The Agenda Podcast

The Agenda Podcast


The Agenda is CGTN Europe’s one stop shop for smart in-depth discussion and lively interviews with expert guests. We debate the issues that really matter in the world today, as well as unpacking the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow with unique insight from the world’s most populous nation – China.From our European headquarters in London, Juliet Mann interviews world leaders, CEOs of global brands, big thinkers, writers, activists, commentators and decision-makers to get answers to the questions the whole world is talking about.


Food Security

Nearly 300 million people from across the globe are currently facing severe food insecurity. And according to the latest report from the United Nations, that figure is set to rise sharply unless immediate action is taken. Conflict in places like Gaza, Sudan and Ukraine, as well as the rising impact of climate change has left the world facing a devastating struggle to feed its population. On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann examines what can be done to address the looming catastrophe.She speaks to Dr Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters, Senior Researcher in Food Systems at Wageningen University, Faustine Bas-Defossez, Director for Health, Nature, and Environment at the European Environmental Bureau, Morgan Ody, a French vegetable farmer and General Coordinator of peasants’ movement, La Via Campesina and Tess Ingram from UNICEF, who’s just returned from Gaza.
21/05/2429m 30s

Xi Jinping in Europe

China’s President Xi Jinping is now back in Beijing following his first trip to Europe in five years.Stopping is France, Serbia and Hungary, the talk was of increased trade ties and new investment deals, and how China can work with European nations to improve peace and stability across the globe.  On this edition of The Agenda. Juliet Mann examines what the long term impact of the visit will be, for the three individual nations, and for the wider world. She speaks to Former French Finance Minister and ex-President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, Former Serbian Foreign Minister and ex-President of the United Nations General Assembly, Vuk Jeremić, and Sándor Mészáros, Hungary’s former Ambassador in Beijing. 
14/05/2429m 29s

AI and the Olympics

With less than three months to go until the 2024 Paris Olympic Games the International Olympic Committee has unveiled its "AI Agenda".  As with so many other sectors, AI is set to revolutionise sport - from training to judging, identifying new talent to cutting the cost of hosting global events.In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann visits the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, home of the 2012 London Games, for the IOC launch and speaks to President of the IOC Thomas Bach, the committee&aposs Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, five time Olympic champion gymnast Nadia Comăneci, and Professor of AI, Amit Joshi.
01/05/2426m 43s

Electric Vehicles

With China&aposs commerce Minister Wang Wentao in Europe and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Beijing this week – accusations of overcapacity in the EV market have been top of the agenda around the world – accusations China has strongly denied.  So with the need for more electric powered cars only growing as the world seeks to hit tough net zero targets, where is the sector really headed?In this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Tu Le, Founder and Managing Director of Sino Auto Insights and Bill Russo, Chief Executive of consultants Automobility to find out.And with the focus on the future of EVs, Juliet also speaks to Kiva Allgood from the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains at the World Economic Forum to find out why the sector can only really work if we move towards a truly circular system.
16/04/2429m 33s

The Nuclear Option

Last week, the first ever Nuclear Energy Summit took place in Brussels. Leaders and experts from around the world – including China’s Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing -  gathered to discuss the competitiveness, usability, and sustainability of nuclear power in the race to net zero. So in this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann investigates just what role nuclear has in the world’s energy future, and whether there’s any real chance the world can reach its climate targets without it.She speaks to Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of World Nuclear Association and Nuclear policy analyst Mycle Schneider to find out.
02/04/2429m 8s

Face to Face - Bjorn Lomborg

Poverty alleviation and climate change are two of the biggest, if not THE two biggest challenges facing the world today. Both require huge amounts of international cooperation, and of course money, to solve. But is the world getting the balance of funding right?On this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to an expert who thinks not - Bjorn Lomborg, President of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and best-selling author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. He thinks that what he calls the “weaponization” of climate change over helping the world’s poor isn’t the smartest response.
26/03/2429m 22s

Inside Azerbaijan

Later this year, Azerbaijan will host the UN&aposs COP29 climate summit. It&aposs one of the top ten most fossil fuel dependent countries in the world - but that&aposs all set to change as Azerbaijan looks to transition to a greener future.  It&aposs one of the many issues Juliet Mann discussed in an exclusive interview with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikaiyil Jabbarov. They also talk about future partnerships with China and the EU and the country’s transition to a digital future. Juliet also looks at the climate change issues facing Azerbaijan in the run-up to COP29 in November with Kaveh Guilanpour, Vice President for International Strategies at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
19/03/2429m 18s

China's Agenda - a Two Sessions Special

New quality productive forces.This was one of the key messages from the annual Two Sessions in Beijing. The term, coined by China&aposs President Xi Jinping in September 2023 during a local visit, is viewed in the sessions as key to maintaining and enhancing the quality of China&aposs growth. In wide-ranging discussions on everything from continued economic growth and upgrading to an increased desire for high quality opening up, this new approach to innovation was front and center.  China&aposs role on the world stage was also in the spotlight, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi insisting the country will be a force for peace in spite of lingering U.S. misconceptions about China.In this special program -  China&aposs Agenda - CGTN Europe examines the country&aposs innovative future and what impact it will have on global relationships in the years to come.Host Juliet Mann speaks to a panel of global experts about China&aposs economic modernization and what is described as "new quality productive forces" - the innovation that will transform the economy both within and beyond China&aposs borders.David Mahon, Founder and Executive Chairman of Mahon China Investment Management tells Juliet how the tech sector will be a significant component of China&aposs plan for 5 percent growth in 2024.  Bert Hofman, former China Director of the World Bank and now Professor at the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore examines the desire for increased foreign investment in China as companies work out how they might fit into a modernized China.And Marsela Musabelliu, Executive Director at the Albanian Institute for Globalization Studies, explains why the world&aposs smaller nations especially welcome China&aposs approach to upgrading its industry. The panel also addresses China&aposs role in an increasingly globalized world.
13/03/2428m 47s

AI: The Double-Edged Sword

AI is arguably the world’s most talked about technology since the birth of the internet. It is going to change the way we live and work - creating a new industrial revolution.  At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said AI is a double edged sword - if applied well it will bring huge opportunities to human civilisation, but at the same time it poses real risks to global security and ethics.  So how is AI technology going to develop? And is AI something we’ll ever truly trust?On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Jürgen Müller, Chief Technology Officer of SAP, José Parra-Moyano, Professor of Digital Strategy, International Institute for Management Development and Dr Bosun Tijani, Nigeria Minister for Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy to find out.
05/03/2428m 24s

The view from Africa

The gap between the developed north and developing global south has never been more acute. Issues like climate change, debt and technological advances are all threatening to widen the wedge between north and south. So what needs to be done to address that problem.In this edition of the Agenda, Juliet Mann gets the views of four senior ministers from across Africa. She speaks to Yusuf Tuggar, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Enoch Godongwana, South Africa’s Finance Minister, Ghana’s Minister for Finance & Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta, and Zambia’s Finance Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane.
27/02/2429m 15s

Farming Protests

Protests by farmers have been sweeping Europe for months. Tractors have blockaded cities in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania and more in a show of frustration at EU green policies farmers say threaten their livelihoods.  So, does climate policy need to be more farmer friendly? Or does the already subsidized agricultural sector need to embrace the fast pace of change needed to protect the planet?To find out, in this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Cristiane Lambert, President of COPA, Dr. Patrick Schröder, Senior Research Fellow at the Environment and Society Centre at Chatham House, and Alvaro Lario, the President of International Fund of Agricultural Development.
20/02/2429m 29s

Life after Brexit

On 31st January 2020, the UK made history when it became the first country to leave the European Union. It followed a hugely contentious referendum campaign when all kinds of promises were made by both sides as to a future inside and outside Europe. But four years on, what exactly has changed? Is the UK thriving in a post-EU world, or has Brexit left the country woefully adrift from its neighbours, and indeed the rest of the world. On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Professor Amelia Hadfield, Dean International and Head of Politics at the University of Surrey, former British Minister for Europe, Denis MacShane, and Conservative Commentator, Alex Deane.
08/02/2429m 0s

China-France ties: 60 Years on

On the 27th of January 1964, France became the first major Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with the People&aposs Republic of China. At the time, it was referred to by some as a diplomatic nuclear explosion. But what have been the real results of that decision 60 years ago? And what might the future hold for Sino French ties?  On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann goes to Paris to speak to former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and ex-EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy, and the Yannick Lintz, President of the Musée Guimet - Europe’s largest collection of Chinese art.
31/01/2429m 38s

Davos 2024

The theme at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos was rebuilding trust and reshaping the global economic framework. During his keynote speech, Chinese Premier Li Qiang expressed concern that a lack of trust was aggravating risks to global growth, and said that as the world enters a new period of turbulence international collaboration was essential.So what can be done to increase cooperation and rebuild trust among the world’s leading powers?To find out, in this edition of the Agenda from the Swiss city of Davos, Juliet Mann sits down with President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, Pam Cheng, Executive Vice President of Global Operations at AstraZeneca and Head of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher as well as Astronaut Matthias Maurer
22/01/2429m 42s

China and the EU

Brussels went to Beijing last week as European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met Xi Jinping in person for the first time in four years. President Xi said the two sides need to “work together to sustain the momentum of growth in China-EU relations”. But what might that look like in practice? And what did von der Leyen mean when she spoke of “clear imbalances and differences” in trade between the two? Joining Juliet Mann with their thoughts on this episode of The Agenda are Henry Wang,  Founder and President of Center for China and Globalization, Professor Jean-Marc Trouille, Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Ambassador Piet Steel - Chairman of the Europe Asia Center.
13/12/2328m 39s

Dealing with Debt

In 2023, global debt hit a new record high at more than 307 trillion dollars. That led UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres to warn that more than 3.3 billion people - almost half the world’s population - are now living in a country where money spent on debt repayments outstrip that spent on health and education. So what can be done to solve the world’s debt issues? On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Situmbeko Musokotwane - Minister of Finance of Zambia, Vitor Gaspar, Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF and Michael Pettis, Professor of Finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management
06/12/2329m 35s

Countdown to COP28

World leaders scientists and environmentalists will gather in the United Arab Emirates this week for the latest UN Climate Conference - COP 28. And far from hitting the much discussed 1.5 degree warming target, the United Nations has warned that the world could be facing what it called a "hellish" 3 degrees if urgent action isn&apost taken. So can COP28 deliver where so many other gatherings appear to have failed?In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann takes the global temperature ahead of the COP meeting with Kevin Conrad, Founder of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, Dimitri de Boer, Regional Director for Asia of ClimateEarth and Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which was named a Champion of the Earth by the UN Environment Programme earlier this year.
29/11/2329m 27s

