Rank #1: Does Economics Still Work?
Some of them got their forecasts badly wrong over Brexit, and widespread fears over a US economy under President Donald Trump have given way to record highs in financial markets. Plus, of course, most economists completely failed to foresee the global financial crisis.
It's led some to suggest that economics has become too detached from reality, that its experts have become too politicised and that the profession has lost much of its credibility. After all, Brexit and Trump voters ignored economists' dire warnings in their tens of millions.
And, at a time of such huge political and technological change, is economics still a useful way to make sense of and predict events?
Ed Butler is joined by three guests with their own visions for how economics should change: Wendy Carlin, professor of economics at University College London and leader of the CORE project to reform the undergraduate economics curriculum; Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at recruitment website Glassdoor, in San Francisco; and Paola Subacchi, director of international economics research at the UK think-tank Chatham House.
(Picture: A man on a dollar boat in bad weather. Credit: Thinkstock)
Feb 18 2017
Rank #2: The End of Ownership?
Our goods could be supplied to us by big companies as a service - and taken away again or replaced almost before we know they need to be fixed.
That's just one part of the idea of the circular economy - a new way for businesses to think about how they make use of the world's finite resources.
To discuss the concept, presenter Manuela Saragosa is joined by Dame Ellen MacArthur, a former round-the-world sailor who now heads her own foundation promoting the circular economy. Manuela also hears from a leading Indian environmentalist, Dr Ashok Khosla, and from Kirstie McIntyre, who is the director of global sustainability operations at the technology giant HP. Plus, regular contributor and comedian Colm O' Regan celebrates The Fixers - those who mend products rather than throw them away.
(Picture: Dame Ellen MacArthur. Credit: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
Mar 04 2017
Rank #3: China's Debt Mountain
Contributors: Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School and Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University;
Steve Tsang, Director of SOAS China Institute;
Geoffrey Yu, Head of UK Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management.
(Picture: People visit a shopping mall complex in Shenyang, Liaoning province, as the authorities seek to revive the recession-hit industrial region. Credit: AFP/Getty images)
Oct 07 2017
Rank #4: IMF: Fit for the Future?
Feb 08 2016
Rank #5: Skills for the Future
Contributors: Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, co-founder of Stemettes
Susan Lund, partner with the McKinsey Global Institute
Scott Hartley, venture capitalist, author of The Fuzzy and The Techie
Lord Karan Bilimoria Chairman and Founder of Cobra Beer and Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords
Picture: iPal robots sing for attendees at the AvatarMind booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Credit: Getty Images)
Feb 03 2018
Rank #6: Taking the Temperature
Deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, one isolated community of Achuar have come up with an ingenious solution to protect their territory from the ever encroaching threat of deforestation. From BBC Mundo, Laura Plitt takes to the waterways aboard the Amazon jungle's first solar powered canoe.
The loss of the Aral Sea in Central Asia is an ecological disaster. Toxic chemicals in the exposed sea bed have caused widespread health problems. From BBC Uzbek, Rustam Qobilov investigates whether an ambitious project to plant millions of trees can save the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan.
With the fastest growing population on the planet, India’s energy needs are staggering. From Delhi, women's affairs correspondent Divya Arya travels to the sunny state of Rajasthan to meet one social entrepreneur who’s attempting to provide solar technology to those living without power.
And finally in the Red River Delta region of Vietnam, Ly Truong meets the scientist hoping to feed the world in a more sustainable way.
This BBC Production was supported by funding from the Skoll Foundation.
(Picture: Dr. Pham Thi Thu Huong, from the Field Crops Research Institute in Vietnam. Credit: BBC)
Presented by Nancy Kacungira
Produced by Claire Press
Jun 02 2018
Rank #7: Davos: Spreading the Wealth?
The International Monetary Fund confirmed a strong picture for global growth this year - but is it the right kind of growth? The IMF report reveals that one fifth of emerging market economies saw per capita incomes fall last year. So, with global growth rising, why isn't everyone getting richer? Join Manuela Saragosa and her guests in Davos, Washington and London, to discuss whether global growth can reach even the world's poorest.
Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics
Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore
Eve Poole, author of Capitalism's Toxic Assumptions, Associate at Ashridge Business School
Desmond Lachman, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Picture: US President Donald Trump looks on as the Landwehr Fribourg band leaves the stage during the World Economic Forum meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos (Credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Jan 27 2018
Rank #8: Hong Kong: In China's Shadow?
On the twentieth anniversary of the British handover of power to Beijing, we hear about the mainland Chinese money buying up Hong Kong businesses, properties and land, and discuss the impact it's having on the territory’s economy and society.
As property prices rocket and people are left struggling to afford smaller and smaller flats, what future is there for Hong Kong’s young people?
Have decades of financial might made Hong Kong complacent, and where will future economic growth come from?
Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group
Elaine Tsung, co-founder of The Garage Society and Eaton House
Andrew Shuen, from The Lion Rock Institute
John Greenwood, chief economist at Invesco
(Picture: A traditional junk boat sailing across Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. Credit: Getty Images)
Jul 01 2017
Rank #9: Money on Mars
We explore the return on investment for taxpayer dollars spent on NASA or European Space Agency missions, and ask if Elon Musk is aiming to colonise the red planet for the good of humankind, or to boost profits for his firm SpaceX. Plus, can a separate plan to turn a Mars mission into reality TV ever get off the ground, and should we ethically even be considering sending people to Mars?
