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Intelligence Squared

Updated 4 days ago

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Politics
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Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the debate at www.intelligencesquared.com and download our weekly podcasts every Tuesday and Friday.

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Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the debate at www.intelligencesquared.com and download our weekly podcasts every Tuesday and Friday.

iTunes Ratings

408 Ratings
Average Ratings
292
61
26
15
14

No podcast I would recommend more

By a non y-mous - Jan 12 2019
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Especially in the day and age. The moderator is sharp and always on point

Worth downloading.

By PhotoDruggie - Dec 08 2018
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Very insightful. Engaging. And worth listening to.

iTunes Ratings

408 Ratings
Average Ratings
292
61
26
15
14

No podcast I would recommend more

By a non y-mous - Jan 12 2019
Read more
Especially in the day and age. The moderator is sharp and always on point

Worth downloading.

By PhotoDruggie - Dec 08 2018
Read more
Very insightful. Engaging. And worth listening to.

Listen to:

Cover image of Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the debate at www.intelligencesquared.com and download our weekly podcasts every Tuesday and Friday.

The Great European Refugees And Migrants Debate

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Europe is gripped by the biggest migrant crisis since the Second World War. The parallels with that earlier crisis are hard to avoid. When in 1938 tens of thousands were fleeing Nazi Germany, not a single European country agreed to raise its quotas. In response Hitler and Goebbels observed that, while other countries complained about how Germany treated the Jews, no one else wanted them either. This is one of the points that Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg made in the Intelligence Squared Great European Refugees and Migrants Debate. With the squabbling last month between the countries of Europe over the quota system, the Hungarian government erecting a steel fence on its southern border and Germany and Sweden reintroducing border controls, will this period go down in history as another one when Europe closed its doors?

Some would argue, however, that humanitarian pleas to give a compassionate welcome to the refugees may be admirable, but the numbers entering Europe are simply too high for everyone to be... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 27 2015

1hr 1min

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An Evening With Slavoj Zizek

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Radical philosopher, polymath, film star, cult icon, and author of over 30 books, Slavoj Žižek is one of the most controversial and leading contemporary public intellectuals, simultaneously acclaimed as the ‘Elvis of cultural theory’ and denounced as ‘the most dangerous philosopher in the West’.

In this special lecture for Intelligence Squared from July 2011, Žižek argues that global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis and that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the five stages of grief – ideological denial, explosions of anger, attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and finally acceptance of change. Referencing everything from Kafka, the "Hollywood Marxism" of Avatar, the Arab Spring and WikiLeaks, he presents a roadmap for finding a way beyond the madness. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jan 24 2014

1hr 30mins

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The Catholic Church is a Force For Good in The World

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Can anything good really be said of an institution that has such a warped attitude to sex that it tries to stop the world from wearing a condom, is bitterly opposed to gays leading a fulfilled life and regards women as unworthy of officiating in its rituals? But who you gonna call when it comes to finding a good school for your children, when it comes to standing up for the oppressed, when it comes to giving material and spiritual succour to the wretched of the earth?

In 2009 Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens locked horns with Anne Widdecombe and John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, over whether or not the Catholic Church was a force for good. Today the debate has been watched more times online than any other Intelligence Squared event. We're thrilled to make the audio available to all as part of our Advent podcast. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 13 2013

46mins

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Robert Macfarlane on Landscape and the Human Heart

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How do the landscapes we love shape the people we are? Why do we walk? For several years and more than a thousand miles, celebrated travel writer Robert Macfarlane has been following the vast network of old paths and routes that criss-cross Britain and its waters, and connect them to countries and continents beyond.

Listen to his enthralling account from June 2012 of the ghosts and voices that haunt old tracks, of songlines and their singers, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of rights of way and rites of way. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 04 2013

1hr 15mins

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Yuval Noah Harari on the Myths we Need to Survive

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Myths. We tend to think they’re a thing of the past, fabrications that early humans needed to believe in because their understanding of the world was so meagre. But what if modern civilisation were itself based on a set of myths? This is the big question posed by Professor Yuval Noah Harari, author of 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind', which has become one of the most talked about bestsellers of recent years.