China, the US... and the EU

China&aposs President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden have now held their first face to face meeting in a year. After the Summit in San Francisco, both sides seemed positive, with agreements to open new lines of communication, and President Xi insisting China is not going to fight a cold war, or indeed a hot war with anyone. But what does the summit really mean for global relations more widely? Especially with EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen&aposs visit to Beijing in December?In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Professor Jia Qingguo from the School of International Studies at Peking University, Bernard Dewit, Chair of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of European Centre for International Political Economy.
22/11/2329m 31s

The future of Supply Chains

Since 2020, global supply chains have come under pressure like never before. Geopolitical events - Covid and conflict - as well as increasing demand for critical minerals to underpin new technology has changed the way manufacturing operates for ever. The World Economic Forum is providing what it hopes is a beacon to companies looking to embrace change with its Global Lighthouse network – but what does this all really mean for the future of the global economy?In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Enno de Boer, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, Xue Rulong, Europe Region Director of Midea Industrial tech and Professor Sarah Schiffling  Assistant Professor in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility at Hanken School of Economics, to find out.
08/11/2328m 38s

The future of Belt and Road

Ten years after China’s President Xi Jinping first announced his plans for a "Silk Road economic belt", world leaders gathered in Beijing for the third Belt & Road forum.  Since 2013, more than 150 countries and over 30 international organisations have signed cooperation documents. But what&aposs been the true global impact of the initiative? And what might the next ten years hold?On this episode of The Agenda Juliet Mann speaks to Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank, and Erik Solheim, Norway’s former Environment Minister and now President of the Green Belt & Road Development Initiative.
25/10/2329m 35s

Academy Award-winner Tim Yip

This week on The Agenda Juliet Mann talks cultural collaboration with Tim Yip, costume designer, director, contemporary artist and the Oscar-winning art director of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Renowned for his innovative reinterpretation of Chinese antiquity in the realm of culture and film, Juliet explores some of the key milestones in Yip&aposs illustrious career and examines the profound influence his artistic contributions have left on world cinema.
20/10/2329m 21s

The Renewable Future

As climate change catastrophes continue to hit the headlines - the transition to a greener future was of course the key talking point at the world&aposs largest energy summit - ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi. So in this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann looks at whether the world is ready for a post-fossil fuel world – and whether there’s still a need for investment in oil and gas.She speaks to Francesco La Camera, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Barbados’ Minister for Energy & Business Development, Senator Lisa Cummins and – ahead of his country’s hosting of the upcoming COP28 Climate Summit, the UAE’s Energy Minister, His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei.
11/10/2329m 33s


As China&aposs Belt & Road Initiative marks it&aposs tenth anniversary, in this episode of The Agenda podcast Juliet Mann explores the impact it&aposs having on the world&aposs energy consumption.She talks to Lord Adair Turner, the former head of the CBI and ex-Chair of the UK&aposs Financial Services Authority.But his current role is chair of the Energy Transitions Commission - and here he tells The Agenda just how important the BRI is to a greener energy future.
04/10/2327m 48s

Face to Face: Charles Liu

Global economic growth exhibited surprising resilience in the early months of this year, but the outlook for 2024 is considerably less promising, with numerous experts attributing this downturn to China&aposs slower than anticipated recovery. In this week&aposs episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann talks to Charles Liu, the founder of HAO Capital to ask if that&aposs really the case, and what other underlying factors beyond China are contributing to the current economic landscape. 
04/10/2329m 10s

Boiling Point

Extreme weather across the globe has claimed tens of thousands of lives this summer alone. From floods in Libya and China to drought in Sri Lanka and with heatwaves causing fires across much of Europe and North America, the devastating impact of climate change has never been clearer. As UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres put it – we’re no longer talking about global warming – but global boiling.So what can the world do to respond? Or do we now have to accept that these climate catastrophes are the new normal?To find out in this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Niklas Hagleberg, Global Coordinator for Climate Change at the UN Environment Programme, Dr Alex Fisher, Program Director for Climate Ambition at ClimateWorks Foundation and Dr Clement Albergel from the European Space Agency. 
20/09/2328m 56s

Mission to the Moon

Not since the 1960s has the focus of space travel been so squarely targeted at the Moon – earth’s only natural satellite. In the past weeks India became the latest country to land a rover on the lunar surface. NASA says it will land men back on the Moon next year, and China is planning to do the same before 2030. So what’s really at stake here? And is the future in space one of collaboration or competition?In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to James Head, Professor of Geological Sciences at Brown University, who helped select landing sites for the Apollo moon program, and Xu Yansong, Director-General of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Program. 
12/09/2329m 27s

Water Stress

One in four people around the globe now lives in a country grappling with severe water stress. And that figure is only expected to rise as by 2050, global water demand is projected to surge by 20% to 25%. On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Professor Asit K Biswas, Honorary Professor, Glasgow University, Changhua Wu, Vice Chair, Governing Council of Asia Pacific Water Forum and Dr. Peter Gleick, Senior Fellow and Co-founder of Pacific Institute to ask about the challenges we face and how innovation and technology will be key in averting an even deadlier water crisis.
29/08/2329m 37s

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The China Investment Corporation - better known as the CIC,  is the world&aposs largest sovereign wealth fund, managing an impressive $1.35 trillion in assets. Its carefully chosen investments in various resources and cutting-edge technologies are strategically aimed at bolstering China&aposs global influence. But just what are they investing in? And how big can they really get?In this episode, Juliet Mann speaks to Zongyuan Zoe Lui, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "Sovereign Funds," which delves into the CIC&aposs journey, and Michael Maduell, President of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. 
14/08/2329m 19s

Travel & Tourism

Few sectors, if any, were hit harder by the pandemic than travel and tourism – with bookings dropping by around three-quarters between 2019 and 2020. But now the world’s opened up again, is the sector back on its feet? Or has the way we travel changed forever? Has the crucial Chinese market returned? And, as global boiling hits the headlines, are we now ready to pay more for sustainable travel?In this episode of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Miguel Sanz, Director of the European Travel Commission, Steve Saxon, the leader of McKinsey & Company’s Travel, Logistics & Infrastructure Practice in China and Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization to find out more.
08/08/2329m 6s

Governor of the Bank of Greece - Yannis Stournaras

Less than a decade ago, the Greek economy was very much the sick man of Europe. For 13 years Greece faced a debt crisis and financial stagnation. Three international bailouts - and a global pandemic – later, the economy is steadily growing. The cost of living still soars and unemployment remains high. But growth in Greece is outpacing most Eurozone countries. So what’s behind this revival? And what has Greece learned from the economic crisis? In this week’s episode Juliet Mann is in Athens to find out in an exclusive interview with the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Yannis Stournaras.
01/08/2329m 15s

The View from Hong Kong: Christopher Hui

For decades now, Hong Kong has served as  China&aposs gateway to the world - especially in the financial sector. So as China continues opening up post-pandemic and looks to expand business beyond its borders - what does the future really hold?  Hong Kong&aposs Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury - Christopher Hui has spent much of this year travelling around the world to underline the message that Hong Kong is back open especially for sustainable and hi-tech businesses. In this episode of The Agenda he speaks exclusively to Juliet Mann.
25/07/2329m 23s

The Gender Gap

In recent weeks both the United Nations and the World Economic Forum have released their latest reports on Gender parity - and it&aposs not looking good for the world&aposs women. According to the UN at least the gender gap only appears to be widening, and WEF say it will still be more than 130 years before we reach anything like true equality. But just why does the distance between men and men’s roles remain so stubbornly large?In this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Raquel Lagunas, Global Director of Gender Equality at the United Nations Development Programme and Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum to find out. She also gets the views of Jane Sun, the CEO of, on why it makes business sense to keep women at the forefront of her business.
19/07/2329m 39s

Electric Vehicles

As both BYD and Tesla released record sales figures for the second quarter of the year, this week on The Agenda we consider the future for electric cars.In spite of rising sales, many consumers still suffer from range anxiety – concerns over how far they can travel on a single charge – as well as worrying about car prices in the midst of a global cost of living crisis. But is this all set to change as China leads the charge for cheaper, higher performance vehicles?   In this episode Juliet Mann speaks to the experts - Bill Russo, CEO of Automobility Ltd and David Bailey and Professor of Business Economics at Birmingham University to find out.
13/07/2329m 25s

The rise of A.I.

As the world&aposs experts gather in Shanghai for the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, on this episode of The Agenda, we consider the rise of AI.Following the launches of the likes of OpenAi’s ChatGPT and Baidu’s Ernie Chatbot,  the rise of computer learning seems to have created as many concerns as opportunities, with tech giants like Elon Musk and Apple founder Steve Wozniak calling for an immediate halt to development on anything more powerful than GPT4.So what regulation is needed? And just how worried should we be? Here, Juliet Mann speaks to Professor Nick Bostrom, the Founding Director of Oxford University&aposs Future of Humanity Institute, Fabian Westerheide, the CEO of A.I. for Humans, and also interviews ChatGPT itself.
04/07/2329m 7s


It&aposs time for China and Europe to rise above their differences and find creative solutions to solve global problems like climate change and poverty. That was the message from Li Qiang at the end of his first overseas visit since becoming Chinese Premier earlier this year.At the end of a week where he visited Germany and France to talk trade and cooperation, he also made China’s views on future relationships very clear, stating: “China will unequivocally reject trade protectionism and all forms of decoupling and severing of supply chain”So what does all that mean for China’s future relationships with Europe, and indeed the rest of the world? In this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Sevim Dağdelen, Member of the German Bundestag and deputy chairwoman of the German-Chinese Parliamentary Friendship Group, Gérard Araud - Former Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Zhiguang Yin, Professor in International politics at Fudan University, and Jeffrey Sachs, Economist and of Columbia University&aposs Center for Sustainable Development.
28/06/2328m 59s

Ageing Population

The World Health Organisation expects the number of people aged over-65 to double by 2050. That will mean there are around 2.1bn people – one in four of us – at around pensionable age.What effect will that have on the global economy and productivity? And what do the world’s governments need to do to head off a longevity crisis? How can we ensure financial resilience for consumers, for the workforce, and for investors? At the recent World Economic Growth Summit in Geneva, Juliet Mann spoke to a panel of experts to find out:  Gog Soon-Joo from Skills Future Singapore, Christian Keller, Head of Economics Research at Barclays, Graham Pearce, Global Benefits Strategy and Implementation at Mercer, and Professor at the London Business School and author of “The 100-year life” Lynda Gratton.
20/06/2329m 13s

