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In an era of fake news and 'alternative facts', the issue of truth and how it is presented to the world has never been more timely. But on a personal level, things are less clear cut. We all tell white lies and withhold info in the name of manners and politeness from time to time and some of the hardest truths can feel very difficult to tell. Micheal Leviton is a writer and musician from Brooklyn whose book, To Be Honest: A Memoir, tells his own story of growing up in a family who, according to Michael, never lied. His upbringing meant that by the age of 29 he could only recall having lied three times in his life. The challenges of being brutally honest on a daily basis have been the basis of much soul searching for the author and also serve as the foundation of a few entertaining tales in his book. He joins Intelligence Squared producer Catharine Hughes to talk about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Reni Eddo-Lodge, the journalist, podcaster and author of essential book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, joins columnist, author and academic Gary Younge in conversation. As the murder of George Floyd and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement reverberated around the world in 2020, Eddo-Lodge's book, originally published in 2017, found new readers and topped bestseller lists in a world trying and make sense of a pivotal moment. The book is now available as an updated edition reflecting on some of those more recent events and the conversations that have followed over the past two years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In this archive debate, we revisit a discussion from 2018 when an assembled panel of smart thinkers gathered to reflect on the concept of nationhood, nationality and the impact of former UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s infamous 2016 speech that proclaimed, “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.” The discussion featured guests including the commentator and author David Goodhart, award-winning novelist Elif Shafak, former diplomat David Landsman and historian Simon Schama. Hosting the the episode was journalist and broadcaster Kamal Ahmed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Japan's recently assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe was a leader who leaves behind a complex legacy. Internationally, he strengthened Japan's relationship with the US in ways unseen before. Closer to home, crucial good relations with South Korea dissipated. His attitude towards Japan's difficult history was sometimes praised as a readiness for neutrality, while others criticised this as denialist revisionism. In the weeks since Abe's death, Japanese citizens have also begun to grapple with the reality of how involved their political system has become with influential religious groups, too. To help unpack some of these issues and discuss how Japan will move forward, we're joined by two specialists in modern Japanese history, Satona Suzuki from SOAS, University of London, and Jeff Kingston from Temple University, Japan. Our host for this podcast is journalist and broadcaster Philippa Thomas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We welcome back Fiona Hill, the foreign affairs and national security expert, to discuss Putin, foreign policy, and what could lie ahead for the war in Ukraine. Hill has been an advisor to three US Presidents and is former Senior Director for Europe and Russia at the United States National Security Council. She is author of books including Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin, and There is Nothing For You Here, which she joined us to discuss earlier in 2022. She returns to give us the latest on the ongoing war and assess what Vladimir Putin's next move might be, joined in conversation by Edward Lucas, the writer, author and European and transatlantic security specialist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
For this episode focusing on how craft, creativity and our relationship with the planet can help us rethink established narratives and contribute to addressing historical injustices of the past, we visit the Radical Acts Biennial, an initiative from Harewood House. Joining our host, journalist and author of Africa is Not a Country, Dipo Faloyin, are independent curator Ligaya Salazar and Creative Director of Tiipoi, Spandana Gopal. Plus, Claire Ratinon, organic food grower and author of Unearthed: On Race and Roots, and How the Soil Taught Me I Belong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
For this week's Sunday Debate, we're dipping back into the archive to 2014, when we gathered a panel of expert historians to debate whether Britain was right to fight in the First World War, a tragedy that laid the foundations for decades of destructive upheaval and violence across Europe. To debate the issue, we invited leading historians Margaret MacMillan, Max Hastings, John Charmley and Dominic Sandbrook to an event hosted by journalist, columnist and national security expert, Edward Lucas.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
For this edition of Intelligence Squared, we join Alannah Weston, Chairman of Selfridges Group, for her podcast How to Lead a Sustainable Business, in which she speaks to thought leaders who are reinventing their sectors for a sustainable and just future. In this week’s special episode, Alannah and her guest explore the possibility of rethinking race. Emma Dabiri is an academic, broadcaster and author of two highly acclaimed books on the subject: Don’t Touch My Hair and What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition. She discusses why ideas about race are cultural constructs and how understanding that race was invented to create and justify more racism could help us bring about an end to racial discrimination. How to Lead a Sustainable Business is brought to you by Selfridges Group and Intelligence Squared. If you enjoy this episode, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, award-winning journalist John Sweeney reported from Kiev, drawing on his decades of experience covering stories ranging from the Moscow apartment bombings to the atrocities committed by the Russian Army in Chechnya. His new book, Killer in the Kremlin, compiles that expertise and new analysis of the life story of Russia's leader in order to try and understand Putin's psyche and where the current war is headed. Joining John in conversation is Carl Miller, Research Director at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at the think tank Demos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Robin Dunbar has been hailed as one of the most insightful and creative evolutionary thinkers of our time, famed for his work on human networks and communities (he came up with the Dunbar number, the idea that humans can have no more than 150 meaningful relationships). Now he turns his attention to religion, the subject of his recent book, How Religion Evolved: And Why It Endures. Joining Robin in conversation on the podcast is Stuart Ritchie, Psychologist at King's College London, and author of Science Fictions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In this archive listen from 2013, we explore the global political impact of a leader whose legacy and influence is still being questioned today: Angela Merkel. As with any leader, a legacy isn't set in stone and as the dust settles on Merkel’s chancellorship, which spanned from 2005 to 2021, questions are being asked about decisions she made during her time in power. Most pertinent today, with the arrival of war in Ukraine, is Germany's accommodating trade relationship with Russia. But there were dissenting voices on Merkel’s leadership back in 2013. Amid the fallout of the financial crisis, Germany found itself as the key central player holding the fates of less buoyant European economies such as Greece and Portugal in its hands. Many in those countries felt that Merkel's hardline approach to fiscal measures, essentially holding the purse strings for much of Europe, was crippling their own nations. So we debated the motion: Angela Merkel is Destroying Europe. Hosting the the debate was former BBC World News broadcaster Nik Gowing, joined by journalists Mehdi Hasan and Christine Ockrent. Plus, historian Antony Beevor and Greek politician Euclid Tsakalotos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