In this exclusive appearance for Intelligence Squared, Harari argued that all political orders are based on useful fictions which have allowed groups of humans, from ancient Mesopotamia through to the Roman empire and modern capitalist societies, to cooperate in numbers far beyond the scope of any other species. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 19 2016

1hr 1min

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Sam Harris on the Science of Good and Evil

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Where do our ideas about morality and meaning come from? Most people - from religious extremists to secular scientists - would agree on one point: that science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to explain meaning and morality has become the primary justification for religious faith and the reason why even many non-believers feel obliged to accord respect to the beliefs of the devout. In this podcast, recorded at our event in April 2011, Sam Harris, the American philosopher and neuroscientist, argues that these views are mistaken - that amidst all the competing arguments about how we should lead our lives, science can show us that there are right and wrong answers. This means that moral relativism is mistaken and that there can be neither a Christian nor a Muslim morality - and that ultimately science can and should determine how best to live our lives. After an opening speech, Revd Dr Giles Fraser, former-canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, joins Harris in conversation. The event was chaired by Jeremy O'Grady, Editor-in-chief of The Week magazine and co-founder of Intelligence Squared.

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Sep 07 2017

59mins

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David Brooks on the Road to Character

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On May 26th 2015, New York Times columnist David Brooks came to the Intelligence Squared stage to share the insights of his latest book, 'The Road to Character'. Brooks argued that today’s ‘Big Me’ culture is making us increasingly self-preoccupied: we live in a world where we’re taught to be assertive, to master skills, to broadcast our brand, to get likes, to get followers. But amidst all the noise of self-promotion, Brooks claimed that we’ve lost sight of an important and counterintuitive truth: that in order to fulfil ourselves we need to learn how to forget ourselves.

Brooks was joined on stage by writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts Andrew Solomon. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 04 2015

59mins

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Blockchain: Quantum leap forward or digital snake oil?

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Blockchain, the technology on which Bitcoin is based, has gone mainstream. Evangelists describe it as a thrilling and versatile foundation that will revolutionise everything from finance to governance. But is it really the radical new paradigm its adherents claim?


We were joined on stage by Jamie Bartlett, one of the UK’s leading thinkers on the politics and social influence of the internet; Primavera De Filippi, expert on the legal challenges and opportunities of blockchain technologies and author of Blockchain and The Law; David Gerard, author of the news blog and book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts; and Vít Jedlička, founder and first elected president of the Free Republic of Liberland, which aims to be the first country to base its government structure on blockchain technology.


The event was chaired by BBC Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 27 2018

59mins

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Yuval Noah Harari on the myths we need to survive

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Myths. We tend to think they’re a thing of the past, fabrications that early humans needed to believe in because their understanding of the world was so meagre. But what if modern civilisation were itself based on a set of myths? This is the big question posed by Professor Yuval Noah Harari, author of 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind', which has become one of the most talked about bestsellers of recent years.

In this exclusive appearance for Intelligence Squared, Harari argued that all political orders are based on useful fictions which have allowed groups of humans, from ancient Mesopotamia through to the Roman empire and modern capitalist societies, to cooperate in numbers far beyond the scope of any other species. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 25 2015

1hr 1min

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The Best Chance For Peace In Israel And Palestine Is For Uncle Sam To Butt Out

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Is it surprising that the Israelis and Palestinians are still unable to come to some sort of agreement? After all if the adjudicator in a mediation is firmly on your side why bother to concede anything to the enemy? Conversely, why accept anything proposed by the adjudicator if you know his affections are biased towards the other side? We know America’s neutrality is hopelessly compromised on this issue and it doesn’t pretend otherwise. Say something against Israel in the run-up to the US presidential elections and you won’t become president. And since that’s not going to change, the best thing one can hope is for America to simply withdraw from the peace process.

Or is it? Some have faith that Washington can be persuaded to adopt a more flexible and even-handed stance – that it can free itself from the influence of the hard-liners and be responsive to more liberal voices. For if America were not involved – if the most important global playmaker were excluded or pulled out of the negotiating process –... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 27 2014

1hr 48mins

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Karen Armstrong on Religion and the History of Violence

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Karen Armstrong has written over 16 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and how our faiths have shaped world history and drive current events.

