RSA Podcasts

The RSA

Podcasts from the RSA that illuminate, inspire and provoke. Interviews and discussion programmes exploring contemporary social challenges.

Trailer: Polarised
Trailer 2 min 20 sec

All Episodes

RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor and journalist Ian Leslie are joined by this year's winner of the Nobel prize for economics (shared with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer), Esther Duflo.Duflo is co-author of Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems and Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT, where she is co-director of the Poverty Action Lab.In this wide-ranging interview she makes the case for how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our times.Produced by James Shield.Brought to you by the RSA.

Nov 2019

44 min 10 sec

Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie dissect new (and sometimes controversial) research on the divide between 'anarchists' and 'centrists'; the voters who live for drama; and the real reasons people share misleading news stories online.Plus, the similarities and differences between US and UK public opinion, as Matthew meets two of the top researchers from either side of the pond: director of the Pew Research Center, Michael Dimock; and director of the Policy Institute at King's College London, Bobby Duffy.LinksAnarchy in the UK (and Everywhere Else): The Ideological Roots of PopulismA “Need for Chaos” and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced DemocraciesMatthew Taylor: Populism is growing because more people than you think want chaosIan Leslie: British voters are divided into anarchists and centrists – but the anarchists are calling the shotsYouTube: King's College London event: The state of trust, facts and democracyYouTube: The RSA: Why We're Wrong About Nearly Everything with Bobby DuffyPolarised: Identity, with Francis Fukuyama (episode 11, December 2018)Matthew Taylor: In tackling polarisation and anger, understanding our opponents is vital. It’s also extremely hardProduced by James Shield.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Brought to you by the RSA.

Oct 2019

37 min 51 sec

The RSA's Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, look back on the week in which BBC Parliament had more plot twists than Line of Duty.

Sep 2019

29 min 17 sec

Matthew Taylor is joined by a live Wilderness Festival audience and John Harris from The Guardian to explore the battle between the politics of hope and the politics of fear. Hope can be a great motivating force in politics. And so can fear. In January, the teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg told the grown-ups at Davos: “I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. And then I want you to act.” But on climate change and many other issues, fear can turn into fatalism. So how can we remain hopeful without losing a sense of reality? Recorded live at Wilderness Festival on Saturday 3rd August 2019. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.

Aug 2019

37 min 41 sec

Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor analyse Theresa May’s final major speech as prime minister and Donald Trump’s latest racist statements, and try to predict what might happen in the first weeks of a new PM. Everything is unlikely, but something has to happen. So we grade some previous predictions and have a go at making some new ones. Plus, a new theory: the four paths to polarisation. Twitter: Matthew Taylor Ian Leslie Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.

Jul 2019

40 min 44 sec

Just as our reality has seemed to take a dystopian turn, there’s been a resurgence of political imagination. Utopian dreams have returned to the forefront of our politics. How achievable are these utopias, especially when they collide with the realities of power and government? And what can we learn from past attempts to make dreams into reality? Guests: James Meadway, former economic policy adviser to shadow chancellor John McDonnell Gregory Claeys, professor of the history of political thought at Royal Holloway, University of London Presented by Matthew Taylor. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.

Jun 2019

45 min 9 sec

Matthew Taylor speaks to French political journalist Marie Le Conte about the European elections, French politics and being in the eye of a Twitter storm; and Paul Mason sets out the dual threats of fascism and fatalism. Share this episode Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

May 2019

44 min 11 sec

At long last, for a few weeks in April, climate breakdown finally seemed to be at the top of the political agenda. Extinction Rebellion shut down the streets. School children walked out of classes in protest at inaction from the grown-ups. Politicians – some of them, anyway – declared a climate emergency. Does this surge of interest mark a real shift in public opinion and political will? Can the energy behind it be harnessed? And can our politicians unite against climate change in time to stop the worst of it? This week, Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie ask where the climate movement goes next. Share this episode Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Guests Claire Farrell, Extinction Rebellion Dr Alice Bell, 10:10 Climate Action Links Video of Extinction Rebellion meeting with Michael Gove 10:10 Climate Action Matthew Taylor discussing citizens' assemblies on the Extinction Rebellion podcast Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

