Episodes

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Ending Hiring Discrimination20200728
Ending Hiring Discrimination20200728Sangita Myska takes a deep dive into some of the biggest problems facing Britain today - and meets the people whose big ideas might solve them.

This week, as a political sea change shines fresh light on the prejudice black Britons can face when applying for jobs, it’s a chance to look at ways to address hiring discrimination. And the UK has a high profile petri dish - the world of professional football, which has long failed to appoint black coaches, managers and executives in proportions to match the players who have proved themselves on the pitch.

Looking at two ideas that aim to change that - a new push to recruit black owners to buy football clubs, and an equality charter that hopes to change the cultures of clubs and national bodies - Sangita explores the obstacles to bringing equality into the top levels of football and asks if, with the right innovation, football could become a positive example for other industries.

Presenter: Sangita Myska
Producers: Tara Holmes and Robert Nicholson
Executive Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Sangita Myska sets out to find the world's brightest ideas that could make Britain better.

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

The Employment Conundrum20200721Sangita Myska sets out to find the world's brightest ideas that could make Britain better.

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

Sangita Myska takes a deep dive into some of the biggest problems facing Britain today - and meets the people whose big ideas might solve them.

This week, as Britain stares down the barrel of a historic unemployment crisis, it’s time to figure out how to make work work.

From Germany, there’s an old idea that’s worked for centuries - but never been tried here - that brings the heavy hand of the state and a sense of communal sacrifice to bear in staving off layoffs.

But are we thinking about this all wrong? Sangita also explores the possibility that what we need to be more worried about is how mass unemployment creates a labour market that exploits workers and pays poverty wages - something a new generation of tech savvy collectives have a plan to prevent.

Presenter: Sangita Myska
Producers: Tara Holmes and Robert Nicholson
Executive Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Sangita Myska sets out to find the world's brightest ideas that could make Britain better.

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

01Keeping Whitney Out Of Jail20191230Jo Fidgen explores how we can stop women from going back into prison. There are around 4,000 women behind bars in England and Wales. They make up 5% of the total prison population. And yet their incarceration has an outsized impact on society. In the first of a new series, Jo Fidgen goes with a young woman who has been in and out of the criminal justice system to try to find out how different approaches could change things. They look at the kinds of local, community-based responses that are changing lives across the UK, as well as a more radical approach that calls into question assumptions about women and crime.

Producer: Ant Adeane

Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking. A new series from BBC Radio 4

02The New Seaside20191231The Victorian splendour of many of Britain’s coastal towns has long faded. Many of them rank among our most economically deprived communities. The Southend-born writer Farrah Jarral talks to people who believe in a brighter future by the seaside, including an entrepreneur with a vision for the Wirral. Is he our New Victorian?

Farrah Jarral goes in search of a brighter future for Britain's neglected seaside towns.

Positive Thinking

The Victorian splendour of many of Britain’s coastal towns has long faded. Many of them rank among our most economically deprived communities. The Southend-born writer Farrah Jarral talks to people who believe in a brighter future by the seaside, including an entrepreneur with a vision for the Wirral. Is he our New Victorian?

Farrah Jarral goes in search of a brighter future for Britain's neglected seaside towns.

03All Under One Roof?20200101Meet Stephen Burke.  He’s a man on a mission. He's identified two big problems: the lack of affordable housing for young people and and a growing sense of isolation amongst older people. He says he's got one big idea that could solve both problems. His aim is to grow the idea from local project to UK wide solution.
To do that he needs attitudes to change and Radio 4 has offered to help by putting the concept through their Ideas Lab.
Presenter: Sangita Myska
Producer: Sarah Shebbeare

Meet Stephen Burke. He's a man on a mission.

Positive Thinking

04Boomtown For Rats20200102Climate change has led to a rise in flooding. But it's not just about soggy sofas and insurance claims. The recent flooding in South Yorkshire has driven rats into homes, and rats, if unchecked, can lead to fire, damage to property and disease.

It's not just an environmental problem but a socio-economic one too. A reduction in waste collection and increase in fly tipping has led to a surge in infestations the length and breadth of Britain.

Rats and humans have lived side by side for millennia. Wherever we go, rats follow. But the fall-out can be devastating.

New Zealand is pioneering an ambitious - some say unrealistically utopian- plan to eradicate all mammal predators by 2050. As a starting point they have created Zealandia, a 225 hectare urban sanctuary outside Wellington, to which many of New Zealand's endangered species have been relocated. Zealandia is a zone without rats, stoats and possums.

But it's just the beginning. Within three decades, if the plan succeeds, every rat on the island will be dead. Predator Free 2050 has been a rallying call for conservationists and citizens inspired by a future vision which draws on New Zealand's past. Until the 13th century New Zealand had no predator mammals.

