Cover image of The World of Business
(46)
Business
News

The World of Business

Updated 1 day ago

Business
News
Read more

Insights into the business world - featuring content from BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.

Read more

Insights into the business world - featuring content from BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
3
1
3
2

Setting

By AverageGuy92 - Dec 15 2018
Read more
Really enjoy the atmosphere documented into this informational podcast.

Insightful

By DavidwFox - Aug 10 2014
Read more
Well researched, well produced, well recommended!

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
3
1
3
2

Setting

By AverageGuy92 - Dec 15 2018
Read more
Really enjoy the atmosphere documented into this informational podcast.

Insightful

By DavidwFox - Aug 10 2014
Read more
Well researched, well produced, well recommended!

Listen to:

Cover image of The World of Business

The World of Business

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

Insights into the business world - featuring content from BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.

Job Search

Podcast cover
Read more
Millions of young people want to work but do not know where to find it.
A clutch of them tell their stories to Peter Day, and a panel of experts.

May 02 2013

28mins

Play

Our 5G Future

Podcast cover
Read more
In just a couple of years, the fifth generation mobile network will be available. Like previous generations, 5G will offer consumers greater speed and capability when they use their smartphones and tablets. Advocates argue it is more than just the next step in that evolution. Lightning fast speed, greater bandwidth and more reliability have the potential to transform entire industries: from how a surgeon operates on us and the products we use are made, to how we are transported to and from work and home. In this programme, Keith Moore wades through the hype to see how this next step in mobile technology could be used in the real world. He visits London and Brighton in the UK and Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden and meets businesses both large and small who are already preparing for our 5G future.
Producers: Keith Moore and Smita Patel

Image: Shutterstock

Jun 23 2018

26mins

Play

Playing the Market

Podcast cover
Read more
From the film Wall Street, to the play Enron, finance workers and bankers tend to be portrayed negatively in works of fiction. Andrew Dickson traces the history of these depictions, asking if they're fair - and if more positive portrayals would enhance the reputation of the City He speaks to playwrights, a bond trader turned thriller writer, a film historian and a veteran of the banking industry.

Producer: Penny Murphy.

Sep 21 2017

28mins

Play

Global Business: Online Shopping in Rural China

Podcast cover
Read more
In some villages in rural China they're replacing the sounds of chickens and farm life with something very 21st century. In the village of Qing Yan Liu, four hours south of Shanghai, they've created a world of bubble wrap and sticky tape. The people here have embraced going online to become an internet shopping hub. In the eyes of the Chinese Premier this could be the future of rural China. He hopes that more and more places will copy what has happened in “China’s Number One E-Commerce village”. He wants to avoid what is happening in many other villages where all the young people have left in search of work and the place is gradually abandoned. Peter Day visits three countryside villages to hear how online shopping is transforming life in rural China.

Producer: Charlotte Pritchard.

Oct 01 2015

27mins

Play

In Business: Why are the French so productive?

Podcast cover
Read more
Productivity, or the lack of it, is one of the great puzzles of the British economy at the moment.
Productivity is not about how hard we work, but how much value we get for each hour of graft. And the French seem to be better at that than the British.
Jonty Bloom explores how workers in France can put in shorter hours and take longer holidays and yet still have productivity levels close to those seen in Germany and the United States.
And he asks whether high productivity always makes for a better economy.
Producer: Ruth Alexander.

Apr 08 2017

27mins

Play

Global Business: The Circular Economy

Podcast cover
Read more
As Dame Ellen MacArthur circumnavigated the globe she got first-hand knowledge of the finite nature of the world’s resources. When she retired from sailing she created a foundation to promote the concept of a 'Circular Economy' - where resources are re-used and waste reduced to zero. Many companies around the world - including some of the biggest, like Unilever - are responding to her ideas.
Peter Day talks to the record-breaking sailor, to Unilever, and to the creators of an innovative urban farm in New Jersey about why these concepts are so important and how businesses can take them on board.
Producer: Sandra Kanthal