May 2019

47 min 5 sec

Is religion still shaping our politics? And has its decline led to a wider search for meaning in public life? Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie are joined by Elizabeth Oldfield, director of the think tank Theos. Plus, reflections on the one of the hardest questions in European politics right now: 'what's happening?' Links The Times, 16 April 2019: Americans lose their taste for going to church Theos think tank European Council on Foreign Relations: What Europeans Really Want: Five Myths Debunked Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

May 2019

37 min 56 sec

Insights from three of the world's leading thinkers on how political and societal change happens: presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 'Nudge' author Cass Sunstein, and philosopher Roberto Unger. Plus, the story of how a bar fight in the House of Commons may have inadvertently changed the course of British political history… Presented by Matthew Taylor. Featuring: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and America’s pre-eminent presidential historian. Author of Leadership: Lessons from the Presidents from Turbulent Times. Cass Sunstein, co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, on the use of behavioural economics in shaping social policy, author of How Change Happens, and Robert Walmsley Professor at Harvard. Roberto Mangabeira Unger, philosopher and author of The Knowledge Economy. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Apr 2019

37 min 58 sec

We’re living through the biggest backlash against neoliberalism for 40 years, and the biggest crisis over Britain’s relationship with Europe since the Second World War. Climate breakdown and new technologies present major threats to the way we live and work. So against that backdrop, where does the politics of conservatism – and its relationship with capitalism – go next? Presented by Matthew Taylor. Guests Economic historian Jacob Field, author of Is Capitalism Working? Commentator and LBC broadcaster Iain Dale Share this episode on Twitter Music by Blue Dot Sessions. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Apr 2019

54 min 52 sec

From climate change to vaccines, there’s a worrying tendency in our culture to bury our heads in the sand, and for a growing number of people to turn their backs on the truth. At its most dangerous, denialism can shade into extremism. Denialism is fundamentally a rejection of reality, but what drives it? What does it say about our psychology that sometimes we need to protect ourselves from what’s really going on? And what should we do about the malign online forces that are driving more people to construct their own truth? Guests Caroline Lucas MP Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth Links Watch on YouTube: We Need to Talk About Climate | Caroline Lucas MP | RSA Replay Matthew Taylor on Twitter Ian Leslie on Twitter Caroline Lucas on Twitter Keith Kahn-Harris on Twitter Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Mar 2019

41 min 19 sec

Commentators say the financial crisis and its aftermath sounded the death knell for centrist parties. Is the centre ground of British politics really dead, or could it make a comeback? And what does the ‘centre’ even mean these days? This week, Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor discuss the Independent Group, before talking to the political sociologist Paula Surridge from the University of Bristol about public opinion and the centre. Plus: what is Tom Watson up to? Links Which values clan do you belong to? ‘Values clans’: how clusters of the electorate have shaped the political landscape The ‘cross-pressured clans’ of British politics: a quarter of the electorate and their values Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Mar 2019

34 min 34 sec

Has the opening up of political parties been a vital force for change, or bad for democracy as a whole? How can politicians represent both their party members and the voters? Is it game over for the old party politics of left vs right, and for the old party establishment? This week Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie are putting political parties in the spotlight. Guests: Ian Shapiro, co-author of Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself and professor of political science at Yale Isra Allison, executive director of Brand New Congress Nasim Thompson, co-founder of Justice Democrats Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Feb 2019

33 min 31 sec

This week Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor are asking: what's the best way to talk to people we disagree with? If we want to understand the other side – to bridge divides, or even persuade people we disagree with to think differently – what’s the best way to do that? With Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel, and Maria Exner, deputy editor of German news website Zeit Online. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Feb 2019

