Rathbones Look forward podcast

Hosted by journalist and broadcaster Andrea Catherwood, the Rathbones Look forward series brings you closer to some of the world’s leading political, cultural and philosophical thinkers. Our guests discuss topics on the world of tomorrow, ranging from the future of democracy to the importance of the pursuit of truth in this era of fake news.

Download the podcast of the series here.

The future of happiness - Richard Layard

In his latest book ‘Can we be Happier?’ economist and former government czar for happiness Richard Layard argues that the goal for society must be the greatest possible all-round happiness and shows how we can aim for that in our personal and professional lives. In this interview, again set against a backdrop of COVID-19, Richard examines some of the ways he believes we can be happier. 

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The future of work - Daniel Susskind

Against a backdrop of COVID-19, economist and former Government adviser Daniel Susskind talks to Andrea Catherwood about the future of work. His latest book ‘A World without Work’ is a visionary account of how technology will transform the world of work and leisure. With COVID-19 already having a huge impact on how we work and live, this interview gives a fascinating insight into how work is changing and what the future of work might look like.

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The future of justice - Gina Miller

In this compelling interview with Andrea Catherwood, justice campaigner and business woman Gina Miller talks about her reaction to the extraordinary momentum we’re seeing for change through Black Lives Matter and the challenges she’s faced over the years. She talks about her drive to fight injustice, shines a light on responsible capitalism and argues that we all have a duty to give back to society and defend what is right. 

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The future of race and genetics- Dr Adam Rutherford

Every white supremacist has African, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern ancestors, every Nazi had Jewish ancestors. In this fascinating interview with Andrea Catherwood, Dr Adam Rutherford discusses his latest book, 'How to argue with a racist', and explores how the misuse of science to has been used to justify bigotry.

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The future of biodiversity- Isabella Tree

Rewilding is the large-scale restoration of ecosystems, where nature can take care of itself. In this fascinating interview with Andrea Catherwood, author Isabella Tree discusses her pioneering ‘Knepp experiment’, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife on her estate in West Sussex. It is an inspiring story of hope, much needed in current times.

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The future of morality- Tom Holland

Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. In this fascinating interview, historian Tom Holland talks to Andrea Catherwood on how we came to be what we are and how we think the way we do and ponders the future of morality in the broadest historical context. 

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The future of engineering - Lord Browne

Digital tools can help us create more inventive and efficient solutions, but they cannot confront these problems alone. Lord John Browne talks with Andrea Catherwood about engineering’s impact on civilisation, both good and bad, and argues that we need not, and must not, put the brakes on technological advancement. 

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The future of teaching - Kate Clanchy

Andrea Catherwood talks to Kate Clanchy about building a culture of success and confidence around teaching poetry in a multi-cultural school where 30 different languages are spoken. Kate shares her thoughts on the need for creativity to be taught in schools and the prevailing approaches to teaching English and the toxic effects these can have on pupils continuing with the subject after the age of 16.

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The future of leadership - Dr Pippa Malmgren

How can today's business leaders keep up with seismic geopolitical and economic shifts that include Brexit, inflation and the unseating of traditional political powers, and what do these mean for their own leadership narratives? Economist Dr Pippa Malmgren and author of best-selling book, 'The Leadership Lab', discusses the future of leadership with broadcaster and journalist, Andrea Catherwood. 

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The future of brands - Rory Sutherland 

Why is Red Bull so popular – even though no one likes the taste? Why do we prefer stripy toothpaste? And why do we think branded painkillers are more effective? Vice chairman of Ogilvy UK Rory Sutherland discusses why we think we’re rational creatures, making logical evidence-based decisions in economics and business, when in fact we aren’t.

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The future of society - Dr Hilary Cottam 

Is our welfare state fit for purpose? Social entrepreneur Dr Hilary Cottam discusses collaborative and affordable solutions to some of the greatest social challenges of our time: challenges such as ageing, loneliness, chronic disease, good work and inequality. From her book 'Radical Help', she offers a new approach to fixing the welfare state that fosters the bonds between us. 

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The future of the countryside - Professor Dieter Helm CBE

The decline of the Britain’s countryside and wildlife has been meticulously documented by some of the best naturalists in the world. The insects have largely gone, farmland birds have been decimated, and our rivers, uplands and urban green spaces are all in a less than happy state. Economist, Professor Dieter Helm CBE, shares his radical but tangible plan for positive change. 

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The future of democracy - Elif Shafak

Novelist and political scientist Elif Shafak explores how populism affects the language of mainstream politics and how things can start to change. When a demagogue comes to power, they start to change the judiciary, the electoral system, the constitution and society becomes polarised. These are worrying times for people who are interested in the truth. 

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The future of politics - Philip Collins

We find ourselves in unchartered political times. Our electorate has changed – it appears that political allegiances may have moved from a class basis to a more cultural footing. Against the backdrop of Brexit and recent parliamentary tantrums, journalist and academic Philip Collins helps us examine how things have fundamentally changed and how to fix the UK’s broken politics. 

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The future of education - Alex Beard 

How do we ensure that children continue to develop the skills of critical thinking and creativity? To what extent can the learning experience be enhanced by using AI in the classroom. We speak to teacher and writer Alex Beard on the future of education. 

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The future of spirituality - Alan Lightman

With a lifetime exploring the fundamental nature and origins of the universe, theoretical physicist Alan Lightman talks about the unscientific experience of looking up at the stars one night, and ‘falling into infinity’. In this interview he explores this apparent contradiction, and how in his belief, it is still possible to be a scientist and a spiritual person connected to something larger than oneself. 

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The future of free speech - Professor Nadine Strossen

Professor Nadine Strossen, a world-leading expert in civil liberty explores free speech in this interview. Using examples such as the neo-Nazi protests and their counter-reaction at Charlottesville, she discusses examples of the unpalatable views being aired, and the thesis that it is important to encourage debate in order to counter prejudice. 

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The future of genetics - Dr Sharad Paul 

Is coffee bad for you? The media changes its mind by the day. The real answer exists in your DNA and whether you are a fast or slow ‘metaboliser’ of caffeine. Our interview with surgeon and geneticist Dr Sharad Paul looks at what the future of genetics can hold for our health, and explores his preventative ideas on treating wellness, not illness.  

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The future of artificial intelligence - Sir Nigel Shadbolt

Artificial intelligence, or ‘AI’ is now a regular conversation topic in the media. The way we communicate, our jobs, privacy, security and well-being are areas already impacted by AI. Our interview with Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists and a leading researcher in artificial intelligence, looks at what the future holds for us. 

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Plastics and the environment - Lucy Siegle 

Lucy Siegle is an accomplished Guardian, Observer and BBC journalist and broadcaster, with a passion for environmental and social justice. She is also the go-to environment expert for Sky News and Good Morning Britain. In this interview Lucy implores us to listen to the planet – ‘you’ll hear a faint drumbeat. It’s a beat that will grow louder over the next two years’. 

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Truth and lies - Allan Little 

Allan Little is an award-winning broadcaster and former BBC special correspondent. In this interview he discusses this era of fake news and the importance of the pursuit of truth.  

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