Hay Festival Digital #Imaginetheworld

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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 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 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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Event 27

Miriam González Durántez

Imagine the World in the time of the Coronavirus 2: Legislation for Domestic Work

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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In this second of a series of short talks specially commissioned to engage with renewal, the Palo Alto-based Spanish lawyer, an expert on EU legislation and founder of the project Inspiring girls, speaks about the unpaid and undervalued domestic work that allows family units to function but is still not accounted or legislated. The coronavirus crisis has shifted the attention to what goes on inside the home and González Durántez will explore why domestic work is so crucial for society.

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Event 30

Lan Yan talks to Philippe Sands

House of Lan: A Family at the Heart of a Century in Chinese History

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The history of the Yan family is inseparable from the history of China over the last century. One of the most influential businesswomen of China today, Lan Yan grew up in the company of the country's powerful elite, including Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and other top leaders. Her grandfather, Yan Baohang, originally a nationalist and close to Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong May-ling, later joined the communists and worked as a secret agent for Zhou Enlai during World War II. Lan's parents were diplomats, and her father, Yan Mingfu, was Mao's personal Russian translator.

In spite of their elevated status, the Yan's family life was turned upside down by the Cultural Revolution. One night in 1967, in front of a terrified ten-year-old Lan, Red Guards burst into the family home and arrested her grandfather. Days later, her father was arrested, accused of spying for the Soviet Union. Her mother, Wu Keliang, was branded a counter-revolutionary and forced to go with her daughter to a re-education camp for more than seven years, where Lan came of age as a high school student.

In recounting her family history, Lan Yan brings to life a century of Chinese history from the last emperor to present day, including the Cultural Revolution which tore her childhood apart. The little girl who was crushed by the Cultural Revolution has become one of the most active businesswomen in her country. In telling her and her family's story, she serves up an intimate account of the history of contemporary China.

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Event 33

Tim Harford

The Next Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Who thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down?

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?

Tim Harford is a member of the Financial Times editorial board. His column, 'The Undercover Economist', which reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences, is published in the Financial Times and Slate. He is also the only economist in the world to run a problem page, 'Dear Economist'. Tim presented the BBC television series 'Trust Me, I'm an Economist' and now presents the BBC radio series 'More or Less'.

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Event 34

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

The Futures We Choose

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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We can survive the climate crisis. Figueres and Rivett-Carnac show us how.

We have two choices for our future, which is still unwritten. It will be shaped by who we choose to be right now. So, how can we change the story of the world?

The Future We Choose is a passionate call to arms from former UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, and Tom Rivett-Carnac, senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement. We are still able to stave off the worst and manage the long-term effects of climate change, but we have to act now. We know what we need to do, and we have everything we need to do it.

Practical, optimistic and empowering, The Future We Choose is a book for every generation, for all of us who feel powerless in the face of the climate crisis.

'One of the most inspiring books I have ever read' Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Event 40

Hannah Rothschild talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions: House of Trelawney

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The new novel from the author of The Improbability of Love, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction, is a mischievous satire of English money and class. The seat of the Trelawney family for over 800 years, Trelawney Castle was once the jewel of the Cornish coast. Each successive Earl spent with abandon, turning the house and grounds into a sprawling, extravagant palimpsest of wings, turrets and follies. But recent generations have been better at spending than making money. Now living in isolated penury, unable to communicate with each other or the rest of the world, the family are running out of options. Three unexpected events will hasten their demise: the sudden appearance of a new relation, an illegitimate, headstrong, beautiful girl; an unscrupulous American hedge fund manager determined to exact revenge; and the crash of 2008. A love story and social satire set in the parallel and seemingly unconnected worlds of the British aristocracy and high finance, House of Trelawney is also the story of lost and found friendships between three women. One of them will die; another will discover her vocation; and the third will find love.

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Event 49

Ainissa Ramirez

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions-clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips-and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies. Ramirez shows not only how materials were shaped by inventors but also how those materials shaped culture, chronicling each invention and its consequences-intended and unintended.