She came to the Intelligence Squared stage to talk about her forthcoming book 'Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence'. Journeying from prehistoric times to the present, she contrasted medieval crusaders and modern-day jihadists with the pacifism of the Buddha and Jesus’ vision of a just and peaceful society. And she demonstrated that the underlying reasons – social, economic, political – for war and violence in our history have often had very little to do with religion. Instead, Armstrong celebrates the religious ideas and movements that have opposed war and aggression and promoted peace and reconciliation. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 16 2014

1hr 23mins

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Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Alchemist of the Ordinary

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Novelists worship him. Critics fall over themselves to explain his genius. His celebrity fans say his books are like drugs. ‘I just read 200 pages and I need the next volume like crack. It’s completely blown my mind,’ Zadie Smith tweeted.

What they’re all raving about is Karl Ove Knausgaard’s bestselling series of six autobiographical novels, 'My Struggle'. The books recount in microscopic detail every aspect of Knausgaard’s own life: his bullying alcoholic father, his marriages, the raising of his children. As James Wood, the literary critic at the New Yorker, has said: ‘Many writers strive to give you the illusion of reality. Knausgaard seems to want to give his readers the reality of reality. And he achieves this. You read Knausgaard as if in real time.’

What is it that makes Knausgaard’s highly confessional books so addictive? What does it say about our voyeuristic urges that the minutiae of his life are so gripping?

On October 29, Karl Ove Knausgaard came to the Intelligence Squared stage for an... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 06 2015

1hr

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Atheism is the new Fundamentalism, with Richard Dawkins and Richard Harries

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Does God exist? Has atheism replaced religion as the new faith of the secular age? Are today's atheists as blinkered and dogmatic as they claim religious believers to be? This Intelligence Squared debate from November 2009 was recorded at Wellington College. Arguing for the motion were former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries and Editor of the Daily Telegraph Charles Moore. Arguing against the motion were evolutionary biologist and science author Richard Dawkins and philospher AC Grayling. The debate was chaired by historian, author and Master of Wellington College Anthony Seldon.

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Aug 24 2017

1hr

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Richard Dawkins: The Rational Revolutionary

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In the 1960s and 70s, a revolution took place in the way we understand human nature. Out went Marx and Freud, and in came a rational, scientific approach to the way we see ourselves. At the vanguard of that revolution was Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist whose book 'The Selfish Gene' changed the thinking not just of other scientists but of all of us, and propelled its author to intellectual stardom as the modern heir to Darwin.

To mark the 40th anniversary of 'The Selfish Gene' and Dawkins’ 75th birthday, Intelligence Squared staged a global event, bringing together luminaries from the worlds of science, philosophy and culture to engage with Dawkins about his life and work. Steven Pinker, celebrated cognitive scientist, and Daniel Dennett, philosopher and fellow ‘New Atheist’, were beamed in live from America. On-stage guests included the illusionist Derren Brown, an avowed fan of Dawkins’ theories about the workings of the mind, the science writer Susan Blackmore, who has further developed... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 22 2016

1hr

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Stephen Fry and Friends on the Life, Loves and Hates of Christopher Hitchens

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In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, polemicist and orator.

Fry was joined on stage in London by Richard Dawkins where the two discussed Hitchens' unflinching commitment to the truth. Hollywood actor Sean Penn was beamed in from LA via Google+ Hangouts and, between cigarette puffs, read from Hitchens' acclaimed work, 'The Trial of Henry Kissinger'. And friends of Hitchens, including Martin Amis, James Fenton and Salman Rushdie, spoke of their deep affection for him via satellite in New York.

Hitchens himself watched the event live online from his bedside in Texas. Novelist Ian McEwan who was at his side sent Fry a text which read “The Rolls Royce mind is still purring".

The event took place on 11th November 2011, shortly before Hitchens died on 15th December.

We are proud to make this special discussion available for all to listen to on our podcast. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Apr 11 2014

46mins

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Jordan Peterson on Gender, Patriarchy and the Slide Towards Tyranny

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In May 2018, we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast in London. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was joined by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio, to discuss identity politics, liberalism and #MeToo.