The Road to COP28

As we hit almost exactly the half-way mark between COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh and COP28 in Dubai, politicians, pressure groups and climate experts gathered in Bonn to try to come up with a framework for the next global climate summit. So where exactly are we now on the somewhat bumpy road to net zero? Are we on track? Or have we left it too late to save the planet? In this episode, Juliet Mann speaks to Erik Solheim, former Norwegian Climate Minister and now Vice-President of the Green Belt & Road Initiative to get his opinion.  She’s also joined by Jan Kowalzig, Oxfam’s Senior Policy Adviser on Climate Change, to discuss the group’s latest report which accuses the world’s richest nations of falling far short of their promises of contributing $100bn a year to help developing countries fight back against the global climate emergency.
13/06/2329m 33s

Türkiye Elections

In one of Türkiye’s most fiercely contested elections in decades, President Erdogan emerged victorious yet again. Despite a struggling economy marked by skyrocketing inflation and a declining currency, 52% of the electorate granted him another five years in office. The questions now are exactly what factors contributed to Erdogan’s victory? Can he revitalize the country’s faltering economy? And what does his victory mean for Türkiye on the world stage? In this episode, Juliet Mann talks to Murat Aslan, Senior Researcher at the Seta Foundation, Ahmet Kasim Han, Professor of International Relations at Beykoz University, and Ozan Ozkurul - Founder & Managing Partner at Tanto Capital Partners.
06/06/2330m 13s

Face to Face: Keyu Jin

The relationship between the world&aposs two largest economies, the US and China, has rarely been more tense. China&aposs new Ambassador in Washington Xie Feng has admitted this is a time of "serious difficulties and challenges", but insists he wants to put relations between the two nations back on track. And one person who may have some insight into how to do that is Economist and Author Keyu Jin - whose latest book is "The New China Playbook – Beyond Socialism and Capitalism". The Associate Professor at the London School of Economics was born in China, educated in the United States and now works between London and Beijing, and explains to Juliet Mann how her background has given her a unique perspective on China’s role in the world, and why the West still needs to improve its understanding of her home country.
31/05/2328m 23s

Resilient Growth

This week The Agenda comes from the World Economic Forum Growth Summit in Geneva. Global growth may be lower than in the past – thanks in large part to the after-effects of the pandemic – but there’s no doubt new opportunities are emerging for countries leading the way  in food production, tourism, green tech, energy, digital services and more. So just which countries and regions are set to drive global growth and attract investment in the next decade? And how can we ensure that growth remains resilient?Here, Juliet Mann speaks to Mmusi Kgafela, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana, the President of Türkiye’s Investment Office, A. Burak Dağlioğlu, and Karen Harris, Managing Director, of the Macro Trends Group at Bain & Company to find out.
23/05/2328m 6s


This week The Agenda is in Brussels, where diplomats, business leaders and experts gathered for a meeting to discuss “Navigating the New Era: The Evolving Landscape of China-EU Economic and Trade Relations.”Top of the agenda was looking to see how both sides can benefit from China’s opening up post-COVID, and what the diplomatic acceleration – which has seen high level visits from Chinese officials to Europe and vice-versa in recent weeks – will really mean. At the meeting, Juliet Mann spoke to China’s Ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, in his first television interview since taking office in December last year, and Bernard Dewit, Chair of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
18/05/2329m 20s

Face to Face: Saadia Zahidi

This week The Agenda comes from Geneva at the World Economic Forum’s Growth Summit 2023. At the Summit, WEF released it’s latest Chief Economists’ report – which showed an equal split between those expecting a global recession, and those who think the world economy will recover through the rest of the year. WEF also released its latest jobs report – which warns of major disruptions in the labor market for the rest of this decade. To discuss those reports, and much more besides, in this episode Juliet Mann speaks to Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum 
09/05/2326m 34s

Face to Face: Jean-Claude Trichet

2023 has so far been something of a bumpy ride for the global economy. Inflation remains stubbornly high, banks have collapsed and debt is spiralling upwards for some of the world&aposs largest economies.There has been some better news - with China growing and opening up for business post-pandemic - and fears of a global recession seeming to melt away. So where exactly do things stand now? And what can we expect for the rest of the year?On this edition of The Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to Jean-Claude Trichet – former President of the European Central Bank and Governor of the Bank of France to find out.
02/05/2328m 16s


The Earthshot Prize is the global award initiative launched in 2020 by Britain&aposs Prince William, with the aim of inspiring and funding innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Each year, a prize of £1 million is awarded to five winners.On this week’s Agenda, Juliet Mann speaks to two of the award’s winners from 2022, Charlot Magayi, Founder of Mukuru Clean Stoves and Pierre Paslier, Co-founder of the sustainable packaging startup, Notpla to hear their extraordinary stories. 
25/04/2326m 43s

Diplomatic Acceleration

At the recent Two Sessions gathering in Beijing, Foreign Minister Qin Gang announced that China had "pressed the acceleration button" and "sounded the clarion call" for diplomacy.  And the world – and especially Europe - certainly seems to have answered that call. In the past weeks Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have all been in Beijing to meet President Xi Jinping.To find out what China’s re-opening post-pandemic really means for the rest of the world on this edition of The Agenda Juliet Mann speaks to Justin Vaïsse, Director General of the Paris Peace Forum, who was part of President Macron’s delegation, three time Spanish Ambassador to China, Eugenio Bregolat and – ahead of his own trip to Beijing -  Mohcine Jazouli, Morocco’s Investment Minister.
19/04/2328m 57s

Banking Emergency

The start of 2023 has had worrying echoes of 2008 for the global banking sector. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the US and the Credit Suisse takeover in Europe saw banking stocks plunge around the world.  So in this edition of The Agenda, we consider whether the world is sleepwalking into another financial crisis – or have the lessons of 2008 been learned and implemented? Juliet Mann speaks to Professor David Blanchflower, Economics Professor at Dartmouth College and former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, and Joe Oliver, former Finance Minister of Canada.
11/04/2329m 49s

Fueling the Future

China’s Ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, has just been on his first visit to Belfast. He was in Northern Ireland  to talk about cooperation, communication and especially how China and the UK can work together on a cleaner, greener form of energy - hydrogen. On this special edition of The Agenda from Queen&aposs University, Juliet Mann speaks to Professor Cheng Yibing, Strategic Scientist at the Xianhu Lab in Foshan, And Professor David Rooney, Director of the Sustainable Energy Research Programme at Queen&aposs about 
04/04/2324m 39s

The AUKUS Question

AUKUS is the trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the United States, focusing on military capability and technology including cyber, AI, hypersonic and electromagnetic warfare. It will eventually provide Australia with a fleet of up to eight nuclear powered submarines and could cost Australia up to $368bn between now and the mid-2050s.But far from being a simple defense alliance, many, including China, Indonesia and Malaysia are far from happy with the deal, claiming it’s an attempt to exploit a loophole in global nuclear non-proliferation treaties and could destabilize the entire region. In this episode, Juliet Mann speaks to George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, and Professor Peter Kuznick, Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University in Washington DC to see what AUKUS really reveals about existing geopolitical fault lines.
28/03/2327m 33s

A New Journey

Stability, development and prosperity.  That was the message from President Xi Jinping as China&aposs first Two Sessions since the country opened up post-pandemic came to an end. The emphasis throughout the political meetings was very much on common prosperity, peaceful development and especially modernization. So in this special show, The Agenda examines China’s future – from the focus on high quality growth to enhancing its global diplomatic and peace-making efforts – and considers what impact this will have on the rest of the world as we move further into the 21st Century. Juliet Mann is joined by Danilo Türk, Former President of Slovenia and now Chair of the Club de Madrid and a panel of top global experts who share their insight into the future of a truly Modern China.
21/03/2343m 22s

Road to Urbanization

Of the world’s 100 largest cities, more than a quarter are in China. In 1980, about 20% of the population lived in a city, by 2020 that had risen to more than 60%. Rapid urbanization has seen improved transport links and housing giving millions of people access to better healthcare, education and jobs. Poverty rates have fallen sharply, while at the same time the economy has boomed. So, what lessons can be learned from that? And how can the benefits of urbanization be balanced with inevitable environmental consequences?In this episode, Juliet Mann speaks to Chris Hamnett, Professor of Geography at Kings College London, Dr Yan Song, the Director of North Carolina University’s Program on Chinese Cities and world-renowned urbanization expert, Alain Bertaud. 
14/03/2328m 18s

Two Presidents

As the annual Two Sessions gatherings get underway in Beijing,  this week we consider the real extent of China’s global reach as we speak to the Presidents of two  developing nations to get their take on future cooperation.  Costa Rica’s Rodrigo Chaves Robles and East Timor’s Jose-Ramos Horta speak to Juliet Mann about the state of relations with Beijing, and why those relationships are so vital to their nations.  We also hear their take on the future of global cooperation, and what needs to happen to ensure the vital transition to a greener future runs smoothly.
07/03/2319m 39s

Searching for Sustainability

As the world works to hit increasingly tough climate targets by the end of the decade, the need for sustainability in all business practices has never been greaterOne of the company’s leading the way in one of the world’s most polluting sectors – agriculture – is fertilizer giant Yara International. On this episode of The Agenda,  the company’s CEO, Svein Tore Holsether joins Juliet Mann to  discuss how Yara is working to drive sustainability across the world. Juliet also speaks to Stéphane Vernède, CEO & Co-founder of Enwise, an award-winning Chinese tech start-up helping in the race to net-zero by converting organic waste into clean energy.
28/02/2326m 20s

Episode 61: The Beautiful Game

Over the next four weeks, 2 billion people are expected to tune in as Europe&aposs top footballers battle it out to be crowned the champions of Europe. Euro 2020 is finally under way, after COVID-19 forced a 12-month delay and a major reorganization.On this edition of The Agenda Podcast, Stephen Cole looks at the financial health of international football. Steven Zhang, Chairman of Inter Milan, discusses the challenges ahead for the club and for European football in general in the wake of the coronavirus [00:44]. Then Dan Jones, head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, discusses where power sits in the world of football since the failure of the proposed European Super League - do club owners ignore fan power at their peril? [09:09].Finally, Cole is joined by Laura McAllister, former Wales women&aposs team captain and current deputy chair of UEFA&aposs Women&aposs Football Committee. She tells us why the future of football could be female and looks ahead to the logistical and political issues facing next year&aposs World Cup in Qatar [16:23].
23/06/2124m 17s

Episode 60: Costing the Earth

As governments around the world set increasingly tough environmental targets, it&aposs becoming clear that investment from business is also going to increase. A new report from the UN Environment Programme, the World Economic Forum and the Economics of Land Degradation say that by 2030, investment in nature-based solutions are going to have to treble from the current level of $133 billion. This week on The Agenda podcast, Stephen Cole looks at who is likely to foot the bill to reverse climate change.Justin Adams, director of nature-based solutions at the WEF, discusses some of the key issues highlighted in the report [00:39].With concerns over private companies&apos interest in such solutions rising, so is the demand for sustainability consultants. Armen Dallakyan is the director of sustainable finance consulting at KEN Associates, and he tells Stephen Cole about the growing demand for his services [10:22].Finally, Richard Lancaster, CEO of electricity supply company CLP Holdings, explains how a company can ensure every part of its business is fully sustainable, and why managers and investors alike are finally starting to realise sustainability is no longer something which is done just for show [16:20]. 
17/06/2124m 6s