Jun 18 2015

26mins

Play

Electric Cars

Podcast cover
Read more
There is a motoring revolution underway: the fast accelerating switch from petrol and diesel cars, to electric vehicles. In Norway, almost 40% of new car purchases are now fully electric or hybrids. Other countries are starting to catch up, and are setting ambitious targets. Britain wants to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Motor manufacturers are investing vast sums in new electric models. Those who don't, risk being left behind. And yet, as Peter Morgan reports, obstacles remain. Many drivers feel "range anxiety", the fear that the car battery will run out before they can recharge. And electric cars are not cheap to buy. But costs are coming down fast, batteries will soon last for hundreds of miles, and charge-points are being installed in more and more places. So much so, that there's a new land grab going on for market share. Start-ups are getting in on the act, and even big oil companies like Shell are branching into this business. Nevertheless, where will all the extra electricity come from? Will there be standardisation of the charging infrastructure, so drivers don't end up frustrated at a charge-point where their plug doesn't fit? And while electric cars don't emit toxic fumes like nitrogen oxides, how much difference do they actually make to particulates in the air?

Producer: Arlene Gregorius

Photo: Go Ultra Low Electric Vehicle

Credit: Miles Willis / Stringer

Dec 09 2017

28mins

Play

Global Business: Graphene

Podcast cover
Read more
It would take an elephant balanced on the tip of a pencil to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness cling film. That's the description those promoting this new wonder material like to use to illustrate the strength of graphene.

The atomic material was isolated by two scientists at Manchester University in 2004. Now, just over a decade and one Nobel prize later, Peter Day visits the newly opened the National Graphene Institute. Its aim is to bring business and science together, to develop potential future uses for graphene. Will this strategy succeed where Britain’s past attempts to spin out scientific discoveries have not?
Producer: Sandra Kanthal

Aug 27 2015

26mins

Play

Fish to Share

Podcast cover
Read more
Many British fishermen rejoiced after the UK vote to leave the European Union. They hoped it would mean fewer EU boats fishing in UK waters. Business reporter and sailor Lesley Curwen visits ports and harbours at both ends of Britain to talk to fishermen about their hopes and fears, and hears from a group of European fishermen who argue a hard Brexit would destroy thousands of their jobs.

Producer: Smita Patel

(Image: Newlyn fish market, Cornwall. Credit: BBC)

Aug 05 2017

26mins

Play

In Business: Northern Ireland and Brexit

Podcast cover
Read more
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with the European Union. It voted to stay in the EU in last year’s referendum. Tens of thousands cross between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland every day to work. Matthew Gwyther, the editor of Management Today, travels across Northern Ireland to find out how businesses – large and small – are preparing for life outside the EU and what the potential impact is for the vitally important agriculture industry.
(Image: Traffic crossing the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Apr 15 2017

27mins

Play

Germany’s New Workforce?

Podcast cover
Read more
Over a million migrants have arrived in Germany in the past year. But could this inflow of new potential employees form the basis of a new German workforce? The population of Europe’s largest economy is currently shrinking meaning in some industries there is a growing shortage of workers. Paul Henley investigates whether the new arrivals could be the answer to Germany’s future economic problems? But he also hears from those who believe the new migrants don’t have the right skills to work in a modern high-tech economy.

Feb 13 2016

26mins

Play

The Secrets of Germany's Success

Podcast cover
Read more
From sick man of Europe to world's richest exporter - how did Germany do it?
At the turn of the century, Germany's economy was weak and its unemployment high. Fast forward to today and the country has overtaken China as the world's richest exporter. To find out how, Caroline Bayley travels to rural South Germany, home to many so called "hidden champions", little-known world market leading companies. But she also hears how for all its economic success, Germany has yet to come up with the next Google. Though plans are afoot to catch up with Silicon Valley.
Producer: Estelle Doyle
(Photo: Historical cars are displayed at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, southern Germany Credit: Getty Images)

Aug 11 2017

28mins

Play

In Business: Cyber Town Malvern

Podcast cover
Read more
The small spa town of Malvern is rapidly becoming a hub of science and innovation in the 21st century fight against cyber crime. Peter Day visits the historic town to find out why.