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May 23 2018

57mins

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Psychiatrists & the pharma industry are to blame for the current ‘epidemic’ of mental disorders

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Drug pushers. We tend to associate them with the bleak underworld of criminality. But some would argue that there’s another class of drug pushers, just as unscrupulous, who work in the highly respectable fields of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. And they deserve the same moral scrutiny that we apply to the drug pedlar on the street corner. Within the medical profession labels are increasingly being attached to everyday conditions previously thought to be beyond the remit of medical help. So sadness is rebranded as depression, shyness as social phobia, childhood naughtiness as hyperactivity or ADHD. And Big Pharma is only too happy to come up with profitable new drugs to treat these ‘disorders’, drugs which the psychiatrists and GPs then willingly prescribe, richly rewarded by the pharma companies for doing so.


That’s the view of those who object to the widespread use of the ‘chemical cosh’ to treat people with mental difficulties. But many psychiatrists, while acknowledging that overprescribing is a problem, would argue that the blame lies not with themselves. For example, parents and teachers often ramp up the pressure to have a medical label attached to a child’s problematic behaviour because that way there’s less stigma attached and allowances are made. And psychiatrists and the pharma companies also take issue with those who argue that the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of mental disorder is a myth. ADHD is a real condition, they say, for which drugs work. Research shows that antidepressants really are more effective than just a placebo, especially in cases of severe depression.


Defending the motion in this Intelligence Squared debate at London's Emmanuel Centre in November 2014 were author and journalist Will Self and psychoanalyst and author Darian Leader.


Opposing the motion were former Head of Worldwide Development at Pfizer Inc. Dr Declan Doogan and President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Professor Sir Simon Wessely.


The debate was chaired by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA.

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Apr 12 2018

1hr

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Terry Eagleton in conversation with Roger Scruton

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What really divides the left and the right? To answer this question, Intelligence Squared brought together two giants of British intellectual culture for an ideological reckoning: Terry Eagleton, literary critic and long-time hero of the radical left, and Roger Scruton, right-wing philosopher who has written on everything from economic theory to literature, and architecture to wine.

What we heard was two two irreducibly different views of the world, where each tries hard to understand the other’s view. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 06 2013

1hr 27mins

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Western Parents Don't Know How to Bring Up Their Children

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Why are there so many Chinese maths and music prodigies? Because Chinese mothers believe schoolwork and music practice come first, that an A-minus is a bad grade, that sleepovers, TV and computer games should never be allowed and that the only activity their children should be permitted to do are ones in which they can eventually win a medal - and that medal must be gold.


These methods certainly seem to get results but do they make for the rounded individuals Western parents are striving to bring up? Isn't it better that our children should be happy rather than burnt-out brain boxes? Who's right and who's wrong?


In this debate from June 2011, Amy Chua, author of the best-selling Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and Theodore Dalrymple, the writer and psychologist, speak for the motion.


Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, and Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent and parenting expert, speak against the motion.


The debate was chaired by columnist and broadcaster Jenni Russell

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Mar 02 2018

59mins

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Michael Lewis On How Behavioural Economics Changed The World

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Michael Lewis is one of the most successful non-fiction authors alive. He has been acclaimed as a genius by Malcolm Gladwell and as the best current writer in America by Tom Wolfe. In a series of titles that have sold 9 million copies worldwide, he has lifted the lid on the biggest stories of our times, enthralling readers with his knack for humanising complex subjects and giving them the page-turning urgency of the best thrillers. Liar's Poker is the cult classic that defined Wall Street during the 1980s; Moneyball was made into a film with Brad Pitt; Boomerang was a breakneck tour of Europe’s post-crunch economy; and The Big Short was made into a major Oscar-winning film starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell.


In November 2017 Lewis came to the Intelligence Squared stage, where he was joined by Stephanie Flanders, former economics editor at the BBC. Discussing the themes of his latest book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World, they explored the extraordinary story of the relationship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – a collaboration which created the field of behavioural economics. This is the theory which shows that human beings are not the rational creatures we imagined ourselves to be, and has revolutionised everything from big data to medicine, from how we are governed to how we spend, from high finance to football. It won Kahneman the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 – the first time the award had gone to a psychologist.