Episode 59: The COVID-19 gender gap

The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, had an extraordinary effect on all our lives. But for women, according to a new report, it&aposs had a particularly devastating impact. The World Economic Forum&aposs (WEF) annual Global Gender Gap Report shows the coronavirus has pushed back gender parity by an entire generation. In this episode of the Agenda podcast, Stephen Cole will look at when, if ever, we might finally reach true gender equality.First on the podcast Cole talks to one of the people behind the WEF report, Till Leopold, who explains precisely how the report came to this rather shocking conclusion – and what can be done to address it [00:39]. According to the paper, the economic gender gap won&apost be closed for at least another 267 years. So why is it that in an apparently advanced society, women are still paid less than men for doing the same jobs?To find out more Cole talks to Wanda Wyporska of The Equality Trust and Rachel Verdin, a former trade union representative and now academic at the University of Sussex Business school. They discuss some of the issues surrounding the gender pay gap and how it&aposs been affected by COVID-19 [09:17]. Finally, Kate Maclean from the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University explains why female political leaders – such as New Zealand&aposs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – have come to the fore in this time of crisis [18:10].
12/06/2124m 19s

Episode 58: The Road to Kunming

The world&aposs largest biodiversity summit was due to take place in Kunming, China on March 16 but has been postponed once again due to the global pandemic. In a year which has been dominated by COVID-19, Stephen Cole looks at the future of the world&aposs flora and fauna and the fundamental connections between all life on Earth. The pandemic has provided an opportunity to pause for reflection and shown that protecting nature&aposs health is essential if we are also to protect our own.First on the podcast Stephen talks to Executive Secretary for the UN&aposs Convention on Biodiversity Elizabeth Maruma Mrema about how to ensure the targets for 2030 yield better results [01:30]. Next on the podcast Stephen talks to Dimitri De Boer from Client Earth in Beijing who explains the role China has to play in the biodiversity conversation as this year&aposs host of the 15th Conference of Parties [10:11]. And finally - Stephen is joined by Frederick Kumah and Jia Qiao from the African Wildlife Foundation to understand why the continent is facing unprecedented levels of extinction despite being home to a third of the world&aposs biodiversity [15:08]. 
03/06/2124m 35s

Episode 57: Powering the future

Oil fueled the 20th century—its cars, its wars, its economy and its geopolitics. As the US returns to the Paris Climate accord and after President Biden pledged to halve carbon emissions  by the end of 2030, the world is speeding up the shift to a new, greener order. But what does that really mean? Will we finally say goodbye to fossil fuels? This week, The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole talks to people in "power" to see what the future of energy may look like.First on the podcast Stephen talks to Joseph McMonigle, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum. He tells Stephen that limited fossil fuel use could continue even with net-zero emissions [00:40]. As the world looks to alternative sources of energy, oil and gas companies are facing more pressure to transition and survive. Stephen asks Ulrika Wising, Global Vice President of Customer Solutions and Renewable Energy Solutions at Shell about what they are doing to help customers to de-carbonize [07:02]. Nuclear is considered a clean energy  - in relation to carbon -  but many people are hesitant about nuclear power or rather nuclear power plants. Dr. Jonathan Cobb from the World Nuclear Association explains that it is an energy source that&aposs providing an enormous benefit at the moment, supplying 10 percent of electricity without greenhouse gas emissions. [11:23]. Finally we talk to Francesco La Camera, the director general of IRENA. He explains that last year saw the biggest ever increase in renewable energy capacity[16:23].
17/05/2124m 39s

Episode 56: Travel and Leisure

Before the pandemic, tourism was growing faster than the world&aposs economy and traveling had never been easier. Then COVID-19 brought globetrotting to a halt and left the trillion-dollar industry in tatters. But with rapid vaccination bringing optimism, can the sector now get back on the move? How different will the travel experience be? And which parts of the world are open for business?First on the podcast we talk to Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission. He explains why his organization is optimistic about the European summer and why it could be make or break for the travel industry [00:36]. Next we talk to Angela Gerekou, president of the Greek National Tourism Organization. She tells Stephen Cole how every effort is being made to prepare and how she wants the country to be a global center of sustainable tourism by 2030 [06:50].Another restless sector is the hotel industry. Travel restrictions wiped out more than $138bn in turnover, ending a decade of growth. Rocco Forte, chairman of the luxury chain Rocco Forte Hotels, explains how he plans to battle the ‘Zoom boom’ and bring back leisure and corporate customers [13:08].The airline industry has far from escaped the turbulent times of the past 16 months, losing $126 billion in 2020, with a further $47 billion loss expected this year. Despite this, Bjorn Tore Larsen has founded a new airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, and explains why he&aposs pinning his hopes and money on a great travel take-off by the end of 2021 [18:25].
11/05/2124m 45s

Episode 55: The Electric Car

Is the world ready for electric cars on a large scale? The Agenda Podcast finds out whether Europe – and remote parts of the world – are prepared for such an accelerated change to the way we travel.First on the podcast is Bjorn Annwall, head of Volvo&aposs Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and newly-appointed Chief Financial Officer. He tells us how the Swedish car manufacturer plans to make electric-only vehicles by its 2030 deadline and talks about  the challenge of convincing EV-hesitant consumers [00:40].Jaap Burger is Senior Advisor to the Regulatory Assistance Project, which works to advance the transition towards clean and reliable energy sources and explains that the rate of growth for the electric car industry is reliant on sufficient investment in infrastructure [08:37]. Finally we talk to Gerard Barron, the  CEO and Chairman of DeepGreen (soon to be known as The Metals Company) which recovers these metals from the ocean floor instead of on land. He believes there are enough on the seabed to power a global electric transport system [14:41].
29/04/2124m 28s

Episode 54: The first 100 days of Brexit

Since January 1, the UK has been trading under new systems agreed in the post-Brexit trade deal. So what problems have the first 100 days exposed for the UK and Europe? Agenda is joined by the CEO of Eurochambres, Ben Butters, and the head of international affairs for small businesses, James Sibley. They discuss the impact of Brexit on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the continent and try to dissect how much of the 40% decrease in trade across the channel is down to Brexit teething problems and how much is down to the ongoing pandemic. [00:44].We also talk to Amelia Hadfield, head of politics at the University of Surrey, and Karel Lannoo, CEO of the Centre for European Policy Studies, about the future of the European Union [11:32].
20/04/2125m 27s

Episode 53: The Vaccine Rift

Questions over efficacy, blood-clot fears, threats to block exports, and its sluggish supply – the distribution of vaccines has been causing a major division across Europe, particularly between the EU and the UK. This week on the Agenda Podcast we look at how the two blocs have approached the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and how today&aposs disputes could affect the vaccine procurement of tomorrow and beyond.With France and Germany both having witnessed vaccine hesitation within their populations, we ask Pieter Cleppe, editor-in-chief of Brussels Report, about why that might be – as well as whether Brexit is to blame for a seemingly cold reception towards the UK&aposs AstraZeneca jab [02:34]. We also speak to Lawrence Young, virologist and specialist in molecular oncology at the University of Warwick. He explains how damaging vaccine nationalism can be to fighting COVID-19 [10:24].  Finally we also speak to David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project. He explains what he thinks the EU must do to emerge from the vaccine setback with strength and stability going forward [12.42].
12/04/2124m 25s

Episode 52: The Future of Work

For more than a year now, millions of people have been forced out of their offices by the pandemic to work from home. But is that a situation that&aposs here to stay or a temporary blip – an "aberration," as Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon has put it?The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole considers the future of work, and asks what are the real benefits and potential pitfalls of a post-pandemic return to the office?First we talk to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. She explains how employers can ensure that their employees remain productive with a flexible work schedule [00:42]. Then Heejung Chung from the University of Kent&aposs school of social policy, sociology and social research explains how there could be real benefits to the new working normal, especially in bridging the gender pay and opportunities gap [06:17]. On the downside, Yasuhiro Kotera,  academic lead in counselling, psychotherapy and psychology at the University of Derby explains why many employees have struggled with working from home and what companies can do to make things easier for their employees. He also highlights the intangible benefits of working in an office and the value for both employers and employees in heading into a designated workplace [11:34]. Finally we are joined by Mathieu Proust, the general manager for the UK, Ireland and emerging markets at WeWork who enthuses on how short-term leases and shared workspaces could be the way of the future [18:12]. 
06/04/2124m 39s

Episode 51: Cryptocurrency

As a relatively new invention, cryptocurrencies have up to now largely escaped regulation.But if they&aposre ever to really cross over into the mainstream that will have to change. So what rules are actually needed? How might they be enforced? And how exactly might that shape the future of digital currencies?Today on the Agenda Podcast, we look at what could be the future of money. First we’re joined by Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at stockbroker AJ Bell. Khalaf explains why investors should be wary of heading into cryptocurrencies [00:39].We also speak to Zhou Yong, assistant general manager of XW Bank, who explains how China has adapted to digital currencies and why it’s well-poised to take a leading role in the cryptocurrency market [08:11].  Finally we talk to Iwa Salami, a senior lecturer in financial law and regulation at the University of East London, and Gavin Brown, associate professor in financial technology at the University of Liverpool. They explain why governments may want to regulate the cryptocurrency and why that would be a difficult task to carry out [13:56].  
29/03/2124m 37s

Episode 50: Big Tech

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Google – it&aposs become nearly impossible to live in the modern world without the services of these five companies. In this episode of The Agenda Podcast, Stephen Cole looks at what sets Big Tech apart from other digital platforms and why it&aposs now facing unprecedented levels of scrutiny and calls for regulation.First he speaks to Stephen Scheeler, former Facebook CEO for Australia and New Zealand, who explains whether Australia&aposs landmark media law will set a precedent for other countries hoping to force Big Tech to pay for journalism [00:55].Also on the show is Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy [06:33]. Having worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Bob Dylan, Taplin explains the cultural impact of allowing platforms like YouTube to expand without proper regulation.Finally Stephen speaks to two veteran tech journalists – Kate Russell and Wired magazine’s Editor-At-Large Stephen Levy – about who we can trust with our data and how to regulate Big Tech without impinging on innovation [13:08].
22/03/2124m 30s

