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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.
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.
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.
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.
The great deceit of evolution is that it has bestowed characteristics upon us that are visible but not meaningful. We are obsessed with categorisation, plagued by an innate and tyrannous desire to group things together, and this includes one another. One of the easiest ways is by skin colour, but as Adam Rutherford shows this is a terrible way to categorise people. The way we talk about race is not reflected in our modern understanding of the genetic basis of human variation. 'Black' is an identifier that says very little about the similarities of billions of people apart from a very imprecise reference to pigmentation. Variation in skin tone predated humans' emergence in Africa and is moderated by a handful of genes out of 20,000. And - crucially - there is more genetic diversity within Africa than in the rest of the world put together. These are scientifically uncontroversial things to say. Yet scientific racism is back, and increasingly part of the public discourse on politics, migration, education, sport and intelligence. How to Argue with a Racist is a short, crisp manifesto for a 21st-century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the use of science to justify bigotry.
Rutherford presents BBC Radio 4’s weekly programme Inside Science, and with Dr. Hannah Fry, The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. He has written and presented several award winning television documentaries, including The Cell (2009), The Gene Code (2011), the Beauty of Anatomy (2014), and Playing God, on the rise of synthetic biology for the BBC’s long-running science series Horizon. His first book, Creation was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize.
A conversation about writing into an authoritarian world, finding ways of telling truths and making the case for Human Rights. Shafak is the author of the global bestseller 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World. She writes in both Turkish and English. Sands is a lawyer, President of English PEN and the author of the Baillie Gifford Prize-winning East West Street. Introduced by Daniel Gorman, director of English PEN.
We celebrate three more contributors to the Hay Festival Europa 28 project, part of the Rijeka European Capital of Culture 2020.
Moroccan-born Slimani won the Prix Goncourt for her novel Lullaby, and is the author of Adèle and Sex and Lies. Dwan is an Irish actor whose Beckett performances have toured the world. She has recently collaborated with Colm Toibín and Margaret Atwood. Cottam is a social activist and the author of Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us & Revolutionise the Welfare State. They talk to Sophie Hughes.
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.
What is a good death? How would you choose to live your last few months? How do we best care for the rising tide of very elderly?
In a series of reflections on death in all its forms: the science of it, the medicine, the tragedy and the comedy. Dr David Jarrett draws on family stories and case histories from his thirty years of treating the old, demented and frail to try to find his own understanding of the end. And he writes about all the conversations that we, our parents, our children, the medical community, our government and society as a whole should be having.
Profound, provocative, strangely funny and astonishingly compelling, it is an impassioned plea that we start talking frankly and openly about death. And it is a call to arms for us to make radical changes to our perspective on ‘the seventh age of man’.
Troyer explains how technologies of the nineteenth century including embalming and photography, created our image of a dead body as quasi-atemporal, existing outside biological limits formerly enforced by decomposition. He describes the “Happy Death Movement” of the 1970s; the politics of HIV/AIDS corpse and the productive potential of the dead body; the provocations of the Body Worlds exhibits and their use of preserved dead bodies; the black market in human body parts; and the transformation of historic technologies of the human corpse into “death prevention technologies.” The consequences of total control over death and the dead body, Troyer argues, are not liberation but the abandonment of Homo sapiens as a concept and a species. Troyer forces us to consider the increasing overlap between politics, dying, and the dead body in both general and specifically personal terms. John Troyer is Director of the Centre for Death and Society and Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. He grew up in the American funeral industry.
The Art of Rest draws on ground-breaking research Claudia Hammond collaborated on - 'The Rest Test' - the largest global survey into rest ever undertaken. It was completed by 18,000 people across 135 different countries. Much of value has been written about sleep, but rest is different; it is how we unwind, calm our minds and recharge our bodies. And, as the survey revealed, how much rest you get is directly linked to your sense of well-being.
Claudia Hammond is an award-winning writer and broadcaster and Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Sussex. As the presenter of All in the Mind she is BBC Radio 4's voice of psychology and mental health.
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.
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.
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.
The renowned Spanish philosopher, an expert on Ethics and a prolific writer, reflects from his Basque Country home about the immediate effects of the covid19 crisis on our psyche, how solidarity is probably the most relevant concept now for human beings, and how we need to trust the scientific method.
Why bother with God?
Do you know what matters in life?
What are the limits of kindness?
Why doesn’t God intervene?
What are you worth?
For 20 years, bestselling novelist Rhidian Brook has pondered such questions on Radio 4's Thought for the Day, encouraging, nudging, sometimes provoking millions into thinking about the possibility of a God who is intimately and cosmically involved in the human story. Over 100 of his Thoughts are collected in his new anthology, forming a kind of alternative history of the 21st century, and inviting us to reflect on the deeper spiritual dimensions of our lives and times.
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.
In #futuregen, 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.
It’s a living, breathing prototype for local and global leaders as proof of what is possible in the fight for a sustainable future. Davidson is joined by Caroline Lucas MP, Becky Ricketts, President of the Students’ Union UWTSD and incoming President of the National Union for Students in Wales, and Jonathan Boston, Professor in the Wellington School of Business and Government, who advises the New Zealand government on their policy for future generations.
Chaired by Andy Fryers.
The foundations upon which our democracies stand are inherently flawed, vulnerable to corrosion from within. What is the remedy?
The philosopher makes the case for a clear, consistent, principled and written constitution, and sets out the reforms necessary – among them addressing the imbalance of power between government and Parliament, imposing fixed terms for MPs, introducing proportional representation and lowering the voting age to 16 (the age at which you can marry, gamble, join the army and must pay taxes if you work) – to ensure the intentions of such a constitution could not be subverted or ignored. As democracies around the world show signs of decay, the issue of what makes a good state, one that is democratic in the fullest sense of the word, could not be more important.
The renowned Canadian botanist, biochemist and visionary has underpinned a quiet revolution in the way that we see trees. Her research includes the discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest; the fact that trees are a living library, have a chemical language and communicate in a quantum world; the major idea that trees heal living creatures through the aerosols they release and that they carry a great wealth of natural antibiotics and other healing substances; and, perhaps most significantly, that planting trees can actively regulate the atmosphere and the oceans, and even stabilize our climate. In this talk she tells the story of how she came to uncover these startling insights of tree function and behaviour and explains why healthy intact forests are essential to the survival of humans on planet earth.
Black Mountains College asks: What is an education for the future? We know that the way we live our lives is broken and BMC has designed an undergraduate degree dedicated to changing it. Underpinned by neuroscience, the teaching methods, contextual learning, the collaborative culture and interdisciplinary curriculum will maximise the potential of students to re-engineer our society and systems for the better. Diana Beresford-Kroeger embodies exactly the kind of maverick inter-disciplinary thinking that BMC aims to foster.
Chaired by Owen Sheers and introduced by Ben Rawlence.