What If... [world Service]

Episodes

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What If... Chicken Conquers the World?2013012720130128 (WS)

Chicken farming dates back 10,000 years and produces 50 billion chickens to eat each year.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Susie Emmett goes on a journey to investigate chicken production, an industry which dates back 10,000 years.

In programme one Emmett visits farms with millions of birds, speaks to the reclusive world-dominating poultry breeders who control the genetics of most of the 50 billion chickens eaten globally each year, and travels to the US to see the grain harvest which feeds the birds that feed us.

Emmett also hears concerns that modern chicken-keeping is all about the needs of those who eat them and not those of the chickens.

Back on the farm, Emmett also examines what has made the all-important 'feed conversion ratio' even better and faster than ever. Surprisingly, it's not some new high tech intervention that is making the difference. Giving the chickens a bit of exercise is what matters.

(Image: Chicks, Credit: Susie Emmett, Green Shoots Productions)

What If... Chicken Conquers the World?20130127

Chicken farming dates back 10,000 years and produces 50 billion chickens to eat each year.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Susie Emmett goes on a journey to investigate chicken production, an industry which dates back 10,000 years.

In programme one Emmett visits farms with millions of birds, speaks to the reclusive world-dominating poultry breeders who control the genetics of most of the 50 billion chickens eaten globally each year, and travels to the US to see the grain harvest which feeds the birds that feed us.

Emmett also hears concerns that modern chicken-keeping is all about the needs of those who eat them and not those of the chickens.

Back on the farm, Emmett also examines what has made the all-important 'feed conversion ratio' even better and faster than ever. Surprisingly, it's not some new high tech intervention that is making the difference. Giving the chickens a bit of exercise is what matters.

(Image: Chicks, Credit: Susie Emmett, Green Shoots Productions)

What If... Chicken Conquers the World?2013020220130203 (WS)

Could test tube or laboratory-reared chicken ever\nreplace meat from birds?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

The second programme begins in Senegal where Emmett hears about the aspirational appetite for chicken. She also visits the development kitchen of a global poultry meat company for a taste of the chicken menu of the future, and witnesses the factory-scale kitchens in Northern Ireland, where a workforce of thousands kill and process 200 million birds a year. Emmett questions whether test tube or laboratory reared chicken could ever replace meat from birds.

In Pakistan and India where there is consumer resistance to 'industrial' chicken, Emmett hears from those who hope that smaller scale producers, and the breeds they keep, will survive. She speaks to a UK scientist, at the forefront of building immunity in chickens to diseases that affect them and humans, explains how to vaccinate a chick before it hatches.

(Image: Chickens Credit: Getty Images)

What If... Chicken Conquers the World?2013020220130204 (WS)

Could test tube or laboratory-reared chicken ever\nreplace meat from birds?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

The second programme begins in Senegal where Emmett hears about the aspirational appetite for chicken. She also visits the development kitchen of a global poultry meat company for a taste of the chicken menu of the future, and witnesses the factory-scale kitchens in Northern Ireland, where a workforce of thousands kill and process 200 million birds a year. Emmett questions whether test tube or laboratory reared chicken could ever replace meat from birds.

In Pakistan and India where there is consumer resistance to 'industrial' chicken, Emmett hears from those who hope that smaller scale producers, and the breeds they keep, will survive. She speaks to a UK scientist, at the forefront of building immunity in chickens to diseases that affect them and humans, explains how to vaccinate a chick before it hatches.

(Image: Chickens Credit: Getty Images)

What If... Chicken Conquers the World?20130202

Could test tube or laboratory-reared chicken ever\nreplace meat from birds?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

The second programme begins in Senegal where Emmett hears about the aspirational appetite for chicken. She also visits the development kitchen of a global poultry meat company for a taste of the chicken menu of the future, and witnesses the factory-scale kitchens in Northern Ireland, where a workforce of thousands kill and process 200 million birds a year. Emmett questions whether test tube or laboratory reared chicken could ever replace meat from birds.

In Pakistan and India where there is consumer resistance to 'industrial' chicken, Emmett hears from those who hope that smaller scale producers, and the breeds they keep, will survive. She speaks to a UK scientist, at the forefront of building immunity in chickens to diseases that affect them and humans, explains how to vaccinate a chick before it hatches.

(Image: Chickens Credit: Getty Images)

What If... The Next Tech Billionaires2013031620130317 (WS)

Technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are at the heart of Silicon Valley.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest names in technology. It's also home to many rich people who have made their money at the cutting edge and are willing to invest in ideas that might be the next big thing.

Alastair Leithead meets those who have come to Silicon Valley hoping to sell their ideas, as well as the people who've done it before and are happy to share their advice.