Episode 49: Investing

With global interest rates at record lows, and pandemic volatility everywhere you look, The Agenda podcast with Stephen Cole looks at the safer and more risky options for investors. [00:39] Moira O&aposNeill, head of personal finance at Interactive Investor, who explains why ethical investment is a trend that&aposs here to stay, and which sectors we should be watching for a decent return in a post-pandemic world.[07:14] Arturo Bris, professor of finance at Geneva&aposs International Institute of Management Development discusses GameStop, Reddit and Robin Hood – and whether this year&aposs David and Goliath battle between the little people and the hedge funds is likely to change the face of investment as we know it.Of course bricks and mortar has always been something of a safe haven investment but is that still the case in 2021? Uma Rajah, CEO and co-founder of property investment firm CapitalRise, gives an insider&aposs view [12:10]. What about the more alternative investment opportunities out there? Dominic Brennan, Director of Noble Rot Fine Wine explains why a good Bordeaux or a fine Burgundy are much more than just a tasty tipple [17:06].
15/03/2124m 50s

Episode 48: Addiction

In the past, addicts were considered weak-willed but now the medical profession is starting to treat addiction as a disease. Also, as times change, the kinds of things we become addicted to change too, as does the number of people who fall victim to addiction.In this episode of the Agenda podcast we look at why people become addicts and the approaches different countries and cultures have to treating addiction.  First we talk to Alexis Goosdeel, director of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, about the changing nature of the problem in Europe [00:00:33]. One of the countries the EU is working most closely with in this area is China. Explaining exactly how they&aposre working together is Shan Yehua, acting director of the international cooperation division at China&aposs national Narcotics Control Commission [11:26].Erin Khar – who took her first pill aged just eight – tells her story of addiction, what her life was like before, during and after her 15-year addiction to heroin [15:52].
08/03/2125m 0s

Episode 47: Entrepreneurs

One in 18 people around the world now owns their own business, and experts predict that far from proving a hindrance, the current COVID-19 pandemic will actually be a help to millions more who may be using lockdown to perfect their potentially billion-dollar business ideas.On this episode of The Agenda podcast, Stephen Cole talks to Dan Vahdat, Founder and CEO of Huma – an A.I. business designed to democratize healthcare – about how he came up with his idea and how the pandemic has transformed his operation [00:47].We also hear from Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and one of the "dragons" on the British TV show Dragons&apos Den, on which millionaires look to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs [07:08].Scott Omelianuk – the Editor-in-Chief of Inc., a magazine designed to inspire current and future magnates – describes himself as an "underachieving entrepreneur” [12:16]. Finally, we attempt to answer the age-old question of whether a true entrepreneur is born or made. Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurial Leadership at Henley Business School explains just how we can all learn to be a business tycoon [17:13].
01/03/2124m 55s

Episode 46: Vaccines Pt. 2

Are vaccines interchangeable? Who should get priority? If your parents received the vaccine can you visit them? In this episode of The Agenda podcast, Stephen Cole puts some of the most prominent queries and concerns from listeners to Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute.  Stephen also talks to Jane Williams, doctor of Public Health Ethics at the University of Sydney&aposs Center for Values, Ethics and the Law, who explains the various strategies and tough decisions countries face – especially if there is a vaccine shortage.
22/02/2126m 35s

Episode 45: Vaccines Pt.1

It&aposs virus versus vaccines... but which countries are leading the fight? If vaccine nationalism can be overcome, what other obstacles are there in the vaccine supply chain? How concerned should we be about new variants? To discuss vaccine nationalism and the risk it could pose to global progress, we speak to  Siddhartha Datta, regional adviser for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO) [00:51].We’re also joined by Chen Jian, former adjunct professor of finance at Johns Hopkins University. He explains his work in the medical sector and creating a model for COVID-19 forecasting [05:22]. Israel&aposs health ministry is now offering coronavirus vaccines to anyone aged above 16, as the country continues to impress the world with its rapid vaccination campaign. To learn more about this, we speak to Nathan Jeffay, health correspondent for The Times of Israel, who says the country&aposs health system has been a major factor in the pace of its roll-out. [11:20].And a warning that millions of doses could be spoiled during transportation has heated up the cold chain conversation. The WHO fears vaccine vulnerability in terms of temperature requirements could mean up to 50 percent of vaccines being ruined during transport. Thermal stability researcher Asel Sartbaeva from the University of Bath discusses the problem this poses to the global inoculation effort and explains why her team believes silica could be the answer [16:03]. 
15/02/2124m 13s

Episode 44: Returning to the moon

This year, the world&aposs space superpowers are set to launch brand new lunar missions. This week on the Agenda podcast we set our sights on space, and see what the future of space exploration might look like. First on the podcast we’re joined by Xu Yansong, the Director for International Cooperation in the China National Space Administration [01:41] He explains what China’s ambitions are in space.  We also speak to veteran space journalist Leonard David about the first phase of NASA&aposs new mission, Artemis 1, which begins this year [04:06]. He explains why countries and private enterprises are interested in the moon again and what the United States stands to gain from going back after almost 40 years. But what about Europe? Bernhard Hufenbach, Lead of Commercialization and Innovation Team at ESA explains which sort of industries are going to thrive in a lunar economy [08:38]. He also explains how what we’re doing in space can benefit us here on earth [10:26]. Finally we talk to space journalist Sarah Cruddas and the director of the UK national space academy Anu Ohja [11:31]. They explain why studying the moon can give us more insight into our own planet and why the renewed interest in space is important for Earth’s future. 
08/02/2118m 54s

Episode 43: U.S.-Europe relations

With Donald Trump out of the White House, attention now shifts to how Europe and the United States continue their relationship.  But just because there&aposs a new man in the White House, does that mean all wounds are healed, and that both sides are ready to work together to create a new world order? Or will Europe, now it&aposs had a taste of true transatlantic independence, be ready to tread its own path going forward? On this edition of the Agenda podcast with Stephen Cole we speak to Allie Renison, the Institute of Directors’ head of Europe and trade policy, and former Italian Treasury chief economist Lorenzo Codogno. They warn that while the style of the Biden White House may be very different from that under Trump, the substance may not actually be that different when it comes to dealing with Europe. We also talk to Michael O&aposHanlon, director of foreign policy research at Brookings Institution, to discuss the future of European defence and NATO [14:23]. 
01/02/2125m 8s

Episode 42: Obesity

The number of obese people in the world has tripled in the past 50 years – costing health services across the globe trillions of dollars. Recent research shows people who are obese are twice as likely as those of a healthy weight to be hospitalized with COVID-19. They are also 78% more likely to end up in intensive care and 50% more likely to die from the virus.We speak to Barry Popkin, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, who explains why COVID-19 is more dangerous to people if they are obese and what the scientists can do to address the issue [03:32]. We also chat to Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey. She explains how genetics, society and changing work practices contribute to obesity and what can be done to reverse people’s expanding waistlines.  [09:21]. Finally, we talk to Morag Dunbar, who recently shed 50kg, much of it during lockdown. She explains why she started to overeat, what made her stop and what’s behind her rapid and impressive weight loss. [15:17]. 
25/01/2124m 26s

Forecasting 2021

2020 will go down as one of the most extraordinary years on record. The COVID-19 pandemic, as unexpected as it was all-encompassing, changed all our lives, perhaps forever.  On this special podcast, we&aposll hear the views of some of the world&aposs top experts on what we can expect from 2021 and how the world will be dealing with the fallout from 2021. Economy First on the podcast we speak to former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O&aposNeill. He tells us why he expects a significant bounce back in the economy [00:46]. We also talk to Li Wei, director of China Economy at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. He explains why he thinks China will reach its target of 8 percent GDP growth in its COVID-19 recovery [02:57]. WHOThe World Health Organization has rarely, if ever, dominated the headlines as much as it did in 2020, in charge of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To examine how the WHO will deal with the pandemic in 2021 we speak to spokesperson Margaret Harris. She explains what the WHO has learned from the COVID-19 outbreak and how they will apply those lessons in the future [05:41]. The EnvironmentIn October, COP 26, the UN&aposs delayed climate change conference will take place in Glasgow. And in May, delegates will gather in Kunming in China for COP 15, the Convention on Biological Diversity. We speak to Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the person in charge of COP 15. Mrema tells us why businesses have a vested interest in focusing on biodiversity and supporting local indegenous communities [08:49]. We also speak to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal [10:09] former Peruvian environment minister and now climate and energy global practice leader at the Worldwide Fund for Nature, as well as Tasneem Essop [13:25] executive director of Climate Action Network. TravelThere were few industries that were hit harder in 2020 than aviation as passenger demand fell by more than half. Hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue were lost and tens of thousands of jobs disappeared across the industry. To find out more we speak to Alexandre de Juniac CEO of the International Air Transport Association [16:57] as well as Simon Calder [19:16], the senior travel editor of the Independent newspaper. Sports2020 was a bad year for sports as the Olympic Games and football’s European Championships were both postponed. To discuss how the sporting calendar will respond to the challenge of COVID-19 we speak to double Olympic gold medalist and president of world athletics, Lord Sebastian Coe. [21:39]. AstrologyFinally we talk to astrologer Susan Miller [26:02] who gives us her own little insight into what 2021 has in store for us. 
14/01/2129m 13s

Episode 41: Brexit Revisited

[00:00:11] Britain has left the European Union, the transition period is over, a new deal has been done. But just what does the future hold for relations between the UK and the EU? Today on the Agenda podcast we look at the deal struck between the EU and Britain and what we can expect in the future. To discuss this further we’re joined by Pieter Cleppe, policy analyst at Open Europe in Brussels, and Amelia Hadfield, head of politics and the director of the Center for Britain and Europe at the University of Surrey. Hadfield explains why the concept of a “level-playing field” between Britain and the EU, became such a contentious issue and what it means for both sides [04:28]. She also clarifies what the deal covers and why we could be in for more tense negotiations again in March. Cleppe explains that historically the UK has taken on a role of slowing down further centralization of power in the EU so which countries might fulfill that role in its absence? [13:48]. He also tells us what he thinks the EU should take away from the UK leaving the EU and what lessons can be learned in the aftermath of Brexit [21.38]. 
11/01/2125m 11s

Episode 40: Biodiversity

This year the United Nations released a devastating report revealing how the world failed to meet a single one of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010. Some of these goals included harvesting fish sustainably, improving the conservation status of endangered species and minimizing the impact on coral reefs.This week on the Agenda Podcast we look at why these goals weren’t met and what will happen if we don’t get serious about promoting biodiversity. First on the podcast we have Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. Mrema explains why attitudes toward biodiversity are different in developing countries compared to richer nations [05:05].  We also speak to Wu Changhua, CEO of Beijing&aposs Future Innovation Center. She explains the responsibilities that come with hosting next year&aposs biodiversity conference (COP15) in Kunming . Wu explains what China’s role is on the global stage when it comes to promoting biodiversity and leading the way on environmental protection [09:25]. Finally we talk to Thomas Crowther, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the UN&aposs Trillion Tree Campaign. He explains why this ambitious target is one worth striving for [14:24].
14/12/2019m 28s