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Nov 24 2017

1hr

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Ken Clarke: The Big Beast of British Politics

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After 49 years as a Conservative MP, Ken Clarke will be stepping down at the UK general election on December 12. In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast – staged just ten days before the election – Clarke came to the Intelligence Squared stage where, in conversation with John Humphrys, who recently stepped down as presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, he reflected on his many years in politics and the twists and turns of the Brexit saga that have brought him to the curious position he is in today.

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Dec 03 2019

1hr 22mins

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Yanis Varoufakis and Brian Eno on Money, Power and a Call for Radical Change

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The liberal order is under threat. Increasing inequality, the rise of far-right nationalism and the climate emergency pose unprecedented challenges. It’s time for some radical thinking.


In November 2019 Intelligence Squared brought to its stage two of the world’s great radicals – Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister known for his trademark leather jacket, motorbike and self-described erratic Marxism, and legendary music producer Brian Eno, known for his progressive politics and human rights activism.


The evening was chaired by BBC journalist and broadcaster Ritula Shah.

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Nov 29 2019

1hr 2mins

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Richard Branson: How I Found My Voice

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This is an episode from the second series of How I Found My Voice, a podcast from Intelligence Squared. Presented by the prominent BBC journalist Samira Ahmed, the podcast explores how some of the world's greatest artists and thinkers became such compelling – and unique – communicators.


In this episode Samira speaks to business mogul Sir Richard Branson about becoming a serial entrepreneur developing the Virgin brand, signing some of the biggest names in music and the next frontiers of space travel.


Subscribe to How I Found My Voice and listen to more episodes here: https://bit.ly/2XpFPyM


Season 2 of How I Found My Voice is proudly supported by THE OUT, innovative car rental powered by Jaguar Land Rover.


Photo credit: Visual Eye.

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Nov 26 2019

42mins

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P.J. O’Rourke and Lionel Shriver on the Battle for the White House

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This episode was from one of our live Intelligence Squared events, featuring satirist P. J. O’Rourke and bestselling author Lionel Shriver. They joined us for a night of withering satire, relentless ridicule and sharp political insight in a discussion chaired by Razia Iqbal of the BBC.

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Nov 22 2019

1hr 1min

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Naomi Klein on Climate Change, Extinction Rebellion & the case for a Green New Deal

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This is an episode from the second series of How I Found My Voice, a podcast from Intelligence Squared. Presented by the prominent BBC journalist Samira Ahmed, the podcast explores how some of the world's greatest artists and thinkers became such compelling – and unique – communicators.


In this episode Samira speaks to the journalist, social activist and New York Times best-selling author Naomi Klein about growing up in a politically active family, being at the forefront of protest movements, the case for a Green New Deal and her views on Extinction Rebellion.


Subscribe to How I Found My Voice and listen to more episodes here: https://bit.ly/2XpFPyM


Season 2 is proudly supported by THE OUT, innovative car rental powered by Jaguar Land Rover. Photo credit: Kourosh Keshiri.

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Nov 19 2019

43mins

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Intelligent Times: Dean Baquet and Simon Schama on Trump, Politics and The Future of News

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Earlier this week we were joined by executive editor of The New York Times Dean Baquet and historian Sir Simon Schama for an examination of the role of the media in today’s increasingly polarised politics. Baquet is the first African-American editor of the world’s most influential news organisation. Schama, as well as being a celebrated author and television presenter, is a prolific political and social commentator, writing for leading international newspapers and journals.


Baquet took us deep inside the decision-making process at The New York Times at a moment of unprecedented tension between the White House and the American press. How does he make sure his staff adhere to the rules of impartiality when they are themselves the targets of the Trump administration’s attacks? What pressure has the White House brought to bear on reporters and editors? How is The New York Times, and the press in general, coping with that pressure?

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Nov 15 2019

1hr 17mins

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The Survival of Democracy in Eastern Europe, with Ivan Krastev, Timothy Garton Ash and Brian Klaas

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In November 1989, 30 years ago this month, the collapse of the Berlin Wall ushered in a new era of democracy in Eastern Europe. But today, with populist strongmen like Orban in Hungary and Kaczyński in Poland on the rise, the future of democracy in the region looks uncertain. 