Contributors: Dr David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency; Bas Lansdorp, founder and CEO of Mars One; and Dr Ian Stoner, from the department of philosophy at St Paul College, Minnesota.
(Picture: ExoMars lifts off on a Proton-M rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in March 2016. Credit: Stephane Corvaja, European Space Agency, via Getty Images)
Aug 25 2018
Rank #10: India's Cash Gamble: Has it Paid Off?
Have those hardest hit by the demonetisation now managed to recover? What impact, if any, has the move had on India's economy? And in a society where cash is king, are there any signs people have been pushed towards using bank cards or mobile payments?
Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in New Delhi
Economist Lord Meghnad Desai
Gaurav Daga, owner of Oswal Cable Products in New Delhi
Piritta Sorsa, head of economics research on India at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
(Picture: A man holds old Indian notes at a protest against demonetisation in Bangalore. Credit: Kiran Manjunath, Getty Images)
Jun 24 2017
Rank #11: 2018: Top Risks
(Picture: US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend a business leaders event inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Jan 06 2018
Rank #12: Markets Feel the Fear
Contributors: Gervais Williams, from Miton Group, who has worked in finance in the City of London for more than 30 years
Economics Professor Jeffrey Frankel from Harvard University
Andrei Kirilenko, the Director of the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at London's Imperial College Business School
(Picture: Traders React to market volatility on floor of the Cboe Global Markets exchange on February 6, 2018 in Chicago. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Feb 17 2018
Rank #13: Is Italy Failing its Youth?
Contributors: Andrea Prencipe, Deputy Rector of LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome
Stefano Callegari, CEO at Trapizzino
Maurizio Coppola, Power to the People
Students at Sapienza University, Rome
(Picture: A man walks past a board bearing the parties' logos registered at the Italian Interior Ministry on January 20, 2018 for the general elections to be held on March 4, 2018. (Credit:FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb 10 2018
Rank #14: Africa: The Commodity Curse Returns
The World Bank said economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa slumped to its lowest level for more than two decades last year and earlier this month South Africa, the continent’s third largest economy, re-entered recession.
The picture is not uniformly bleak – the outlook is much more positive in East Africa – but the continent’s largest economies are suffering. Can they turn things around and end their reliance on oil and mining? What hope is there for those seeking relief from poverty, and what jobs might they do in the future?
Ed Butler is joined by a panel of guests: Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Group, a Nigerian energy and infrastructure company; professor Mthuli Ncube, head of Quantum Global Research Lab and former chief economist of the African Development Bank; and Lorenzo Fioramonti, professor of political economy at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa.
(Picture: Women fill wheelbarrows with coal in South Africa. Credit: Marco Longari, Getty Images)
Jun 17 2017
Rank #15: Millennium Development Goals: Judgement Day
Feb 10 2016
Rank #16: Prenups
We speak to a newly-wed who signed a prenup with her now husband to protect her business interests. One of the UK’s top divorce lawyers tells us they are often better than the default divorce provisions laid out by governments. And a lawyer in Nigeria explains how she’s trying to use them to protect women’s rights.
But prenups are not without pitfalls – we also hear how they can be coercive, unfair, and even destroy a marriage before it’s begun.
Contributors: Ayesha Vardag, founder and president of London law firm Vardags; Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial, a book and website about personal finance; Laurie Israel from Israel, Van Kooy & Days law in Brookline, Massachusetts, and author of The Generous Prenup; Lesley Agams, founder and partner at Demeters Solicitors & Advocates in Abuja, Nigeria, and blogger on women's issues.
(Picture: Models of a bride and groom on a wedding cake. Credit: Getty Images)
Sep 01 2018
Rank #17: The Lehman Legacy
From mortgage defaults and job losses to stagnant wages, we find out how hard the last 10 years have been for many individuals and families, and ask what legacy the financial crisis has left.
Plus, where might the next crash come from, and are we any better prepared to withstand it?
Manuela Saragosa leads the discussion with a panel of experts: Adam Tooze, professor of history at Columbia University and author of Crashed: How a Decade of Global Financial crises Changed the World; Pablo Bustinduy, a member of parliament in the Spanish anti-austerity political party Podemos; and Scott Winship, a poverty and inequality researcher, formerly of the Brookings Institution and now directing the Social Capital Project within the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress.
Image: Boarded-up windows on a foreclosed home (Credit: Getty Images)
Sep 15 2018
Rank #18: Planning to Fail
Is it because we're incompetent, even irresponsible? Or is there something psychological getting in the way?
We explore some of the most common planning pitfalls, from Olympic Games that go way over budget to short-term corporate incentives, and ask how individuals and businesses can avoid them.
Contributors: Peter Ayton, professor of psychology at City, University of London; Bent Flyvbjerg, Chair of Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford; and Sarah Williamson, CEO of FCLT Global.
(Picture: A woman looking out over the Grand Canyon. Credit: Getty Images)
Sep 08 2018
Rank #19: Innovators - Female Entrepreneurs
(Picture: A mother and baby treated by the Sehat Kahani healthtech business)
Oct 28 2017
Rank #20: The Commonwealth: a New Trade Vision
Amy Jadesimi, CEO of LADOL, Nigeria
Christian Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Malta
Rahul Mirchandani, founder of the Commonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs
Sir Kenneth Olisa, OBE, Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners
Producer: Audrey Tinline
(Picture: Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Patricia Scotland and Theresa May at Buckingham Palace in London during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), April 19, 2018. Credit: VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Apr 21 2018