38 min 31 sec

Two days after the biggest government defeat in the history of the British parliament, Matthew Taylor makes the case for another form of democracy that might help sort out the mess. With James Fishkin and David Runciman. Links The RSA's campaign for deliberative democracy James Fishkin's talk at the RSA Amazon: 'Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation' by James S. Fishkin David Runciman's talk at the RSA Talking Politics podcast Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Jan 2019

30 min 45 sec

The phrase ‘identity politics’ has come to be used as a sort of political insult. It’s a short way of accusing someone of pandering to voters – based on race, religion or gender. From white nationalists and Donald Trump, to the politics of liberation and demands for equal rights, it feels like everyone is playing identity politics these days. Conflicts between identity groups now dominate our politics. How did we get here? Is the rise of identity politics really that big a problem? And if it is, what should we do about it? Francis Fukuyama, author of 'The End of History and the Last Man' and more recently 'Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment', joins Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie to give his take on the rise of identity politics. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Dec 2018

36 min 31 sec

Is tribalism an indelible part of human nature? And if it is, can we overcome it? Matthew Taylor speaks to moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind. Plus, Ian and Matthew discuss the recent protests in France, and we ask why the British people have claimed responsibility for 55% of all world history… Links Washington Post: The top 10 reasons American politics are so broken, by Jonathan Haidt and Sam Abrams, January 2015 The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff YouTube: Why a 21st Century Enlightenment Needs Walls | Jonathan Haidt | RSA Replay Twilight of the Elite: The Prosperous, the Periphery, and the Future of France by Christophe Guilluy We Made History: Citizens of 35 Countries Overestimate Their Nation's Role in World History Ian's newsletter, The Ruffian - TinyLetter Twitter: Matthew Taylor Ian Leslie Jonathan Haidt Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Dec 2018

33 min 42 sec

It's been a turbulent week in UK politics. What could possibly happen next? Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie talk Brexit predictions, and whether constant news updates are doing us any good. That brings us on to a discussion about the stories we tell ourselves – fake news, and the importance of myths – before Matthew tests out his new 'theory of everything', and we ask whether all of our society's problems stem from a yearning for solidarity and belonging. Links Ian Leslie on fake news – New Statesman The problem for democracies isn't "fake news" but pathological consumerism – Thomas Wells for ABC Matthew Taylor: Reprogramming the future – on hierarchy, solidarity, individualism, and fatalism Netflix: The Vietnam War Bodyguard (BBC) Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Nov 2018

31 min 36 sec

Is democracy falling apart? How worried should we be? And how can we fix it? With Niheer Dasandi, author of 'Is Democracy Failing?', and Eliane Glaser, author of 'Anti-Politics: On the Demonisation of Ideology, Authority and the State'. Links Matthew Taylor's blog: Could politics ever be a source of wisdom rather than anxiety? Is Democracy Failing? by Niheer Dasandi Anti-Politics: On the Demonisation of Ideology, Authority and the State Ian Leslie in the New Statesman: Why the invention of the fridge could be responsible for our love of fake news Produced by James Shield. With thanks to Thames & Hudson. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Nov 2018

27 min 44 sec

Have feelings taken over the world? Have we lost our collective grip on rationality? And what can a panic about nothing at Oxford Circus last year tell us about our relationship with the truth? With author of 'Nervous States', William Davies. Plus a recommendation for another podcast (because we're generous like that) about social network theory. Links Nervous States - Penguin Books How feelings took over the world | Culture | The Guardian Dastardly Cleverness episode featuring Mirta Galesic Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Oct 2018

35 min 3 sec

Anger is all the rage, but is anger itself the problem? Some people say we need to push back against anger in our politics, and respond with tranquil civility. But what if anger is the only rational response to a crisis in our democracy, and crumbling political norms? Claire Fox, director of the Academy of Ideas, joins Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie to discuss anger, snowflakes, and inevitably, Brexit. Links Martha Nussbaum's piece, 'Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame' David Adler in the New York Times: 'Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists' Claire Fox on Twitter Ian Leslie on Twitter Matthew Taylor on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Aug 2018