Episode 39: Water

As the world&aposs population continues to expand, and climate change bites harder across the globe, access to water has never been a bigger issue.  Today on the Agenda Podcast, we look at how access to water has become a vital issue in many countries around the world. First on the podcast we speak to Piers Clark, the founder & Chair of Isle Utilities. Clark explains why climate  change is making it difficult for us to hold on to rain water and why this contributes to water shortages and restrictions [03:45].We also speak to Adam Loch from the Centre for Global Food & Resources at the University of Adelaide. He explains why water theft has become an issue and who it hurts the most [06:48].  Loch also goes into depth about what water theft looks like and why it’s important to address it especially against the backdrop of climate change [09:44]. Finally we talk to Konstantina Toli, Senior Programme Officer at Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean -  an organisation focusing on water security. She tells us why education is important when trying to make sure individuals and institutions have a healthy attitude toward water conservation [13:57]. 
07/12/2017m 25s

Episode 38: China-EU relations with Ambassador Zhang Ming

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the European Union. On this episode of the Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole, we sit down for an exclusive interview with Zhang Ming – China&aposs Ambassador to the European Union. Zhang gives an in-depth explanation of the level of cooperation between China and the EU when it comes to creating and sharing a Covid-19 vaccine. The ambassador also explains why he thinks certain groups are trying to score political points by making an unfair connection between China and the Covid-19 pandemic.  The discussion then moves to the economic relationship between the EU and China. What areas can we expect to see economic growth between the two regions? The ambassador explains why China’s domestic market remains an important part of its “development paradigm”.  Zhang also outlines how China hopes to address climate change by focusing on green technology and green finance. 
30/11/2025m 10s

Episode 37: Spy Fiction

Today on the Agenda Podcast we talk to Frederick Forsyth, acclaimed author of espionage thrillers like The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File and The Fourth Protocol. We ask him about how the genre has changed since he first started writing and where he sees it going in the future. Forsyth explains how he started writing spy fiction and what he did differently compared to his peers [04:16]. He tells us why technology has changed the genre forever and how he would write a spy novel in 2020 [08:19]. Forsythe also explains some of the insights he had that helped make his work unique [10:21]. James Bond remains the most famous spy in the world, but modern viewers have had to square his glamorous adventures with accusations of racism and sexism perpetrated by Agent 007. To understand this better, Stephen spoke to Penny Fielding, Edinburgh University professor and organizer of Edinburgh&aposs Spy Week, and to Monica Germana, author of the book Bond Girls: Body, Fashion and Gender. Fielding explains that while the legend of Bond is extremely exaggerated and hyper masculine, the author Ian Fleming saw his books as more realistic and grounded in reality [16:34]. Germana talks to us about Bond girls in the age of MeToo and how spy fiction has treated women in general. She explains what she thinks about calls to have a female James Bond [19:34].  
16/11/2025m 17s

Episode 36: The Future of War

As technology races ahead, the future of war is uncertain. On this episode of The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole, we consider what the future of war could look like. Has technology rendered boots on the ground irrelevant? What will be the new theater of war? What weapons will we be using? For the answers to these questions and more we speak to Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of war studies at King&aposs College London. He explains why cyber attacks are likely to play an increasing role in future conflicts [00:56].  We also speak to former BBC war correspondent Martin Bell. He tells us that war has been “completely transformed” since he was a soldier, with technology at the forefront of those changes[06:35]. He also explains why he thinks future winners will be those who have the “superior scientists”. [08:59]. Finally, Stephen talks to Alexandra Sickings, research fellow in space policy and security at the Royal United Services Institute, who explains what could lead to confrontation in space and what lawmakers need to do to address it [16:51].
09/11/2020m 37s

Episode 35: The Future of News

In this episode we’ll be looking at the future of news, including the challenges facing the industry and how the way we get our information is changing. First on the podcast we talk to David Boardman, former editor at The Seattle Times and dean of Temple University in Philadelphia. He explains how newsrooms are trying to combat fake news in increasingly fractious times. He also explains why “solutions journalism” is valuable and outlines how it can positively impact society [04:11].  We also speak to Richard Sambrook, former BBC executive and director of Cardiff University’s journalism center. He’s joined by strategic advisor and digital disruption expert  Lucy Küng.  Sambrook and Küng outline the major issues facing legacy news organizations, including how to get an audience to pay for news that it can easily find for free [10:05]. Other topics include journalism training, issues of trust in news organizations and the shifting demographics of news consumers. Finally we’re joined by Rolf Dobelli, the founder of non-profit foundation World Minds and the author of The Art of Thinking Clearly. He explains how he doesn’t consume any daily news but still manages to stay “informed”[18:58]. Dobelli also gives advice to young journalists in terms of how they can make meaningful contributions to the news discourse and what they should focus on when starting their careers [20:28]. 
02/11/2023m 31s

Episode 34: Covid-19 Vaccine Revisited

This week we look at how scientists have fared in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.We speak to Helen Yang, senior director of global strategy and business development at Sinovac Biotech. She tells us how her company has been fighting the coronavirus. Yang explains why it&aposs been difficult to trial a vaccine in China and why her company has been testing them in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia instead [02:20]. We also speak to Paul Offit, head of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children&aposs Hospital of Philadelphia. Offit outlines the timeline attached to finding a new vaccine and explains why we shouldn’t be concerned if there are temporary setbacks in testing [09:00]. Finally, we are joined by Jerome Kim, director-general of the International Vaccines Institute in Seoul. He spoke to us earlier in March, and he was optimistic about the chances of finding a cure for COVID-19. Find out if he still remains hopeful [15:01]. 
26/10/2021m 7s

Episode 33: The Cities of the Future

For many, COVID-19 will change the way we look at work forever. This week on The Agenda podcast with Stephen Cole we look at how the pandemic has changed where we work and also where we live. First on the podcast we speak to Carlos Moreno, professor at the Sorbonne and scientific advisor to the Mayor of Paris. He is a driving force behind the concept of the 15-minute city: a city where you can live, work and play all within a 15-minute walk. He tells us why this concept could change the way planners look at designing cities [02:00]. He also explains why this concept has taken so long to introduce and what needs to happen on a planning level in order to make it a reality [05:19].Across Europe, and especially in Britain, out-of-town countryside homes are suddenly selling at a premium, as working from home means you no longer need to worry about how long it takes to commute to the office.We spoke to Anna White, the lead property writer for London&aposs Evening Standard newspaper, who tells us why life outside the city could be the answer for millions post-pandemic.  She explains why Britain is in a “micro-boom” in terms of real-estate prices and why it won’t last [10:56]. She also predicts a regeneration of the British high street as people become tired of working from home in the long term [13:20]. 
19/10/2016m 47s

Episode 32: Gaming

The video game sector is now the biggest entertainment industry in the world. There are an estimated two and a half billion players worldwide. And it’s not just the social impact - there’s a lot of money to be made too. In fact, the global gaming market is worth 10 times as much as the film or music industry.At the end of last year, one of the world’s most popular games, Fortnite, brought in revenues of $1.8 billion while the world of eSports generated over $1.1 billion globally – a figure that’s expected to rise by at least 50% next year.First on this episode, we have Richard Garriott – a man who has been described as one of the Founding Fathers of Role-Playing Games [01:12]. We also speak to  Leo Lin, head of China for Riot Games, about the hugely successful League of Legends and its rise through eSports. He explains why the game has been so successful in China and how he sees the gaming technology as a whole developing  worldwide. Finally we talk to Tina Amini, the editor-in-chief at IGN, about whether she thinks Microsoft&aposs Xbox Series X or Sony&aposs PlayStation 5 will win the next-generation console wars. Amini explains how Microsoft and Sony have been approaching their new generation of gaming consoles and what we can expect from these companies in the future. 
12/10/2025m 56s

Episode 31: Plastics

The latest predictions suggest that without a complete step change in our relationship with plastics, by 2050 there will be more of it in our oceans than there are fish. First on this episode of the Agenda podcast, we talk to Costas Velis from Leeds University. Velis is one of the lead investigators on a report that shows how we can cut the amount of plastic flowing into our oceans [00:53]. We also talk to David Katz, the CEO of The Plastic Bank who explains why the key to keeping plastic out of our oceans may be a new approach to making recycling pay - especially in the developing world. [07:14]. Finally we talk to Emily Pann, co-founder of anti-microplastics group eXXpedition and the website SHIFT. Pann explains what inspired her to start her organization and what each one of us can do to start addressing our dependence on plastic [12:03]. 
05/10/2017m 55s

Episode 30: China-EU Relations

 At a virtual summit on 14 September leaders from China and the European Union gathered online to consider the future of the relationship between China and the EU. Xi Jinping, Angela Merkel, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel had their own points to make – the Chinese president calling for commitment to peaceful coexistence and multilateralism, and the EU making it clear they were looking for a more balanced relationship. On this episode of the Agenda podcast, we talk to experts who can shed light on the relationship between China and the EU and what this summit means for both sides. First on the podcast we talk to Lin Goethals, program director at the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels, and Wang Yiwei, director at the Center for European Studies at Renmin University. Both experts tell us what they noticed at the summit and what we can expect from this complex georelationship [01:18]. We also talk to Bernard Dewit, chairman of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He explains why companies keep trying to do business in China despite a perception that it is a difficult market to crack [05:31]
28/09/2014m 43s

Episode 29: International Students

International students make up a significant proportion of the intake at many of the world’s top universities, and an even more significant amount of their income.This week on the podcast we look at international university students, and how they will have to adapt to a post COVID-19 world.First on the podcast we speak to Vivienne Sterne, the director of Universities UK International, the umbrella group that represents all UK universities. Vivienne tells us why international students are vital for UK universities and how they will cope with the pandemic [02:03]. We also talk to 19-year old Wang Yuetong, from Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi province. She has already spent a year in the UK and is due to begin her first year at Sheffield University this  autumn. Yuetong explains why she chose to come to the UK to study abroad and how the pandemic has interrupted her plans [08:12]. She also tells us about what universities have been doing post Covid-19 to make life easier for students [11:01]. Finally we talk to Graham Virgo, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Cambridge. He tells us how his university has been coping with the pandemic and what they plan on doing to make life easier for students [11:33]. He also explains why Chinese students are particularly important for the university and what they are doing to try and accommodate those students [15:30]. 
21/09/2018m 38s