In this episode we were joined by Ivan Krastev, the Bulgarian political scientist and co-author of The Light That Failed and Oxford University's Timothy Garton Ash, who wrote The Magic Lantern, a book about the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe which came out thirty years ago this year. The conversation was moderated by Brian Klaas, the political scientist, Washington Post columnist and author of The Despot's Apprentice

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Nov 12 2019

45mins

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The Poetry Pharmacy Returns with William Sieghart and Sarah Dunant

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William Sieghart’s The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul was one of the publishing sensations of the past few years. Anyone who came to the event Intelligence Squared built around it – when Jeanette Winterson, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Sue Perkins and Tom Burke joined Sieghart in celebrating the power of poetry – will remember what a magical evening it was.


Now, after huge demand, Sieghart is back with a second volume – The Poetry Pharmacy Returns – and once again Intelligence Squared brought it to all to life on stage. Whether your spiritual ailment is loneliness, heartache or anxiety, Sieghart has a poem to meet your needs. He was joined in conversation by acclaimed novelist and broadcaster Sarah Dunant. With their signature warmth and wit, they discussed poems from the new book, each one matched to a particular problem, whether it’s unrequited love, fear of the unknown or feeling daunted by the challenges of family life. And we had a stellar cast of actors to perform the poems: Dominic West, Nina Sosanya, Greta Scacchi and Martha West.


The event was chaired by author, playwright and broadcaster Bonnie Greer.

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Nov 08 2019

1hr 19mins

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How I Found My Voice: Michael Palin

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This is an episode from the second series of How I Found My Voice, a podcast from Intelligence Squared. Presented by the prominent BBC journalist Samira Ahmed, the podcast explores how some of the world's greatest artists and thinkers became such compelling – and unique – communicators.


In this episode Samira speaks to the actor, writer and comedian Michael Palin. Part of the legendary Monty Python comedy group, Palin has helped shape British comedy on our TV screens. From growing up with a father who stuttered to finding his comedy partners and travelling the world, Palin speaks about the moments that shaped and inspired his voice.


Season 2 is proudly supported by THE OUT, innovative car rental powered by Jaguar Land Rover. Photo credit: John Swannell.

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Nov 05 2019

58mins

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Intelligent Times: Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on Breaking the Harvey Weinstein Story

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Intelligent Times is a live event series collaboration between The New York Times and Intelligence Squared, bringing together leading New York Times journalists and thought leaders to discuss the key issues facing the globe today.


On October 5th 2017, The New York Times published a story that helped set off a change in the relationship between men and women in the workplace and beyond. The piece, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, broke the story of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations. Within days, women were coming forward with their own stories of harassment and abuse, igniting the global #MeToo movement. For the launch of our new series, “Intelligent Times” – a partnership between Intelligence Squared and The New York Times – we brought Kantor and Twohey to London for the first time since the story was published.


They were joined on stage by three of the women who broke their long-buried silence over the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations: Rowena ChiuLaura Madden and Zelda Perkins, who all worked for Weinstein in the 1990s. While many of the women who went on the record for Kantor and Twohey were Hollywood stars accustomed to being in the spotlight, these three accusers showed extraordinary courage in giving up their anonymity in order to pursue justice and try to change a system that many argue is still rigged in favour of sexual aggressors.


The event was chaired by BBC News Presenter Carrie Gracie.

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Nov 01 2019

1hr 31mins

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The Gendered Brain Myth, with Daphna Joel and Rosamund Urwin

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In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by the Israeli neuroscientist Daphna Joel, author of Gender Mosaic: Beyond the Myth of the Male and Female Brain. In conversation with Ros Urwin of The Sunday Times, she outlined her theory that our most foundational assumptions about gender are based on a myth - that women and men's brains are fundamentally different. 

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Oct 29 2019

33mins

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John Humphrys: The Terrier of Today, in conversation with Justin Webb

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Earlier this month, as John Humphrys stepped down after 32 years at Today and published a long-awaited memoir, A Day Like Today, he came to the Intelligence Squared stage to give an exclusive, behind-the-scenes account of his extraordinary career.