30 min 25 sec

Is it really true that we all live in our own echo chambers? Fake news and the filter bubble, post-truth and alternative facts… Are we all, as President Obama put it, ‘absorbing an entirely different reality’? In this episode we’re asking: Is our sense of a shared reality becoming even more fragile? And is fragmentation of the media the cause – or just the symptom – of our polarised politics? With guest Sílvia Majó-Vázquez, Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford. Links The Leave case for a second referendum - Matthew Taylor Getting a second referendum right - Matthew Taylor Guardian: Justine Greening endorses second Brexit referendum Dr Sílvia Majó-Vázquez, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Quillette: Political Moderates Are Lying Abilene paradox - Wikipedia Twitter: Sílvia Majó-Vázquez on Twitter Ian Leslie on Twitter Matthew Taylor on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org

Jul 2018

26 min 34 sec

Are economic divides to blame for everything else that’s broken in our politics? Does 'economic anxiety' explain the Trump and Brexit votes? And what deeper cultural undercurrents are at play in unequal societies? Ian and Matthew speak to Faiza Shaheen, director of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) about inequalities in the UK and the US. And Matthew interviews the Emmy-winning director and photographer Lauren Greenfield, whose new documentary 'Generation Wealth' (out in the UK on 20th July) looks back at her career, and tells the story of how the American Dream came to be corrupted. ###Links### Full Disclosure: The Atlantic: People Voted for Trump Because They Were Anxious, Not Poor Understanding the Social and Cultural Bases of Brexit New York Times: Trump Voters Driven by Fear of Losing Status, Not Economic Anxiety, Study Finds RSA report: Addressing economic insecurity Faiza Shaheen interview: Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) Gini coefficient CLASS factsheet: How unequal is the UK? CLASS report: 'Minority Report: Race and Class in post-Brexit Britain', edited by Omar Khan and Faiza Shaheen Podcast: CLASS on Class miniseries hosted by Faiza Shaheen Lauren Greenfield interview: Generation Wealth trailer Wikipedia: Lauren Greenfield RSA Event: How inequality gets inside our heads, with Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of 'The Spirit Level' and 'The Inner Level' The Provocation: Centre for Social Investigation: People’s Stated Reasons for Voting Leave or Remain A Tale of Two Houses: The House of Commons, the Big Brother House and the People at Home Twitter: Faiza Shaheen on Twitter Lauren Greenfield on Twitter Ian Leslie on Twitter Matthew Taylor on Twitter Produced by James Shield, with production help from Jade Vowles. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.theRSA.org

Jun 2018

36 min 13 sec

The third episode of a brand new podcast series from the RSA, 'Polarised'. Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, investigate the forces driving us further apart – and what can be done about them. In this episode: Is it inevitable that the internet and social media drive us to the extremes? Or do they just hold up a mirror to an already rotten culture? And we explore the dark side of the internet – trolls, racist memes, hate-filled comment sections and increasingly virulent culture wars – and ask whether it hijacked the White House. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Subscribe on Android Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Jun 2018

28 min 31 sec

The second episode of a brand new podcast series from the RSA, 'Polarised'. Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, investigate the forces driving us further apart – and what can be done about them. In this episode they ask: How effective were Cambridge Analytica's methods? Can ‘psychographic microtargeting’ really swing elections and referendums? And is it already driving a wedge in our politics? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Subscribe on Android Produced by James Shield. Artwork design by Emily Power. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Jun 2018

34 min 13 sec

The first episode of a brand new podcast series from the RSA, 'Polarised'. Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, investigate the forces driving us further apart – and what can be done about them. They start by asking the sociologist Paula Surridge whether we've become a nation divided into two tribes: liberals and authoritarians. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Subscribe on Android Produced by James Shield, with production help from Alex Atack in Bristol. Artwork design by Emily Power. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

May 2018

30 min 47 sec

A trailer for the new podcast series from the RSA: 'Polarised'. Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, investigate the forces driving us further apart – and what can be done about them.