Episode 28: The Green Economy

This week on the podcast we examine what a post-COVID-19, nature-forward global economy might look like, and most importantly, what it might be worth. First on the podcast we have Akanksha Khatri, the head of the World Economic Forum’s Nature Action Agenda. She’s one of the authors of a recent WEF report suggesting a greener approach by governments and industries. Akanksha explains why we shouldn’t go back to business as usual once the pandemic is over [01:00]. We also spoke to Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. She tells us what the United Nations is doing to make the most of the current opportunity, and why she thinks businesses are balancing using nature as an asset while understanding that we can’t abuse it in an effort to drive growth [07:05].Finally we talk to Jason Hickel, economic anthropologist and visiting senior fellow at the International Inequalities Institute of the London School of Economics. He explains why a green future for the planet is incompatible with economic growth unless there is a complete overhaul in the way we manage our economies and we make the most of green technology. 
14/09/2018m 29s

Episode 27: Rethinking Retail

This week we examine whether the world&aposs high streets can recover from the COVID-19 lockdown.The pandemic has been a disaster for many retailers across Europe, with shops forced to shut during nationwide lockdowns and then having to spend money on implementing drastic safety measures prior to reopening their doors.With public confidence still low and unemployment rising, the retail sector is likely to suffer for at least the foreseeable future. Many more shops are expected to be forced to shut down in the months ahead. Joining Stephen Cole is brand expert Mark Pilkington, trend forecaster Joe McDonnell and fashion journalist Dana Thomas to discuss if the traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping experience has changed forever.
07/09/2019m 33s

Episode 26: Wine + Spirits

The global alcoholic drinks industry has an estimated value of more than $1.4bn and isgrowing by two percent every year.This week, The Agenda with Stephen Cole is raising a glass to its success by looking at the latest trends with a cocktail of guests. He also considers how drinking habits may have changed since the coronavirus pandemic.First on the podcast today we are joined by Olly Wehring, Drinks Editor from Global Data, who explains how the drinks industry has responded to the pandemic [00:56]. He reveals how drinks trends have been changing in the industry and why it fits in with some of the trends that he’d noticed before the lockdown [04:36].Also on the podcast are Justin and Anna Matterson, a couple distilling gin in southern France. They reveal why they chose to make gin in one of the wine capitals of the world [09:01]. Finally, we look to China to find out how Chinese wine has been growing in statureall around the world [13:10]. Janet Z Wang explains why she thinks we’re in the middle of a Chinese wine renaissance and what we can expect from the Chinese wine industry in thenext few years [14:00].
31/08/2016m 13s

Episode 25: The Show Must Go On

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the multibillion-dollar performing arts industry was forced to shut down almost overnight. Theatre, concert halls and comedy clubs suddenly went dark. So what does the future hold for the sector? As some venues start to reopen, what exactly is the theatrical experience going to look like in a socially distanced world?First on the podcast we have Ignacio García-Belenguer, director general of Madrid&aposs Teatro Real opera house. He tells us how his theatre has dealt with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how they have found new ways to reach their audience [03:31].We also talk to Edinburgh International Festival director Fergus Linehan, who explains how one of the world’s biggest arts festivals is coping with COVID-19 [07.00]. He tells us exactly how much revenue has disappeared and how the festival is trying to chart a course through the pandemic. Finally we talk to award-winning actor, director and writer Simon Callow. Simon explains why he is trying to be optimistic for the performing arts in dealing with the pandemic [12:58]. He also explains why he believes that the theatre addresses an intrinsic human need, and why it’s important to support the theatre and the performing arts [17:24]. 
24/08/2019m 22s

Episode 24: A View from Russia

In this special edition of The Agenda podcast, Stephen Cole talks to Russia’s ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin. In an exclusive interview, he discusses the global pandemic and relations between the U.S. and the UK.  Kelin also discusses relations between the U.S. and Russia and why he thinks that the diplomatic relationship between the two countries has started to decay [6:14]. He says that while Brexit will “not seriously” affect Russia’s relationship with the UK, Russia is observing a tendency for UK policy to be linked to that of the U.S. as opposed to being linked with the EU [10:02]. For the full interview, and more content from the Agenda with Stephen Cole, visit
17/08/2019m 21s

Episode 23: Farming + Food Security

As the UK’s long divorce from the EU continues, food and farming remain two of the most important sticking points for negotiators on both sides. On the latest Agenda Podcast, we look at how Brexit could change attitudes to fishing and farming for Britain and for the rest of Europe. First on the podcast, I talk to Nick von Westenholz, director of EU Exit and International Trade at Britain&aposs National Farmers Union. He’s joined by Philip Clarke, executive editor of industry news magazine and website Farmers Weekly. Von Westenholtz explains to us where UK farming is in terms of becoming self-sufficient [01:20]. While Clarke tells us why UK farmers won’t necessarily have less red tape to deal with now Britain has left the EU [04:34]. We also speak to Marcel van der Vliet, president of CELCAA, the voice of European traders in agri-food commodities. He explains why a no-deal Brexit could destabilize the food-supply chain in the UK and in Europe [11:20].
10/08/2015m 53s

Episode 22: Peace and Reconciliation

There are currently more than 30 armed conflicts across the planet. Syria and Yemen grab global headlines, while others, like those in Paraguay and Mozambique, continue unnoticed. This week on The Agenda podcast, we hear how Northern Ireland is resolving differences and how one person in South Africa achieved forgiveness. John Alderdice played a key role in the Good Friday agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence. He explains the three things he believes make up all armed conflicts [04:45] and proposes how two sides in conflict can achieve peace, and more crucially, how they can maintain it [06:46]. In our second story we talk to Candice Mama, the author of Forgiveness Redefined. She tells us how she forgive her father’s killer - an Apartheid-era assassin in South Africa. [11:03]. 
03/08/2014m 31s

Episode 21: Qatar Airlines

Of all the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline industry might have had it the hardest. The head of the IATA,  the industry&aposs trade body, has described the pandemic as the gravest crisis aviation has ever faced.Today we talk to Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways. He explains to Stephen how he thinks the airline industry as a whole will operate in the future. In an exclusive interview with the Agenda Podcast Al Baker explains to us why he thinks social distancing won’t work on airplanes and what his airline is doing to make sure that passengers will be able to travel safely in a post Covid-19 world [06:01].  Al Baker also tells us about the personal toll the crisis has taken on him, and how he sees his role of CEO during this uncertain time for the aviation industry [11:22]. 
26/07/2013m 51s

Episode 20: Poverty

Today on the podcast we look at how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the poorest around the world and what those in power can do to address the situation. Economic growth, diversification and sustainable development have all contributed to a fall in the number of people living in poverty over the past 20 years. That progress could be wiped out in a matter of months as the International Monetary Fund predicts a 4.9 percent reduction in the global economy following the COVID-19 crisis. To find out more I speak to Oxford University&aposs Dr Juan Palomino who explains why those in poorer paid jobs will struggle most due to Covid-19. He explains to us which essential occupations are more likely to struggle during the pandemic [02:44]. He also tells us which countries in Europe are likely to struggle most due to the pandemic [04:01]. We also spoke to UNICEF&aposs David Stewart who tells us that children are twice as likely to be forced into poverty from COVID-19 compared to adults. He also tells us what UNICEF is doing in order to help prevent children falling into poverty [08:57].  Finally we also talk to Li Yong, deputy chair of the Expert Committee of China Association of International Trade. He  explains why China is still targeting poverty reduction despite an unprecedented international crisis. Li explains how China managed to uplift millions out of poverty, but must now focus on stopping them from falling back into poverty [13:08].  
20/07/2018m 42s

Episode 19: Prejudice

The killing of George Floyd in the United States earlier this year, has put the issue of racism and prejudice back in the headlines. There has been an outpouring of rage and protests around the globe, as many tried to come to terms with racism on a personal and an institutional level. Today on the podcast we look at prejudice and why and how human beings discriminate against each other. We also look at what we as a society  can do to address that. As statues of slave owners are being torn down all across the world, on today’s episode we want to know if this is the most effective way to tackle racism and address the wrongs of our past. I spoke to political activist Chumani Maxwele and Heriot-Watt University&aposs Sir Geoff Palmer to find out more. Sir Geoff tells us about the injustices he had to face living in Britain and brings home the weight of the problem in the UK [01:55]. Chumani Maxwele is a part of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, who are responsible for bringing down the statue of 19th century colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.  The two men passionately debate the merits of taking down statues and the effectiveness of removing statutes of slave owners in an attempt to address systemic racism in society [04:02]We also speak to Mary Kite, co-author of the key university textbook The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination who tells us about the psochological origins of prejudice and what we can do to try and address it on a personal level [12:07]. 
13/07/2019m 35s

Episode 18: Brexit Revisited

Covid-19 has taken the attention away from one of the most seismic shifts in European politics in recent memory  - Britain’s prolonged withdrawal from the European Union. Some might think the process was done and dusted on Brexit Day earlier this year, but the truth is that there is still a long way to go in determining what the UK/EU relationship will look like in the future. Speaking to guests ahead of the June 30 deadline we found out what is still at stake for Britain and Europe. Political Scientist Sir John Curtice looks behind the politics at how the people of Britain now feel about Brexit.  Curtice explains what the polling data suggests about attitudes toward Brexit and Brexit negotiations [02:29]. Curtice also tells us why some of the doubts about Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has also extended to how well his government will be able to negotiate Brexit [05:03]. We are also joined by Terry Reintke, MEP and founder of the EU-UK Friendship group. Terry explains to us why she feels the UK government is not ready to negotiate on the really difficult paths of a potential future agreement [09:09]. We also talk about the role that Germany might have to play in assisting other European economies in a post Covid-19 world [12:22].
06/07/2016m 32s

Episode 17: Covid-19 - Africa

So far, Africa appears to have been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is certainly spreading more slowly across the continent than elsewhere in the world. On this week’s Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole we examine exactly why that might be, as well as considering what the economic effect will be on a continent where trade has been increasing and poverty falling for the past decade.First on the podcast we talk to the World Health Organization&aposs regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, who says the continent’s case numbers are under-reported.She also takes us through the timeline of Africa’s response to the crisis and explains why the virus hasn’t moved as quickly there as it did in other parts of the world [03:20]. And we learn why it&aposs important to understand the other priorities African countries have at the moment, as they address them alongside the coronavirus [06.39]. Stephen also talks to Dirk Willem te Velde from the Overseas Development Institute, who explains the economic impact of COVID-19 on sub-Saharan Africa – and what richer countries such as the UK, U.S. and China should be doing to help [14:55]. Te Velde also tells us why development gains could disappear after a long period of economic growth across the continent [17:32]. 
29/06/2018m 51s