Jan 16 2014

27mins

Play

How Politics Broke up with Business

Podcast cover
Read more
Why have politicians gone from cosying up to businesses, to turning a deaf ear to their concerns? Jeremy Schwartz – a CEO himself – finds that the love affair was starting to become toxic long before Brexit, and asks whether it’s really such a bad thing if governments no longer care what business leaders think.
Contributors include:
Andrea Leadsom – Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Frances O’Grady – General Secretary, TUC
Iain Anderson - Executive Chairman, Cicero
Giles Wilkes – Former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
Helen Dickinson – Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
Andy Street – Mayor of the West Midlands, former CEO of John Lewis Partnership
Joe Owen – Institute for Government
Paul Walsh – Chairman, Compass Group
Presenter: Jeremy Schwartz
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Picture: Getty

Sep 29 2019

27mins

Play

China Going Green

Podcast cover
Read more
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Many Chinese dream of seeing blue skies and white clouds but rarely do because of the smog. Often the daily routine is to wake up and check the pollution levels to decide if it is safe for children to play outside, or if a filter mask should be worn for protection.
Ahead of December’s UN Climate Change summit, Peter Day reports on the Chinese ambitions to make China ‘go green’. Many people say the Chinese aren’t given enough credit for their efforts and argue the West will be shocked when it realises the extent of their actions. But can that ambition become reality? Peter Day reports from Beijing and beyond and asks when will the Chinese be able to breathe more easily?

Sep 24 2015

27mins

Play

India Identity

Podcast cover
Read more
India is attempting to give each citizen get an individual identity. It’s the world’s largest technological project. Peter Day investigates.

Mar 16 2013

26mins

Play

Has Taiwan Lost Its Roar as an “Asian Tiger” Economy?

Podcast cover
Read more
Once known as a hugely successful " Asian Tiger" economy built on hi-tech manufacturing, Taiwan's recent economic growth has been relatively sluggish, wages have stagnated and young people are leaving for better paid jobs in China and elsewhere. So what does the self-ruled island need to do to start roaring again? Caroline Bayley reports from Taipei.
Producer and Presenter: Caroline Bayley
Image: Taiwan

Credit: BBC

Jul 28 2018

27mins

Play

Retiring Retirement

Podcast cover
Read more
Life expectancy is going up, pensions are declining. Meanwhile the official retirement age has been abolished, while the age at which you can draw your state pension is rising. As a result, more and more of us will have to work until our 70s, or even our 80s. So, asks David Baker, is this the end of retirement?
That may not be as bad as it sounds. For In Business, David meets people who could live a quiet, retired life, but choose not to. One founded a bikini company in her 70s, others sell vintage goods, or left organisations to set up on their own. For them, the very word "retirement" is negative, they love what they do, and wouldn't want to give it up.
Experts say that most of us will need to work into old age. Professor Lynda Gratton tells David that the previous life pattern of education-work-retirement will have to yield to a multi-phase one of different careers, broken up by breaks, even late-life gap years, and re-skilling. Why retire at 60 if you could live to 100?
The government, too, wants a million more over-50s in the workplace by 2022 - but not all employers are playing ball. Without the prospect of older staff leaving at a fixed retirement age, bosses are making them redundant instead, including by ugly means, and before they can draw a pension. Some companies though do value older people's skills and experience, and even take them on as apprentices. Until more organisations do this, however, it may be up to us to take matters into our own hands and prepare for a long working life.
Producer: Arlene Gregorius
Credit: Getty Creative Stock

Aug 16 2018

28mins

Play

Global Business: A Tale of Two Farms

Podcast cover
Read more
Peter Day continues his reports from the drought stricken central valley of California. This week he visits two family farms. Both grow fruit and nut crops. Both reflect the central role of migration and water in Californian history. They were founded by incomers; one from Japan, the other Mexico. But that is where the similarities end. These farms are separated by heartless geology. One has access to good quality groundwater, the other does not.
Producer : Rosamund Jones

Sep 17 2015

26mins

Play

In Business: The Sexy Salaryman

Podcast cover
Read more
The white collar worker has become a central figure in TV series and comic books in Japan.
Ruth Alexander travels to Tokyo to explore the rise of the middle manager as cult hero, speaking to best-seller novelists, manga artists and TV directors about why the workplace makes such good drama.
She finds out what the fictional exploits of the 'salaryman’ tell us about doing business in Japan, and hears about the emergence of a new character getting attention in popular culture - the salarywoman.
Presented and Produced by Ruth Alexander.