May 2018

2 min 20 sec

Rachel O’Brien talks to ‘Tom’ – not his real name – who although still young, has spent nearly half of his life inside. Despite some fantastic governors and staff, the prison service is still under acute pressure due to cuts in funding and staffing. Ironically, the officer due to join us for this episode was unable to do so because of an incident in the prison where he now works. Rachel talks to ‘Tom’ about the nature of prisoners’ relationships with frontline staff, and whether or not the prison system is enabling positive connections to flourish.

Mar 2018

22 min 9 sec

Having been convicted for trafficking, CJ served her sentence in Japan and the UK. Studying a law degree through the Open University, CJ now works for SOS, part of the St. Giles Trust, a charity working to break the cycle of reoffending. While still in prison, the Longford Trust matched CJ with Jessica Jones, a barrister working in human rights law. She is CJ’s career mentor. Rachel O’Brien sat down with CJ and Jessica to talk about their relationship, and what they’ve learned from each other. “The biggest problem for prisoners is this glass ceiling above us. To have a relationship that totally smashes that… You just pushed me through it all the time, saying ‘yes, you can do that.’” – CJ, on her career mentor Jessica

Mar 2018

25 min 33 sec

Gethin’s early life included time spent in care, and years spent going in and out of prison. Now in his forties, he runs his own successful business. For the RSA, Rachel O’Brien talked to him about his journey, and to Bruce, the first person to give Gethin a full-time job knowing his past. “Volunteering got me to the stage where I was able to go into that interview and demonstrate my skills, rather than just my rap sheet.” – Gethin

Mar 2018

26 min 42 sec

Hardly a day goes by without headlines reminding us of the huge challenges facing the UK’s prison service. The system depends on having the right staffing and the right resources in place. But it also depends on prisoners being able to develop – and sustain – positive relationships. In this series for the RSA, Rachel O’Brien explores some of the connections that have helped people rebuild their lives. Paul was released from prison a couple of years ago and is now working. Rachel O’Brien talked to him and his two daughters about their relationship, and the impact that Paul’s time inside has had on them. “In my life there have been very few people there for me when I’ve needed them, and I’m very bad at asking for support. My daughters showed me that when I needed them, they were there.” – Paul

Mar 2018

23 min 23 sec

The accelerating pace of political and economic change can be disorienting – but, for some, change isn’t happening fast enough. Matthew Taylor is joined by the journalist Andy Beckett and the philosophers Benjamin Noys and Nina Power to find out about ‘Accelerationism’ a philosophy with both Left and Right variants - bubbling into the mainstream - that embraces speed and disruption as the only route to progress. Produced by Ben Irvine and Samuel Shelton Robinson Reading Andy Beckett, ‘Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in’, Guardian Long Read, 11 May 2017 Benjamin Noys, Malign Velocities (Zero 2014) Nina Power, ‘Decapitalism, Left Scarcity and the State’, Fillip 20 – Fall 2015

Jul 2017

29 min 3 sec

When economies stop growing they go into crisis, but it seems impossible for them to grow forever without causing ecological catastrophe. Matthew Taylor talks to Tim Jackson about the big dilemma in sustainability and the updated and expanded second edition of ‘Prosperity without Growth’ (2017). Can we safely stabilize the size of the economy? What’s behind our insatiable demand for new things? What revolutions are required in the nature of enterprise, policy and values to create prosperity without growth? And have they gotten any closer in the years since the books first publication in 2009?

Jun 2017

32 min 11 sec

Matthew Taylor talks to Kate Pickett co-author of ‘The Spirit Level’ (2009) which argued inequality is bad for everyone (even the rich) citing evidence that the overall of burden health and social problems was worse in more unequal countries. Can simply knowing that people have a lot more or less than you do be bad for your health? Both sides of the political spectrum now seem to agree inequality is a problem but action to remedy it is thin on the ground. Produced by Ben Irvine, Michael Umney and Samuel Shelton Robinson. Music by Kalou.