During the Second World War, Rudolph Vrba was one of the very few people to escape the horrors of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He did so along with fellow escapee, Alfred Wetzler, in April 1944. Vrba is the subject of columnist and author Jonathan Freedland's new book, The Escape Artist. He joins journalist and broadcaster Manveen Rana to discuss Vrba's incredible story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Trolling, conspiracy theories, racist algorithms, cyberwarfare – every day our headlines are ablaze with negative stories about the internet. The problem? The unaccountable power of the big tech companies. That’s the view of bestselling author and barrister Jamie Susskind. His new book is The Digital Republic, which sets out his vision for a different type of society in which humans can take power back and reshape the digital world into a space where we can all flourish. Joining Jamie in conversation is another writer and strategic advisor working where culture and technology meet, Nina Schick, author of Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Activist, academic and author Ibram X. Kendi joins us for a discussion on his new book, How to Raise an Antiracist. It follows his Intelligence Squared talk that took place in 2019 outlining how to implement strategies for tackling racism throughout society as detailed in his National Book Award winning publication from that year, How to Be an Antiracist. The new book takes the conversation further, exploring the lessons that can be taught to younger generations as we try to build a future society that is free from prejudice. Joining Ibram in conversation once more is BBC News journalist and visiting journalism professor at Princeton, Razia Iqbal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The British countryside is often heralded for its natural beauty, but much of these bucolic landscapes are, of course, man-made. With farming and land use being a crucial discussion within the global debate around the climate crisis, we revisit a debate from 2018 in which we gathered environmentalist, activist and author George Monbiot, politician Rory Stewart, President of the National Farmers' Union Minette Batters, and author and journalist Mark Cocker to talk about rewilding and the natural lie of the land. Hosting the debate was broadcaster, author and journalist, Jonathan Dimbleby. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What do bees sense in flowers? What do songbirds hear in each others’ tunes? And what’s that smell sending your dog running up the street? These questions and many more are the basis of science communicator Ed Yong's book, An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us. He is a staff writer at The Atlantic magazine and his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He's also the recipient of the George Polk Award for Science Reporting and the author of I Contain Multitudes, his previous book, which became a bestseller. Speaking with Ed on the podcast is Chrissie Giles, Global Health Editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
How do we define value? How has this changed over time? And who decides what is deemed valuable? For centuries, society has seen value mainly through an economic lens: one takes a job because of its monetary benefits; marriage is a financially beneficial relationship that enables stability; and the true test of a business is its profit at the end of the year. But is this changing? In recent years, factors such as climate change, social justice and the pandemic have forced us to reconsider how we define value. We are in the era of the Value Revolution. In this episode, recorded on July 5 at Y TREE's second live event in the Futureverse series, three experts discuss and debate some of the most pressing issues that have arisen as a result of this critical turning point: Will private equity transform the financial industry? Can capitalism really adapt so that things other than monetary value are considered important in business, including fairness and environmental impact? And are we finally seeing a growing awareness that value is not always quantified by a price tag? Some things, such as time, health, job satisfaction and the survival of our planet are surely worth more than a number in a bank account.   Simon Brewer, host of the award-winning Money Maze Podcast, gives us his thoughts on the dramatic shifts in the economy over the last few decades. Political economist and author Adrienne Buller argues that businesses that engage in sustainability initiatives and ‘green capitalism’ are harming rather than helping the planet. And Lucy Kellaway, former FT columnist, now charity founder, author and maths and economics teacher, offers a fresh way to decide what to prioritise in our personal and professional lives. Expertly hosted by broadcaster Jon Sopel, this is a conversation that is guaranteed to change the way you think about value and worth. To find out more visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oxford University economist Kate Raworth has been described by the author and environmentalist George Monbiot as, "The John Maynard Keynes of the 21st century." In 2018, she came to Intelligence Squared to talk through the set of ideas that has seen her influential book, Donut Economics, find fans in audiences ranging from members of the UN General Assembly to Pope Francis and Extinction Rebellion. Hosting the discussion was Matthew Taylor, at the time of the interview Chief Executive of the RSA and latterly Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In a debate that spans centuries created in partnership with Sotheby's, we hear from Peabody Award-winning spoken-word performer George the Poet and Booker Prize-winning author Howard Jacobson about whether modern-day genres such as hip-hop and slam poetry speak more to society today than the storytelling found in centuries-old classics. Or does the lasting appeal of Shakespeare and other great figures like him show that some works have a universal value that stands the test of time? Our host for the debate is the broadcaster and cultural historian Shahidha Bari. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
What is it like to treat some of the most troubled men and women in society? Dr Ben Cave is a forensic psychiatrist whose 35-year career has been spent helping those with mental health conditions ranging from delusional disorders to schizophrenia, steroid abuse, drug dependency, depression and more. His new book, What We Fear Most, explores what can be learnt from these often misunderstood illnesses, the people who suffer from them and those, like Ben, who treat them. Our host for this episode is Poppy Damon, senior producer for Blanchard House. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (71)