Dec 17 2015

27mins

Play

The pub is dead! Long live the micropub!

Podcast cover
Read more
Since 2001 the UK has lost a quarter of its pubs. They've shut their doors for good. High taxes, high prices, supermarket competition, even the smoking ban have all been blamed. But there are new types of pub, the micropub, and community-owned pubs, which are bucking the trend. While larger, traditional establishments have been under pressure, these have flourished. So why have they been able to succeed where others have not? For In Business, John Murphy visits his local boozer - and others - to see what these new pubs have to offer.

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Ruth Alexander

Picture: Micropub
Credit: BBC

Dec 05 2019

28mins

Play

Keeping the Lights On

Podcast cover
Read more
As Britain’s sources of electricity change, along with significant changes in demand, how will the lights stay on? The major power blackout that hit the UK in early August – the worst in more than a decade – was an indication of how increasingly complicated our electricity grid is becoming. Hundreds of thousands of people, as well as major transport hubs, were affected as electricity supplies were cut to restore balance to the system and prevent an even greater blackout. The National Grid, which is the energy system operator, said two generators, including a major wind-farm, tripped out after lightning struck a high-voltage transmission line. The episode raised many questions about how stable the UK’s electricity supply system is. What is clear is that the traditional coal-fired generators, which used to supply much of the UK’s electricity, are being rapidly phased out. Now many more - and varied - generators supply the grid, including small and huge wind-farms, solar farms, nuclear power stations, gas-fired plants, hydro-electric turbines and other sources. This makes the management of the system more tricky. Then there’s the demand side. Electricity demand is growing, not least with the prospect of electrical cars becoming commonplace. Without building the right infrastructure, with the right storage, and without the correct planning, the electricity grid will not be able to cope.

David Baker speaks to the National Grid, to major electricity suppliers, and to smaller, community-based generators, asking how the system is changing and what needs to be done to make sure it remains reliable, affordable and sustainable, so that the future is not one of widespread blackouts.

Presenter: David Baker
Producer: John Murphy

Picture: National Grid's Electricity Control Centre

Nov 28 2019

28mins

Play

What is the value of women’s work?

Podcast cover
Read more
Iceland has taken radical measures to reduce its gender pay gap. These aren't just about equalising pay when men and women do the same job but when they do different jobs of equal value. That's proved to be quite a sticking point in many countries around the world; ensuring that the jobs routinely occupied by women are paid as well as those that men do. Lesley Curwen meets the people tasked with comparing a production line worker with an office administrator, an HR professional with an accountant and a camera operator with a social media marketeer. What has the financial and cultural impact been on companies that have had to adjust their pay rates and what do their employees think about the process? Is the Iceland model one that other countries could follow?

Presenter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Rosamund Jones

Picture Credit: Getty Creative

Oct 26 2019

26mins

Play

Belarus: Harvesting the whirlwind

Podcast cover
Read more
The irradiated lands around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor were large, prosperous, and lively collective farms until the reactor exploded in 1986. Seventy percent of the toxic radiation fell in Belarus – a small, agrarian country in which most people lived on the land. Hundreds of villages were evacuated, but much of the population has since returned. A generation later Global Business visits the Belarussian contamination zone and its hinterland to see how the local economy and way of life has adapted to a world turned upside down. We meet the beekeepers developing a honey farm in the depopulated part of the zone, visit an unexpected herd of horses and hear about the innovations in arable farming designed to resist radioactive toxins.

Produced and presented by Monica Whitlock

Image: Horses in Belarus Radio-Ecological Zone Credit: Ilya Kuzniatsou

Oct 19 2019

26mins

Play

Can Liberian rubber bounce back?