Jun 2017

31 min 46 sec

Matthew Taylor talks to Geoff Mulgan about his book ‘Connexity’ (1997). Shortly after its publication Geoff became an advisor to Tony Blair’s newly formed New Labour government. The book described how the growth in global connectedness had ushered in a new age of interdependence which was at odds with our focus on individual freedom and demanded an evolution in government, institutions and our mentalities. Are governments running on an out of date operating system? Have we underestimated the ability of networks to concentrate power rather than distribute it? Does the failure to meet these challenges identified two decades ago help to explain our troubled times? Produced by Ben Irvine, Michael Umney and Samuel Shelton Robinson. Music by Kalou.

Jun 2017

34 min 37 sec

Can ideas change the world? Matthew Taylor talks to David Willetts about intergenerational inequality and his book ‘The Pinch: How the baby boomers stole their children’s future and why they should give it back’ (2010). Since its publication, inequality between the generations has only gotten worse. Why is it so difficult to turn peoples concern for their own children into policy which improves the prospects for the next generation as a whole? Can appeals to the welfare of future generations bridge cultural and political differences? And what does the author of ‘The Pinch’ think of his own policies as the Minister for Universities? The first of four interviews revisiting influential books on public policy and social change published in recent decades. Produced by Ben Irvine and Samuel Shelton Robinson.

Jun 2017

39 min 39 sec

At its best work can provide more than an income but meaning, purpose and community. In the final episode in our Work Shift series Matthew Taylor explores the characteristics of Good Work, how this compares with peoples’ working lives today and whether we could make all work Good Work in the 21st century. He’s joined by: the sociologist Richard Sennett, author of ‘The Craftsman’ (2008), Joanna Biggs, editor at the London Review of Books and author of ‘All Day Long: a portrait of Britain at work’ (2015). And Rohan Silva, ex-Government advisor and co-founder of the co-working space Second Home. Produced by Michael Umney and Ben Irvine.

May 2017

29 min 48 sec

Login, complete gigs, get paid. The “gig economy” promises to deliver flexible working, efficiency and consumer convenience but some platforms may be dodging their responsibilities as employers. How should they be regulated? And can their benefits be combined with fair and decent work? Anthony Painter is joined by Trebor Scholz, a leading advocate of platform co-operativism and an Associate Professor for Culture & Media at The New School in New York, Olivia Sibony, Co-Founder of the sharing economy platform Grub Club and the RSA’s Brhmie Balaram who shares her recent research into gig-work in the UK.

Apr 2017

28 min 40 sec

A number of forces are combining to make work less stable and predictable. We’re switching jobs and retraining much more frequently. The job for life era appears to be history - is a universal basic income the right response? In episode two of ‘Work Shift’ Anthony Painter - Director of The RSA’s Action Research Centre - explores the different rationales and philosophies behind support for a basic income and how defining this policy idea has become a key terrain of political struggle. He’s joined by the Labour MP Jon Cruddas; Dr Louise Haagh, Reader in Politics at the University of York and editor of the Basic Income Studies Journal; and John Thornhill, Innovation Editor at the Financial Times.

Apr 2017

29 min 17 sec

Could advances in technology like big data, machine learning and robotics replace jobs faster than new ones can be created? How should we understand the impact of automation on the labour market? And how should government and society respond? In the first episode in our 'Work Shift' series exploring the big debates in the changing nature of work, Matthew Taylor discusses the impact of automation with: Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University, who has estimated 47% of US jobs could be automated, Ryan Avent from The Economist and author of the recent book 'The Wealth of Humans: work and its absence in the 21st century' and Judy Wajcman, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. Her recent book 'Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism' explores the relationship between work, technology, time and speed.

Apr 2017

29 min 29 sec

We are anxious to succeed but terrified of failing. Matthew Taylor interviews RSA fellow Moses Sangobiyi about his single minded attempts to break into professional American Football, what he learnt from falling short and why he’s on a mission to let people know that it’s ok to fail. Music: Lobo Loco - Mountain Creek

Mar 2017

21 min 31 sec