From companies wanting to mine the moon, to friends developing apps for mobile phones, Silicon Valley is the place most likely to the have the next tech billionaire.

(Image: US dollars. Credit: AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER)

What If... The Next Tech Billionaires2013031620130318 (WS)

Technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are at the heart of Silicon Valley.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest names in technology. It's also home to many rich people who have made their money at the cutting edge and are willing to invest in ideas that might be the next big thing.

Alastair Leithead meets those who have come to Silicon Valley hoping to sell their ideas, as well as the people who've done it before and are happy to share their advice.

From companies wanting to mine the moon, to friends developing apps for mobile phones, Silicon Valley is the place most likely to the have the next tech billionaire.

(Image: US dollars. Credit: AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER)

What If... The Next Tech Billionaires20130316

Technological innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are at the heart of Silicon Valley.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest names in technology. It's also home to many rich people who have made their money at the cutting edge and are willing to invest in ideas that might be the next big thing.

Alastair Leithead meets those who have come to Silicon Valley hoping to sell their ideas, as well as the people who've done it before and are happy to share their advice.

From companies wanting to mine the moon, to friends developing apps for mobile phones, Silicon Valley is the place most likely to the have the next tech billionaire.

(Image: US dollars. Credit: AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER)

What If... We All Had A Car?2013032320130324 (WS)

How can new cars be developed to prevent global gridlock and increased pollution?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

There are over a billion cars in the world today, and there could be as many as four billion by the middle of the century. So how will we keep the roads moving and prevent pollution rising? Theo Leggett meets the people developing new cars that can fold, drive themselves and even communicate with each other. But are these new cars appealing enough to entice drivers away from traditional car ownership and are they suitable for the mega-cities of the future?

(Image: Cars line up as they stop at traffic lights on a street in Shanghai. Credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We All Had A Car?2013032320130325 (WS)

How can new cars be developed to prevent global gridlock and increased pollution?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

There are over a billion cars in the world today, and there could be as many as four billion by the middle of the century. So how will we keep the roads moving and prevent pollution rising? Theo Leggett meets the people developing new cars that can fold, drive themselves and even communicate with each other. But are these new cars appealing enough to entice drivers away from traditional car ownership and are they suitable for the mega-cities of the future?

(Image: Cars line up as they stop at traffic lights on a street in Shanghai. Credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We All Had A Car?20130323

How can new cars be developed to prevent global gridlock and increased pollution?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

There are over a billion cars in the world today, and there could be as many as four billion by the middle of the century. So how will we keep the roads moving and prevent pollution rising? Theo Leggett meets the people developing new cars that can fold, drive themselves and even communicate with each other. But are these new cars appealing enough to entice drivers away from traditional car ownership and are they suitable for the mega-cities of the future?

(Image: Cars line up as they stop at traffic lights on a street in Shanghai. Credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Have the World's Best Education?2013031920130320 (WS)

Will the growth of online courses give everyone the same chance of a world class education

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What would it would mean if we could all go to Stanford, or Harvard, or Oxford and Cambridge? Some of the best knowledge and teaching on the planet is beginning to become available to hundreds of thousands of people - on the internet. Will a sophisticated revolution in online teaching, learning and business meet the shortage of higher education across the world?

(Image: Students work at their laptops, Credit: Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Have the World's Best Education?2013031920130324 (WS)

Will the growth of online courses give everyone the same chance of a world class education

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What would it would mean if we could all go to Stanford, or Harvard, or Oxford and Cambridge? Some of the best knowledge and teaching on the planet is beginning to become available to hundreds of thousands of people - on the internet. Will a sophisticated revolution in online teaching, learning and business meet the shortage of higher education across the world?

(Image: Students work at their laptops, Credit: Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Have the World's Best Education?20130319

Will the growth of online courses give everyone the same chance of a world class education

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What would it would mean if we could all go to Stanford, or Harvard, or Oxford and Cambridge? Some of the best knowledge and teaching on the planet is beginning to become available to hundreds of thousands of people - on the internet. Will a sophisticated revolution in online teaching, learning and business meet the shortage of higher education across the world?

(Image: Students work at their laptops, Credit: Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Talk To Joi Ito?2013031420130316 (WS)

Can he justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Joi Ito is one of the great pioneers of openness on the internet. He has claimed that it will become "the pillar of democracy for the 21st Century". But with Egypt's so-called Facebook revolution in serious jeopardy and anxieties all over the world that the web is being used by governments to spy on their citizens, is this optimism misplaced?

Razia Iqbal introduces Joi Ito to an audience of listeners world-wide, and they ask him to justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web.