Podcast cover
Read more
A victim of the “resource curse”, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, in spite of being rich in natural resources. Rubber is one of the country’s biggest exports but few Liberians have benefitted from this multimillion dollar business. In this Global Business, Josephine Casserly meets a retired Californian policeman, James Cooper, who has returned to his grandfather’s farm, determined to revolutionise Liberia’s rubber industry. But in a country with a struggling economy and endemic corruption, can he succeed? Produced by Lucy Ash

Oct 12 2019

27mins

Play

How Politics Broke up with Business

Podcast cover
Read more
Why have politicians gone from cosying up to businesses, to turning a deaf ear to their concerns? Jeremy Schwartz – a CEO himself – finds that the love affair was starting to become toxic long before Brexit, and asks whether it’s really such a bad thing if governments no longer care what business leaders think.
Contributors include:
Andrea Leadsom – Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Frances O’Grady – General Secretary, TUC
Iain Anderson - Executive Chairman, Cicero
Giles Wilkes – Former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
Helen Dickinson – Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
Andy Street – Mayor of the West Midlands, former CEO of John Lewis Partnership
Joe Owen – Institute for Government
Paul Walsh – Chairman, Compass Group
Presenter: Jeremy Schwartz
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Picture: Getty

Sep 29 2019

27mins

Play

Flying Green

Podcast cover
Read more
Flying, for many of us, is now routine. For a few of us it is a weekly, maybe even daily, event. At the same time global protests, concerned with the pressing danger of climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, are gaining attention and causing alarm. So, will we ever get to a point where we can indulge our flying habit and our keep our conscience clear?

Katie Prescott talks to the flight refuseniks and assesses the impact they are having. Is the long term solution to change minds or can technological advances provide a fix? Electric cars are here; small planes are already powered the same way. How long until sizeable passenger jets follow? At a number of airports around the world, planes can fill up with bio-fuels. But the take up is extremely modest. While the oil price stays low, what's the incentive for airlines to go green?

Presenter: Katie Prescott
Producer: Rosamund Jones

Picture: Newark International Airport
Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sep 19 2019

27mins

Play

The Business of Clicks

Podcast cover
Read more
Online retail spending has increased more than four fold in the last ten years - it now accounts for almost one in five pounds we spend shopping.

But whilst times are tough for our high streets, e-retailing is far from a licence to print money. With widespread discounting and a growing cost of delivery and returns, margins are being squeezed and many are finding it a struggle to survive.

In this programme, Adam Shaw investigates how the economics of e-commerce work, what the move to predominantly online will mean for many retailers and what our shopping environment may look like in 10 years time.

Presenter: Adam Shaw
Producer: Alex Lewis
Editor: Penny Murphy
Image: A woman packing a box to post
Credit: Getty Images

Sep 08 2019

28mins

Play

India’s fashion industry

Podcast cover
Read more
India has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing fashion markets and is expected to touch $60 billion by 2022, which will make it the sixth largest in the world. This is due to its rapidly growing middle class and tech savvy consumers, who are buying online, as well as from a plethora of shopping malls which have mushroomed in the country’s bigger cities. International brands are trying to step in and take a share of this demand – some 300 of them are planning to open stores in India within the next two years. The BBC’s Nina Robinson talks to e-commerce brands, retailers, fashion entrepreneurs and influencers. The programme also features the Usha sewing project which is helping to train hundreds of thousands of rural women in sewing skills.

Producer/presenter: Nina Robinson

Image: Woman from the Usha sewing project at a sewing machine
Credit: Nina Robinson/BBC

Sep 07 2019

26mins

Play

Managing Volunteers: Free and Easy?

Podcast cover
Read more
Twenty million Brits give their time for free each year. From the National Trust to the hospice coffee morning, the Samaritans to the local football club, huge parts of our world rely on volunteers.

But how easy is it to manage a workforce who can walk out at a moment's notice? How can you ensure people perform well - or even turn up - without the "carrot and stick" of pay and disciplinary procedures?

Presenter Claire Bolderson knows both sides of this: she volunteers at a food bank, but also chairs the governors at her local school. With the help of an RNLI lifeboat crew, a bustling community centre, and a whole roomful of professional volunteer managers, she discovers just how to get the best out of volunteers - and how much managers of paid staff have to learn from them.