Rats have already been removed from Canna and the Shiant Islands, off the North West coast of Scotland and from Lundy island in the Bristol Channel but could they be eradicated in more densely populated areas on mainland Britain? If you've ever been overrun by rats, you might be hoping the answer is yes.

Presenter Krupa Padhy sits down with three speakers to solution proof the idea of a rat-free Britain.

Produced by Kate Bissell and Caitlin Smith

Photo credit: Vandy Pollard

Climate change is creating a boom town for rats. How should we tackle it?

Positive Thinking

CORRECTION: Contrary to the statement in this programme, rats do, in fact, have bladders.

05Tackling Food Waste2020010320200105 (R4)Broadcaster and journalist Fi Glover and digital advisor Gemma Milne examine some of the UK’s biggest problems and consult a jury of end users to determine the best solution for all.

In this edition, the team are on the hunt for a radical solution to the UK’s problem of large scale supermarket food waste. Britain throws out over 10 million tonnes of food each year – which is more than enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall over 100 times.

Three advocates present their plans directly to our panel of consumers who rigorously interrogate them and ultimately decide on the solution they believe will have the greatest impact.

Under consideration are a proposal to remove “use by ? and “sell by ? dates on products in order to change consumer habits, food recycling through “no waste ? shops on every high street and “gleaning ? on farms, and an algorithmic tech solution that introduces dynamic pricing to the retailer’s shelves.

Fi and Gemma work with the panel to judge each solution, and together they have to reach a consensus on the best way forward.

Produced by Anishka Sharma and Sasha Edye-Lindner
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A team of end users stress-test three radical solution to the problem of food waste.

Positive Thinking

Broadcaster and journalist Fi Glover and digital advisor Gemma Milne examine some of the UK’s biggest problems and consult a jury of end users to determine the best solution for all.

Under consideration are a proposal to remove “use by” and “sell by” dates on products in order to change consumer habits, food recycling through “no waste” shops on every high street and “gleaning” on farms, and an algorithmic tech solution that introduces dynamic pricing to the retailer’s shelves.

07Curing Our Productivity Problem20200630Working to live, not living to work

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

Sangita Myska takes a deep dive into some of the biggest problems facing Britain today - and meets the people whose big ideas might solve them. 
This week, Positive Thinking tackles Britain's problem with productivity with help from Professor Nick Bloom who says he has a solution for office based workers AND the evidence to prove it. 
Contributors include: 
Eddie Obeng, Director of the virtual business school Pentacle
Christy Johnson, Founder and CEO of Artemis Connection
Lynda Gratton, Professor at London Business School
Producer: Sarah Shebbeare

Positive Thinking

08Escaping Street Gangs20200707How can we help a teenager escape a street gang, forever?

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

Sangita Myska takes a deep dive into some of the biggest problems facing Britain today - and meets the people whose big ideas might solve them. 
This week, Positive Thinking looks at how to help teenagers escape street gangs, forever. 
It's estimated that over 26 thousand children between the age of 10 and 15 in England, belong to violent street gangs.  Fear, money, status and a lack of alternatives make it hard to get out.  But Karl Lokko, the former leader of a South London gang, says he's got a solution to the problem.
Additional contributors: 
Al Stinson, Counsellor for Youth Guidance programme Becoming a Man in Chicago, USA
Leroy Logan, former Superintendent with London's Metropolitan Police, and founder of teenage leadership programme Voyage Youth
Will Linden, from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, a centre of expertise in tackling violence
Producers: Sarah Shebbeare and Sam Peach

09Closing The Attainment Gap20200714How tearing up the school calendar could help kids fulfill their true potential.

Meet the innovators bidding to change our world with one brilliant idea.

Sangita Myska takes a deep dive into some of the biggest problems facing Britain today - and meets the people whose big ideas might solve them. 
This week in Positive Thinking, we tackle how to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates. 
The stats are shocking: by the time a disadvantaged child leaves primary school, he or she will be 9 months behind their classmates in their learning. That gap rises to a year and a half, by the time that same child leaves secondary school. We look to Michigan in America's Mid West for solutions on how to tear up the school calendar to help kids fulfill their true potential. 
Contributors: 
David Hornack, Superintendent for Holt Public Schools in Michigan in the US.
Tracy Argent, Headteacher at Woolmore Primary School in Tower Hamlets, London. 
Revd Steve Chalke, Founder of the Oasis Academy Trust
Ros McMullen, Education Consultant
Rosie Murray West, School governor and personal finance journalist
Producers: Sarah Shebbeare and Sam Peach