To watch Hay Festival Digital 2020 please subscribe to Hay Player.
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.
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.
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.
The multi-award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams introduces extracts from his celebrated autobiographical one-man show and discusses the latest twists and turns in his life with the online audience. Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, the show tells his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.
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.
As places where human knowledge, thought and experience are held, libraries are often vulnerable during times of conflict. Like places of education, they are frequently targeted in an attack on collective knowledge and freedom of thought, as was the case when IS destroyed the Iraqi University of Mosul’s library in 2015.
Renowned BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson leads historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes (whose latest book is Venus and Aphrodite), Book Aid International Chair Lord Paul Boateng and the award-winning sculptor and author of The Hare With Amber Eyes and The White Road. in a discussion on what it means when libraries become targets during conflict and how individuals and communities are affected.
We celebrate four of the contributors to the Hay Festival Europa 28 project, part of the Rijeka European Capital of Culture 2020. With so many flare-ups of nationalism and isolationism in recent years, there is a sense that Europe needs to be fixed, or, at the very least, profoundly reconfigured; whether it is to address the grievances of those feeling disenfranchised from it, or to improve social cohesion, or even continue to exist as a democratic transnational entity.
Bringing together 28 acclaimed women writers, artists, scientists and entrepreneurs from across Europe, this powerful and timely anthology looks at an ever-changing Europe from a variety of different perspectives and offers hope and insight into how we might begin to rebuild.
Kassabova is Bulgarian by birth and lives in Scotland. She is the author of Street Without a Name, Border and To The Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace. Muscat is one of Malta’s leading investigative journalists. She contributed to and co-edited the book, Invicta: The Life and Work of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Bán is a Hungarian writer, critic and scholar. Her recent works include the novel, Night School: A Reader for Grownups, and The Summer of Our Discontent. Chaired by Hughes, a leading literary translator and the editor of the Europa 28 anthology.
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.
The historian explores the isolations and protections of our current situation in a time of Coronavirus, and reflects on the clear and present dangers to society and the world.
Buy the book at Waterstones
China’s history is one of the richest and most thrilling narratives in the world. At a time when anti-Chinese feeling is rising across the globe, even in the UK, it is all the more important to see China from its own point of view- a big theme of this year’s “Imagine the World” Hay Festival. In this talk Michael Wood previews his forthcoming book, The Story of China: A Portrait of a Civilisation and its People: a riveting grand sweep narrative which is the product of four decades of travel and filming in China. Packed with big ideas, landscape and travel, and peoples' stories, it depicts Chinese history from multiple viewpoints, from clan histories and oral reminiscences, poetry and letters, village diaries, personal memoirs and imperial memoranda, along with the latest archaeological finds, telling a story of intense drama, fabulous creativity, and deep humanity.
Film maker broadcaster and historian, Michael is the author of many highly praised books including the Sunday Times Number One bestsellers In Search of the Trojan War, Domesday and In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great. He has also made some 120 documentary films, which have been seen around the world, among them The Story of India (’the gold standard of documentary history making” - Wall Street Journal) and The Story of England ( ‘the most innovative history series ever made for TV' -Independent). Michael is Professor of Public History at Manchester University.
Power is a leading global voice on human rights and international affairs. She served for four years as President Obama’s human rights adviser and then, from 2013 to 2017, in his Cabinet and as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Power is the author of several books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘A Problem From Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide, and has been named one of TIME’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ and one of Forbes’ ‘100 Most Powerful Women’. "Her highly personal and reflective memoir … is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world’ Barack Obama.
The Mexican journalist and activist Lydia Cacho has spent decades fighting for women rights through her journalistic work with gender perspective, created a shelter for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking in Cancun and has written several books. Cacho is currently living in exile because her personal security has been threatened in her home country. She will speak about investigative journalism that highlights injustice and inequality for women.
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.
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.