Contributors include:

Tim Ody - Station Manager, RNLI Teddington
Pam Bardouille - Volunteer Co-Ordinator, The Dalgarno Trust
Jarina Choudhury - Volunteering Development Consultant, NCVO
Emma Knights - Chief Executive, National Governance Association
Dr Jenna Ward - University of Leicester

Presenter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Picture: BBC

Aug 29 2019

28mins

Play

Berries Galore!

Podcast cover
Read more
Strawberries at Christmas? No problem! And as cheap as ever? Yes, of course! Many of us have become used to buying whatever fruit and vegetables we want, whenever we want, no matter the season. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are available in supermarkets all year round. Until recently that was not the case. So what does it take for this to happen and what’s the cost? John Murphy peels back the layers of the berry industry, which has grown massively in recent years. Despite increasing production costs, prices have remained stable. Can that continue? Politics, economics and the environment could have a bruising impact on producers and on the price and availability of the fresh fruit we eat.

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Sally Abrahams
Picture Credit: BBC

Jul 06 2019

28mins

Play

Who are Huawei?

Podcast cover
Read more
Chinese technology company, Huawei, is the world’s biggest supplier of network telecoms equipment, and with a research budget of up to $20 billion, its ambition is to be even bigger still. However, it’s also one of the most controversial businesses of our time. The United States and others have banned its involvement in their critical infrastructure, fearing that Beijing might use the company to spy, steal trade secrets, or even wage cyber warfare. Huawei insists that its networks are as secure as anyone else’s, and says that its technology is literally years ahead of competitors, so countries who reject it risk falling behind. As the world prepares for a technological revolution through 5th Generation mobile communications, the BBC has gained rare access to Huawei’s founder and Chairman, Ren Zhengfei, to explore his company’s origins, its rise to global pre-eminence, and what makes it tick. And, to ask if the current security questions threaten its continued growth.

Presenter: Karishma Vaswani
Producer: Michael Gallagher

Picture: Customers entering a Huawei Technologies Co. store in Beijing, China
Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Jun 29 2019

26mins

Play

Business Making an Impact

Podcast cover
Read more
Climate-change scientists have warned that the clock is ticking, environmental campaigners are blocking the streets, but until now the world of business has kept itself out of the fray. That is changing. From multi-billion dollar investors, to leaders of international companies, to banking bosses, the call is going out for business to take more responsibility for the way the world runs, and the way businesses run themselves. And it’s not just their environmental impact that’s coming under scrutiny. Inequality, their supply chains and the way they treat their workforce are becoming as much a part of companies’ bottom line as simple profit. Welcome to the Impact Economy. David Baker meets new business champions who want to overturn the old ways of doing things and put commerce at the centre of guaranteeing a future world that is good for everyone. But will it work or is it just a flash in the pan?

Presenter: David Baker
Producer: John Murphy
Picture Credit: Getty

Jun 22 2019

28mins

Play

The Berlin Airport Fiasco

Podcast cover
Read more
One thing Germany does well, you might assume, is infrastructure and transport. Think again. For Global Business on the BBC World Service, Chris Bowlby’s had a rare behind the scenes tour of Berlin’s new airport. It’s billions over budget, already seven years late in opening, and is still being rebuilt before a single plane’s landed. So what’s gone so wrong in a place supposed to be the capital of efficient engineering? And is the Berlin airport fiasco a warning for infrastructure builders everywhere?

Presenter: Chris Bowlby
Producer: Jim Frank

Picture Credit: Getty

Jun 15 2019

26mins

Play

Plastic Backlash: The Business Response

Podcast cover
Read more
The last eighteen months have seen a global public backlash against plastic. Everyone talks about the huge impact that Sir David Attenborough and the BBC's Blue Planet series has had in raising public awareness about the damage that 8 million tonnes of plastic which enter the ocean every year is having on sea life. It was one of the triggers for consumers, governments and companies to decide that action needed to be taken. But what does it mean for businesses which depend on plastic as a core raw material or for the packaging and retail industries, both deeply reliant on plastic? Caroline Bayley talks to companies about the opportunities and challenges presented by the plastic backlash.