Ryan Dunn


Aug 9th

Ryan McKinless

Can't we have a debate without the pantomime of motions and votes?

Mar 29th

Alisha Truemper

My coworker recommended this book to me. Very interesting interview to learn about the story behind the book before reading it.

Jan 18th



Nov 26th

Top Clean

A 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Episode. (^^,) Ecologist Suzanne Simard shares how she discovered that trees use underground fungal networks to communicate and share resources, uprooting the idea that nature constantly competes for survival. And a very good movie is here. 👍

Oct 2nd

Efi Spass

Due to advertising will no more listen

Sep 13th

shekhu verma

'Islam is tolerant & progressive ' well we are seeing the shining example in afghanistan

Aug 28th

Iain Frame

Parenting absolutely matters.

Aug 8th


Are you serious... The moment you listed Sweden as a country with the right balance of nationalism vs. Internationalism you lost all credibility with me.

Jul 19th

Original DarkMark

Fascinating. Hardly a surprise, but good to hear it confirmed - although whether this information makes its way to plantation planning/management is anyone's guess. Unrelated, but if anyone happens to see this, and could expand upon why Americans have recently adjusted the pronunciation of Herb to Erb, I'd be interested to know...

Jun 28th


Well said, Anastasia Lin! it's been too long for the rest of the world to wake up from the illusion that we created ourselves 😨😨

May 22nd


This is a very useful conversation and a kind of introduction for people who haven't actually read the new testament. On the other hand, the "insights" might seem a bit trite to someone who is even an occasional reader.

Apr 2nd


absolutely fascinating. I'm going ti buy the book! the author is alive, aware and very honest

Apr 1st


The speaker for the motion is disappointing.

Feb 20th
Reply (2)

Diego Osorio

Race hustling and cultural marxim is big business now.

Jan 29th

Alex Appleby

This is great! It really shows how identitarian politics has rotted the brains of both interviewee and host, to the point that neither can see the glaring self absorbed hypocrisy of their world view.

Jan 22nd


In America we're tipping more and more into Orwellian dystopia... Couldn't agree more and you guys are sounding more and more like the Ministry of Truth.

Jan 20th

Greg Pearcey

of course she never bothered to watch the George Floyd video Why bother with the truth

Jan 1st

John Roche

Anyone know the name of the interviewer? She asked great questions, would like to check out some of her other content.

Jul 20th


The laws, politics and, policies approach was done under every world leader (to different extents) and is what has lead us to our current problems. Even well intended paws and policies have continued the very inequalities that we need to end. Yes there needs to some regulations on the economy but we have too many, which has lead to regulatory capture by major economic players.

Jun 12th
Reply (1)
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