Telling New Stories

Telling New Stories

How do we live with technology without being dominated by it? How do we cherish democracy but avoid the tyranny of the majority? And how do we reap the benefits of globalisation without losing our identities? We need new stories to guide us through the complex maze of modernity. This strand brings together a dazzling array of world-leading thinkers to help find them.

We have collaborated with a range of partners: with The Policy Institute at King’s College London to interrogate notions of trust, democracy, mental health and Brexit; with the Disasters Emergency Committee to look at international aid, climate crisis and humanitarianism; and with author and social activist Hilary Cottam, to interrogate the so-called ‘5th industrial revolution’ with radical re-imaginings of our economic, social and cultural futures. Finally, in an exciting new partnership with The New York Times, we examine some modern-day challenges: the environment, gender, human rights and the role of China.

Women in Emergencies

How to support those affected by disaster

Thursday 15 August 19:30 - 21:00

Whilst humanitarian laws including the Geneva Conventions uphold universal obligations to protect all civilians, the reality in most global crises is that women and children suffer the most. Often victims of abuse or neglect, they are voiceless and...

Kate Devlin

Cometh the Sex Robots

Thursday 15 August 20:45 - 21:45

Sex robots may once have been the domain of science fiction but in Turned On, computer scientist and senior lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence, Kate Devlin asks how emerging technologies are making them a reality. From the automata...

Layla AlAmmar & Chloe Aridjis

In Search of Freedom

Friday 16 August 15:30 - 16:30

Layla AlAmmar was signed by her US agent after an open call for Muslim writers following President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Her debut, The Pact We Made, traverses family, duty and freedom in contemporary Kuwait. The revelatory Sea Monsters by Chloe...

Getting Under the Skin of Eating

The Perfect Diet

Friday 16 August 19:30 - 21:00

What we eat and where it comes from is becoming increasingly complex. What is a healthy diet and how secure are our food sources? With more and more diet advice being published every day, veganism making the news headlines and the growth of gene-based...

Futureproofing Food

Feeding the World, Saving the Planet

Sunday 18 August 19:30 - 21:00

How do we feed the world and look after the planet? And can we do it fairly? Could food become a bridge to a better world? Our experts shed light on some of the biggest questions we face today and discuss what our future might look like. The panel is...
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Erika Fatland

Under the shadow of the sickle

Monday 19 August 11:00 - 12:00

The collapse of the Soviet Union brought about new states across eastern Europe and central Asia, often routinely ignored by the West. Norwegian writer and social anthropologist Erika Fatland journeyed across the five ‘Stans’ which once made up the...

Be a Man, My Son

Musing on masculinity

Monday 19 August 19:30 - 21:00

Broughton High School in Edinburgh and Leith’s Super Power Agency have teamed up on an innovative project involving a group of young male students. They’re being challenged to think about being a man today: the pressures, concerns, role models and...

Adham Saouli

What Drives Hezbollah?

Tuesday 20 August 12:15 - 13:15

Join Adham Saouli from the renowned School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews for a thought-provoking discussion on the political trajectory of Hezbollah. For decades, the consensus has been that establishing an Islamic state in...
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Brexit: Falling Out

Has it changed the UK and its standing forever?

Tuesday 20 August 19:30 - 21:00

Whatever the outcome, Brexit has changed how the UK is viewed at home, internationally and even how other countries approach their own political disillusionment. This discussion brings together academics, politicians and commentators to examine the...