traditional production and consumption systems. Now, The Circular Economy Handbook, featuring insights gained from years of experience and an analysis of 1,500 case studies offers a practical view on how organizations can take transformative steps toward circularity and create new opportunities for competitiveness and sustainable prosperity. Lacy, co-author of the handbook, highlights the opportunity for value capture by adopting five new circular business models. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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