Turning the tables on him and pitching the questions was his former Today colleague Justin Webb.

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Oct 25 2019

59mins

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The Battle Over Gender, Race and Identity with Douglas Murray and Anne McElvoy

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In this episode we were joined by the conservative thinker Douglas Murray, whose new book The Madness of Crowds examines this century's most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He was interviewed on his ideas by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio.

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Oct 22 2019

51mins

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Trailblazers: Women Leading the Way

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Women of colour have to navigate a world of work where they are often discriminated against because of their race as well as their gender. But despite the challenges, they are increasingly making their way to the top and carving out a new ‘normal’ for younger generations. To celebrate their success and share how they got there, Intelligence Squared partnered with gal-dem, an award-winning media platform that spotlights the creative work of women of colour and non-binary people of colour, to bring together pioneers from the worlds of media, politics and culture.


We were joined by Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary and Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington; Yomi Adegoke, Award-winning journalist; Corinne Bailey Rae, Award-winning singer-songwriter and musician; Bernardine Evaristo, author and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, who earlier this week became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize; and Mishal Husain, Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.


The event was chaired by writer, journalist and broadcaster Ash Sarkar.

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Oct 18 2019

1hr 30mins

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The Underworld of the High Seas, with Ian Urbina and Razia Iqbal

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In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by the renowned investigative journalist Ian Urbina, who has a new book titled The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier. In a conversation with the BBC's Razia Iqbal, he explored a vast, lawless and rampantly criminal world that few have ever encountered - on international waters.

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Oct 15 2019

37mins

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Speeches and Letters That Changed The World, With Simon Sebag Montefiore and Kate Mosse

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At the 2019 Cliveden Literary Festival, Intelligence Squared brought together historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and novelist Kate Mosse to discuss some of the speeches and letters in Sebag’s latest books Voices of History and Written in History. Bringing it all to life on our stage were the actors Jade Anouka, Alex Macqueen and Natascha McElhone.

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Oct 11 2019

1hr

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The Social Media Addiction-Machine, with Richard Seymour and Jamie Bartlett

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In this week's episode we were joined by Richard Seymour, the Marxist intellectual and author of The Twittering Machine, a book which uses psychoanalytic reflection and insights from users, developers, and security experts to examine the dystopian consequences of our relationship with social media. He was interviewed by the journalist and tech expert Jamie Bartlett.

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Oct 08 2019

55mins

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The West Should Pay Reparations For Slavery

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This week's podcast was a live debate on the motion 'The West Should Pay Reparations For Slavery'.


Should there be a broad programme of reparations – not just financial compensation, but acknowledgement of the crimes committed and the lasting damage caused by slavery? Or would this just worsen social tensions by reopening old wounds?


Arguing for the motion were Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University; and Esther Stanford-Xosei, reparations activist and lawyer.


Arguing against the motion were Katharine Birbalsingh, headmistress and co-founder of Michaela Community School in London; and Tony Sewell, educational consultant and CEO of the charity Generating Genius.


The debate was chaired by social historian and presenter Emma Dabiri.

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Oct 04 2019

1hr 4mins

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Satire, Boris and Brexit with Ian McEwan and Razia Iqbal

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In this week’s episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by the acclaimed novelist Ian McEwan. He was interviewed by the BBC’s Razia Iqbal to discuss his new satirical novella The Cockroach, in which a man wakes up one morning having been transformed into a giant creature who happens to be the most powerful man in Britain. 

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Oct 01 2019

47mins

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Parliament’s War of Words: Women in Power, with Mary Beard, Rachel Reeves and Sandip Verma

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With tensions running high this week in the U.K. Houses of Parliament over Brexit and allegations about PM Boris Johnson's use of inflammatory language, Intelligence Squared staged an event with Labour MP Rachel Reeves, Conservative member of the House of Lords Sandip Verma, celebrated classicist Mary Beard and journalist Helen Lewis. They discussed the divisions in Parliament and around the country, and how women can negotiate political power in what remains in many ways a man’s world. 

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Sep 27 2019

1hr 27mins

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