Presenter: Caroline Bayley
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Picture Credit: BBC

May 23 2019

28mins

Play

Guyana: Getting Rich Quick

Podcast cover
Read more
Guyana, a country of just 750,000 people wedged between Venezuela and Suriname on the north-east coast of South America, has never had an oil industry. But a series of recent discoveries in its waters has revealed billions of barrels of oil beneath the ocean, potentially one of the world’s biggest reserves.

Next year, the oil is due to start flowing and the impact on business is already being felt. A shoreside oil service industry has popped up; workers who previously struggled to get by are finding stable employment; and cafes and hotels are overflowing with foreign customers. But encounters with the Venezuelan Navy, huge environmental risks, and legal challenges mean this is a business that is far from straightforward.

Presenter/Producer: Simon Maybin

Photo: A trainee at the Totaltec Academy in Georgetown prepares for work in the new oil sector
Credit: BBC

May 18 2019

28mins

Play

Getting Hired

Podcast cover
Read more
The face-to-face interview can be life-changing. But it comes with risks attached, of bias on the part of the interviewer, or nerves on the part of the candidate. Lesley Curwen looks at the fast-changing process of getting hired in companies, big and small. Large companies are increasingly using recruitment tools including artificial intelligence to weed out the weakest candidates, in order to find the right candidate for the right job. But there is resistance in some quarters from some small employers who believe in the old ways of sifting through CVs by hand to produce a short-list. So can the traditional face-to-face interview survive longterm?

Presenter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Smita Patel

Picture credit: Getty Creative Stock

May 02 2019

27mins

Play

Green Shoots: growing food in UAE’s deserts

Podcast cover
Read more
Can the United Arab Emirates grow its own food? The Desert kingdoms today import 90% of their own food, at great cost. And each year consumption increases by 12%. This raises issues of food security, price and environmental damage – flying in fruit from California is not environmentally sustainable. This is a region with little soil and few water resources. On average it rains just five days a year. So why is agriculture now considered one of the most exciting growth areas in the UAE? Farmers here depend on desalinated water from the Arabian Sea – costly to both the farmer and, once again, to the environment. But new agricultural technologies are being developed. Starting at a small scale, can such businesses really be built up? Or are they vanity projects reliant simply on oil wealth? Georgia Tolley examines if the Emiratis can make their desert bloom and ensure their business of food production grows.

Presenter: Georgia Tolley
Producer: John Murphy

Picture Credit: BBC

Apr 25 2019

28mins

Play

Behind the Facades

Podcast cover
Read more
The relationship between landlord and tenant is an important, often unseen, dynamic that most of us don’t give much thought to. And yet, it's reshaping high streets up and down the country. High rents are blamed for the collapse of so many retailers - they appear unsustainable yet they are the vehicle through which much of our pension wealth is invested. In this programme, Ruth Alexander looks at different models of ownership: from the big financial institutional investors through to the original aristocratic landowner and asks how - in the turmoil created by the rapidly changing retail environment - these landlords are facing up to a new reality.

Presenter: Ruth Alexander
Producer: Alex Lewis

Apr 18 2019

28mins

Play

The Irresistible Rise of eSports

Podcast cover
Read more
Its top stars can earn millions of dollars a year, without breaking into a sweat. They train for hours a day and have legions of fans, who fill stadiums to watch them. But these aren't normal sports stars. They're part of one of the fastest growing industries - known as Esports. And, as John Murphy discovers, the distinction between real physical sport and this online, virtual version is narrowing, as major companies and some of the world's most famous football clubs are signing up the top Esports players to play in major competitions. A number of video games, including Fifa, Dota2, Call of Duty and League of Legends, have their own international leagues and world championships. The global audience is now estimated at more than 200 million, and growing. Annual revenues from Esports, currently around 650 million dollars for events, continue to rise. Billions more are generated through video games sales. In the UK the video games sector, from which Esports have sprung, is now worth more than video (films) and music combined. There's even talk of Esports becoming an Olympic sport. So will dexterous Esporters become the new athletic champions, or is this a business that will play itself out? Who is making the money and how? And why are top soccer clubs clamouring for some of the virtual action?

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Lizzy McNeill

Image Credit: BBC

Apr 11 2019

27mins

Play