Free Thinking - Festival 2017


05Quick Reactions20170807Damon Hill,Tanni Grey-Thompson and Lincoln Jopp on pressured decision-making at top speed

Damon Hill, Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Colonel Lincoln Jopp consider whether the rush of adrenaline makes us think better? It brings us an increase in our strength, heightened senses, a lack of pain and a burst of energy. How is it connected to our expertise in handling crises and what is the aftermath?

Joining Radio 3 presenter Rana Mitter and an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead are guests who have lived and observed decision-making under pressure, at top speed:

Damon Hill is a former Formula One racing driver, broadcaster and author of Watching the Wheels: the Autobiography.

Tanni Grey-Thompson picked up 16 Paralympic medals during her career (including 11 golds) and won the London Marathon six times.

Colonel Lincoln Jopp MC served in the army for 27 years, commanding in conflict zones around the world including Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod

07The Speed Of Revolution20170810Bettany Hughes, Richard J Evans and John Hall join Philip Dodd and an audience at Sage.

Three leading historians, Bettany Hughes, Sir Richard J Evans and John Hall join Free Thinking presenter Philip Dodd to consider tumultuous times and how we make sense of sweeping change from classical times, through empire building and the industrial revolution to the present day. True revolutions are rare game-changers in the slow unravelling of the human story. Others fizzle out like small showy rockets, all light and no heat. But how obvious is it at the time ?

Dr Bettany Hughes is well known as a TV and radio broadcaster, an award-winning historian and author specialising in ancient and medieval history and culture. Her books include Helen of Troy, The Hemlock Cup and, most recently, Istanbul: a Tale of Three Cities.

Sir Richard J Evans is an academic and historian, best known for his research on the history of Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. President of Wolfson College in Cambridge, his most recent books are The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914, The Third Reich in History and Memory and Altered Pasts: Counterfactual in History.

Professor John Hall is IAS Fellow at University College, Durham University (Jan - March 2017). Normally based at McGill University in Montreal, Professor Hall is currently writing about Nations, States and Empires. His books include The Importance of Being Civil, The World of States, Powers and Liberties:The Causes and Consequences of the Rise of the West.

Recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

08The Never-ending Workday20170808Matthew Sweet introduces a discussion exploring the history of the workplace.

Sathnam Sanghera, Judy Wajcman, Griselda Togobo and Robert Colvile join Radio 3 presenter Matthew Sweet to look at the history of the workplace from factory floor to hot desk to the gig economy and debate whether the merging of workplace and home creates more stress.

Bosses have always monitored and changed our working day, clocking staff in and out the factory, analysing productivity through time and motion studies, using remote monitoring, introducing flexible working and "logging on later."

Sathnam Sanghera is a journalist and award-winning author of Marriage Material: A Novel and The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton. Before becoming a writer he (among other things) worked at a burger chain, a hospital laundry, a market research firm, a sewing factory and a literacy project in New York.

Judy Wajcman is a Professor of Society at LSE and the author of Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism.

Griselda Togobo is an entrepreneur, engineer, chartered accountant and the head of Forward Ladies, an organisation which aims to help companies maximise the potential of their female staff.

Robert Colvile is a journalist and author of The Great Acceleration - a new book about how
technology is speeding up the pace of life.

Recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Producer: Craig Smith.

13Writing Life20170809Poet Simon Armitage and writer Alexandra Harris explore time and place in modern Britain.

Poet Simon Armitage and writer Alexandra Harris explore time and place in modern Britain. Presented by Philip Dodd and recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead.

Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, has been described as 'the best poet of his generation'. His latest collection The Unaccompanied explores life against a backdrop of economic recession and social division where globalisation has made alienation a common experience. He was born in West Yorkshire and lives near Saddleworth Moor. His work includes his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and books exploring the South west's coast path and the Pennine Way.

Alexandra Harris is Professor of Literature at the University of Liverpool and a New Generation Thinker. She is the author of Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies and Romantic Moderns.

Producer: Fiona McLean.