Ideas for Our Times: The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Event Series

Ideas for Our Times: The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Event Series

How do we begin to make sense of the times we’re living through? Even before the world was brought to a standstill by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tectonic plates of geopolitical power were shifting, with the USA entering an era of protectionism, China increasingly flexing its economic muscles and both Russia and the European Union struggling to maintain their positions of power. And the biggest challenge of all: how to reverse the catastrophic damage we continue to do to our planet.

We’ve also seen more personal political dramas unfolding. Today it’s identity – ethnicity, gender identity and class – that has increasingly come to occupy the centre stage of public discourse. In this series, sponsored by Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, key writers offer their insights into the major issues of our times.

When the statue of Edward Colston was toppled from a plinth in central Bristol and pushed into the River Avon, historian Professor Olivette Otele said, ‘it was like, finally, finally something is happening that is forcing people to reconsider. It’s...
In 2015, the acclaimed writer and lawyer Raja Shehadeh was a guest selector for Edinburgh International Book Festival, presenting a series of events exploring the past, present and future of the Middle East. With memories of the region’s 2011...

Rutger Bregman: There is Hope for the Human Race

Sunday 16 August 16:00 - 17:00

‘Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’ So said Abraham Lincoln in one of his rousing...
From the gnawing dread of the red-stamped letter to the shocking closed-door deportations of our fellow citizens, it’s hard to imagine a tragedy more of our times than the Windrush Scandal. A perfect storm of hostile policy-making and an...
2020 has been, without doubt, a banner year for challenging our understanding of what constitutes a global problem and how equipped we are to address that task collectively. At the start of this year — what feels like an age ago — after generations...
‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words’ — so goes the epochal statement from Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, standing before world leaders at the United Nations last year. With a recent report showing only three...

Anne Applebaum: Democracy Under Siege

Monday 24 August 19:00 - 20:00

‘Given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all of our societies eventually will.’ Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anne Applebaum’s bleak prognosis for liberal democracy lies at the...

David Eagleman: A Mind-Blowing Future

Monday 24 August 20:30 - 21:30

Sensory loss, reduced mobility, trauma — these represent just a sliver of the profound physical challenges we are forced to confront over the course of our ever-increasing lifetimes. But what if we already had the most powerful tool imaginable for...

Elif Shafak: Writing the World’s Wrongs

Saturday 29 August 20:30 - 21:30

‘As the world becomes increasingly polarized, beset with anxiety, anger and tribalism, it’s time for us to turn to the art of storytelling for wisdom, connectivity and much-needed empathy.’ These are the words of Elif Shafak about her latest...
Promoting their new book Surviving Autocracy, Russian-American author and journalist, and peerless chronicler of totalitarianism and dissent, Masha Gessen made a surprising declaration: that by the middle of 2020 it seems clear that Trump might be worse...

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