Ainissa Ramirez is a materials scientist and sought-after public speaker and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She has written for Time, Scientific American, the American Scientist, and Forbes, and makes regular appearances on PBS's SciTech Now.

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Event 57

Jules Hudson

Escape to the Country

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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For over a decade, the BBC's hit rural property series 'Escape to the Country' has helped thousands of would-be country dwellers do just that. Now Jules Hudson shares his experience of seeking out captivating country homes in this inspiring and practical guide.

Himself an escapee, Jules answers many of the key questions that have come up during hundreds of house hunts in some of the most beautiful and sought-after parts of the UK, including:

Where to go and what to buy

The highs and lows of taking on a project

Going green and creating an eco home for the future

Living the good life; top tips for smallholdings

Working from home; what does it take to create a successful rural business?

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Event 64

Paul Dolan

F**k the Narrative

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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There are many narratives about how we should live our lives. We should seek success, for example, and we are masters of our own destiny. We use these narratives as sticks to beat others with if they don’t conform. I will consider whether these narratives are good for us and why we care way too much about what others do. Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science at the LSE and author of Happy Ever After.

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Event 66

Daniel Susskind

A World Without Work

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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An idea that has found new resonance in the zooming age of lockdown and furlough: From mechanical looms to combustion engines and early computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. In the past, such fears have been misplaced, and many economists maintain that they remain so today. Yet in A World Without Work, Susskind shows why this time really is different. Advances in artificial intelligence mean that all kinds of jobs are increasingly at risk. So how can we all thrive in a world with less work? Susskind reminds us that technological progress could bring about unprecedented prosperity, solving one of mankind's oldest problems: making sure that everyone has enough to live on. The challenge will be to distribute this prosperity fairly, constrain the burgeoning power of Big Tech and provide meaning in a world where work is no longer the centre of our lives. In this visionary, pragmatic and ultimately hopeful book, Susskind shows us the way.

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Event 69

Lynda Gratton & Andrew J Scott talk to Guto Harri

The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Smart new technologies. Longer, healthier lives. Human progress has risen to great heights, but at the same time it has prompted anxiety about where we’re heading. Are our jobs under threat? If we live to 100, will we ever really stop working? And how will this change the way we love, manage and learn from others?

Andrew J Scott is Professor of Economics at the London Business School and consulting scholar at Stanford University's Center on Longevity. Through his multi-award-winning research, writing and teaching, his ideas inform a global understanding of the profound shifts reshaping our world and the actions needed for us to flourish individually and as a society.

Lynda Gratton is Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School where she teaches an elective on the Future of Work and directs an executive program on Human Resource Strategy. Lynda is a fellow of the World Economic Forum, is ranked by Business Thinkers in the top 15 in the world, and was named the best teacher at London Business School in 2015.

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Event 72

William Dalrymple

The Anarchy

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The multi-award-winning historian presents The Anarchy, a cautionary tale of the rise of the East India Company, a vast and ruthless private army, perpetrators of one of the most supreme acts of corporate violence in world history.

Dalrymple’s award-winning books include In Xanadu, City of Djinns, Age of Kali, Nine Lives and The Last Mughal. 

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Event 74

Roman Krznaric talks to John Mitchinson

The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long-Term in a Short-Term World

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Leading popular philosopher and best-selling author Roman Krznaric shows just how crucial long-term thinking is, not just for ordinary people but across political, economic, environmental and business worlds.

From the personal to the political, Krznaric identifies the flaws of today’s short-term mindset. Drawing on ideas from a wide range of perspectives including neuroscience, cultural history, politics, economics, art and religion, he offers eight key approaches as a roadmap for the future of long-term thinking and planning.

Unless we change our habits today our quick-fix, short-term culture can threaten societies in the long run.

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Event 78

Paul Krugman

Imagine the World in the time of the Coronavirus: The Global Economy

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The Nobel Prize winning economist is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a columnist for The New York Times. He analyses the global economy in the context of Covid-19 and proposes ideas for renewal in its aftermath. His latest book is Arguing With Zombies.

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