Live with an audience of the public at MIT's Media Lab in Boston, USA.

Producer: Charlie Taylor

(Image: Joi Ito, Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Talk To Joi Ito?2013031420130317 (WS)

Can he justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Joi Ito is one of the great pioneers of openness on the internet. He has claimed that it will become "the pillar of democracy for the 21st Century". But with Egypt's so-called Facebook revolution in serious jeopardy and anxieties all over the world that the web is being used by governments to spy on their citizens, is this optimism misplaced?

Razia Iqbal introduces Joi Ito to an audience of listeners world-wide, and they ask him to justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web.

Live with an audience of the public at MIT's Media Lab in Boston, USA.

Producer: Charlie Taylor

(Image: Joi Ito, Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We Could All Talk To Joi Ito?20130314

Can he justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web?

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Joi Ito is one of the great pioneers of openness on the internet. He has claimed that it will become "the pillar of democracy for the 21st Century". But with Egypt's so-called Facebook revolution in serious jeopardy and anxieties all over the world that the web is being used by governments to spy on their citizens, is this optimism misplaced?

Razia Iqbal introduces Joi Ito to an audience of listeners world-wide, and they ask him to justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web.

Live with an audience of the public at MIT's Media Lab in Boston, USA.

Producer: Charlie Taylor

(Image: Joi Ito, Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

What If... We Could Shape Our Lives - Fate or Free Will?2013030920130310 (WS)

Who's in control of individual lives at a time of huge global change? Chris Bowlby reports

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

More and more of the world can look forward to surviving into longer life. But what’s just beginning to dawn on the experts, the policymakers and billions of individuals is how all this will relate to other major changes, like women’s rights, migration and chronic disease.

How will it influence the choices we make, the way we approach the stages of life, beginning with the decision whether to have children?

In this BBC programme Chris Bowlby tests big trends predicted for the future against very personal accounts of how people shape their lives.

What If... We Could Shape Our Lives - Fate or Free Will?20130309

Who's in control of individual lives at a time of huge global change? Chris Bowlby reports

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

More and more of the world can look forward to surviving into longer life. But what’s just beginning to dawn on the experts, the policymakers and billions of individuals is how all this will relate to other major changes, like women’s rights, migration and chronic disease.

How will it influence the choices we make, the way we approach the stages of life, beginning with the decision whether to have children?

In this BBC programme Chris Bowlby tests big trends predicted for the future against very personal accounts of how people shape their lives.

What If... We Fall In Love In The Future20130214

Nine short stories from around the world, looking at how love is changing

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What If... We Fall In Love In The Future2013021420130216 (WS)

Nine short stories from around the world, looking at how love is changing

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What If... We Fall In Love In The Future2013021420130217 (WS)

Nine short stories from around the world, looking at how love is changing

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What If... We Fall In Love In The Future2013021420130218 (WS)

Nine short stories from around the world, looking at how love is changing

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

What If... Women Ruled the World?2013030820130309 (WS)

The status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World is the former White House Press Secretary to Bill Clinton. She was the first woman to hold that role and also acted as an advisor on the West Wing TV series - she gives us her personal take on women and power.

Dee Dee looks at the US State Department – it's had three female heads in the last 15 years – how has that changed the culture of the organisation? She also takes a wide-ranging view on the status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

(Image: Women's fists, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

What If... Women Ruled the World?2013030820130310 (WS)

The status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World is the former White House Press Secretary to Bill Clinton. She was the first woman to hold that role and also acted as an advisor on the West Wing TV series - she gives us her personal take on women and power.

Dee Dee looks at the US State Department – it's had three female heads in the last 15 years – how has that changed the culture of the organisation? She also takes a wide-ranging view on the status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

(Image: Women's fists, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

What If... Women Ruled the World?2013030820130311 (WS)

The status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World is the former White House Press Secretary to Bill Clinton. She was the first woman to hold that role and also acted as an advisor on the West Wing TV series - she gives us her personal take on women and power.

Dee Dee looks at the US State Department – it's had three female heads in the last 15 years – how has that changed the culture of the organisation? She also takes a wide-ranging view on the status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

(Image: Women's fists, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

What If... Women Ruled the World?20130308

The status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.

Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World is the former White House Press Secretary to Bill Clinton. She was the first woman to hold that role and also acted as an advisor on the West Wing TV series - she gives us her personal take on women and power.

Dee Dee looks at the US State Department – it's had three female heads in the last 15 years – how has that changed the culture of the organisation? She also takes a wide-ranging view on the status, responsibilities and realities of women in power around the world.

(Image: Women's fists, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)