Episode 16: Covid-19 - Wellness

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, many around the world are still stuck indoors practicing social distancing. And while this may keep us safe from the virus, it can have a tremendous strain on our mental health and wellbeing. Today on the Agenda Podcast, we examine how the coronavirus has affected our hopes, fears and lockdown dreams.  One of the UK&aposs most renowned anthropologists, University of Oxford professor Robin Dunbar, explains how understanding behavioral science can help slow the spread of the virus and why we need to maintain social bonds in lockdown to prevent our social connections “decaying[03:00].” We’re also joined by Dylan Selterman who explains why so many people have recently reported strange dreams – and what this says about their mental health. He explains how our dreams can illuminate issues in our everyday lives and what they tell us about who we are [09:23]. Selterman also explains how our dreams are trying to help us navigate the post-COVID-19 world [10:26]. On the positive side, we could be entering one of the most creative periods in human history.  According to Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime, the pandemic lockdown might lead to a creative renaissance – explaining how experiments she’s conducted in conditions resembling the current lockdown led to an increase in subjects’ problem-solving abilities [14:44]. 
22/06/2018m 53s

Episode 15: Covid-19 - Airlines

In a bid to avoid filing for bankruptcy, airlines are practically racing to make sure their planes are pandemic-proof. Today on the Agenda Podcast we find out how airlines will function in a post-COVID-19 age. Our first guest is Toppi Manner, the CEO of Finnish Airline Finnair. I asked him how his airline is charting a course through one of the most difficult periods in the history of his industry. Manner is confident that his airline will survive an aviation crisis that he describes as bird-flu, SARS and the financial crisis rolled into one [01:18]. He also explains how his airline has tried to adapt to Covid-19 and how flying might look different as we chart a course out of the pandemic [03:41]. Our second guest is John Strickland,  who has over 30 years&apos experience working in the aviation industry. He says the airlines have no choice but to rethink their business models if they want to stay relevant in a post Covid-19 world. He also says that airlines using social distancing on planes is “not ideal” and would necessarily not be economically viable [10:20]. John also explains why we will more than likely see further consolidation of the airline industry, especially in Europe, where he predicts several airlines will disappear [14:10]
15/06/2015m 38s

Episode 14: Ambassador Liu Xiaoming

On The Agenda Podcast this week, Stephen Cole is joined by China&aposs Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming, to discuss China&aposs position on the world stage in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In his interview with Stephen Cole, Ambassador Liu touches on a variety of topics. Ambassador Liu talks about trade, the unrest in Hong Kong and why it is not yet the time for an investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak. Ambassador Liu explains why we are still in the golden era of cooperation between China and Britain [2:00]. Liu also explains why those critical of Britain’s relationship with China share a “minority view”. The ambassador also takes a stern stance against those who remain critical of the  “one country, two systems” policy in Hong Kong, especially those in the western countries who attempt  to undermine China’s position on the matter [07:27]. Liu also talks about the pandemic and the negative impact that Covid-19 has had on the global economy. He also explains why this pandemic is potentially more damaging to global business interest than the recession of 2008 [10:35]. 
08/06/2014m 45s

Episode 13: The Covid-19 Debt Crisis

Economists around the world are being kept awake at night by the financial implications of COVID-19. Public debt in emerging markets has surged to levels not seen in 50 years and many countries are having to take on more and more debt in an effort to control the pandemic. Today on the Agenda Podcast we look at  possible solutions. To get a broader understanding of the Covid-19 debt issue Stephen spoke to international sovereign debt advisor Lee Bucheit. Lee explains why the current debt situation is “unprecedented” and why what we’re seeing now is the “bleakest picture” of the international economy he’s ever seen [06:04]. Lee also explains how financial institutions printing more money could be a short-term solution, but that it might lead to problems in the future [03:37]. We also talk to Zhang Jianping, Director General of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, to find out what lessons the rest of the world might learn from the Chinese economic approach. Jianping explains that every country needs to look at making a careful assessment of its fiscal policy when responding to the Covid-19 crisis [09:17]. He also tells us why international cooperation is critical and why no country can beat Covid-19 on its own [12:07]. 
01/06/2014m 6s

Episode 12: The Hunt for a COVID-19 Vaccine

If the world is ever to return to anything like normality, experts agree we need to find a vaccine for Covid-19 as soon as possible. In today’s episode of the Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole we talk to Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccines Institute in Seoul to find out more. He tells us how a vaccine is created and what we can expect in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine [00:51]. Kim also explains the difficulties involved with finding a vaccine and the complications surrounding the distribution of a vaccine [02:13]. Kim is also optimistic about how much we’ve learned about the disease since the outbreak of the crisis. He also sketches out the compressed timeline of when we can expect the vaccine to be tested on humans on a large scale [05:05]. I also spoke to Stephen Kissler at the Harvard School of Public Health and Evan H. Bloch from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine about the different therapies being used in the hunt for a Covid-19 vaccine. Stephen Kisslier explains why that while social distancing might be the best course for treating the disease, but is still an incomplete measure in terms of fighting the disease [09:30]. We also learn about plasma transfusions and why this could hold the key to treating Covid-19 [10:50]. For more information on Covid-19 check out The Pandemic Playbook, CGTN Europe&aposs major investigation into the lessons learned from COVID-19
25/05/2016m 15s

Episode 11: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and how we program machines used to belong to the realm of science fiction and men in white lab coats looking at complicated spreadsheets. But now, technology has progressed so far that we have to start contemplating how AI can have a real impact on our lives. What are the dangers of AI and how does it benefit society? In a special episode of the Agenda Podcast recorded live at the The AI Summit in London we asked a panel of experts to explain to us exactly how AI will impact our lives in years to come. We’re joined by Shafi Ahmed, a surgeon and Digital Health Adviser who talks about the possibility that he could be replaced in the operating room [02:35]. We also speak to Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg an experimental artist who wants to interrogate the human desire for creating artificial intelligence and what it could mean for nature [ 05:30]. Dekai Wu is a Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and is interested in how algorithms learn and work and what we can learn about ourselves in trying to teach machines. Professor Wu explains why humans “suck” as a species and why language and language-learning is vital to understanding AI [07:20]. We also talk to Aldo Faisal from Imperial College London about why we need to be concentrating on understanding the relationships between AI and human interactions and why this “interaction loop” is vital to understanding artificial intelligence [11:00].
18/05/2016m 58s

Episode 10: The Dating Game

The dating business is estimated to be worth $12 billion worldwide in what is an increasingly competitive market, with more than 300 million active users of the thousands of dating apps out there. Today on the Agenda Podcast we talk to a relationship historian about the potential damage that dating apps could be doing to our relationships.But first we talk to the founder of Eden Blackman, founder of the app , “Would Like To Meet” about starting his own dating app. He takes us through his thought process in setting up his company and why he feels like user verification is important to the online dating process [01:30]. Eden also tells us why he thinks we’ve been through the first backlash against dating apps and why the stigma of being on a dating app has been removed [02:49]. He also tells us what he thinks is the difference between how men and women use dating apps [03:30]Dating apps have potentially  changed the way an entire generation approaches romance. Has this change been for the better, or has something been lost in the rush to move dating online? To answer these questions I spoke to relationship historian Zoe Strimpel about how this new form of dating could have unforeseen consequences. First Zoe gives us a historical overview of the great changes in romantic relationships and why they aren’t all confined to the online dating era [07:06]. She also explains why the dating apps have brought in “a new era” and how we came to this point [08:44]. Zoe also goes on to explain why dating apps tend to lend themselves to shallow dating encounters and why we have to be careful about the addictive nature of dating apps [11:24]. 
11/05/2014m 16s

Episode 9: Sport in COVID-19 Lockdown

COVID-19 has pulled down shutters of stadiums, postponing – and in some cases cancelling – events around the world. For the Olympics, gold has been put on hold. In this edition of The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole we look across the sporting world and speak to some of its biggest players to ask them how they&aposre taking on their toughest opponent yet.First we talk to Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics about why postponing the Olympics was “the right decision” and why it was important for the integrity of the global competitions [03.20]. We also talk to Simon Chadwick, professor at the Centre for the Eurasian Sport Industry, who explains to us how sport has been hurt financially by COVID-19 [05.10]. He also tells us why he has been looking at China&aposs handling of sporting events during this time to predict when European stadiums will be able to open their doors again [06:54]. Professor Chadwick also explains why playing games behind closed doors is not necessarily a desirable solution for sporting institutions. Finally we talk to Emily Scarratt, England rugby international and World Rugby’s Women&aposs Player of the Year about how she’s been handling being in lockdown. Emily explains what it&aposs like to play behind closed doors [12.46]. She also tells us why she’s optimistic about the interest in women’s rugby post-lockdown and why she has faith that the rugby community will continue to be strong post COVID-19 [14:00]. 
04/05/2016m 6s

Episode 8: Mapping the Mind

The human mind is an incredible thing. It allows us to think, speak, perceive and imagine everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary. But what is the difference between the mind and the brain? And can we really train our minds to be better, healthier people?Today on The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole we talk to Professor Steven Pinker, a Johnson Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, about what we understand so far about the human mind. Professor Pinker goes into detail about the difference between the mind and the brain and what that difference means for us in our everyday lives [01:30]. He also dispels the myth that we only use a small percentage of our brain, and tells why this myth persists despite the best efforts of brain scientists [04:12].Professor Pinker explains the areas where there are differences in the mind between men and women [08.03]. Finally, Professor Pinker talks about his book Enlightenment Now and how the progress that we’ve made in society affects the way we think [10:48]. We also speak to Paul McKenna, Britain&aposs best-selling non-fiction author. Paul tells us how a run-in with a hypnotist started his journey into exploring and studying the mind [12:28]. He also explains he thinks we might have some innate psychic or intuitive protection mechanisms that prepare us for big world events [18.30].
27/04/2020m 20s

Episode 7: Elections

This week on the Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole we look at elections and how how we vote can be as important as who we vote for. To look into electoral systems, and how they work, first we address the issue of vote swapping. We talk to Tom de Grunwald the founder of about the new phenomenon of vote-swapping and how it influences elections [01.01]. Tom goes into the legality of the process and also talks about why he would prefer electoral reform in the UK, even if it means closing down his website [04.49].We also talk to Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at the University College London. Professor Weale explains why there is really no such thing as a perfect electoral system [06.01]. He also goes into detail about what makes the UK’s first past the post system so unique within the realm of global electoral systems [10.11]. Finally Professor Weale tells about his latest book, The Will of the People: A Modern Myth, and what electoral system comes closest to the best electoral system in the world [11.50]. 
20/04/2014m 4s

Episode 6: Space

Space is the final frontier, but who can afford to go there? As America, China and Europe look to kick-start a new space race - who will be the winners and losers? Where is the real money to be made?  This week on the Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole try and answer these questions for you. We talk to space journalist Sarah Cruddas and ask her why she has chosen to build her career around the subject [00.59]. She also tells us what she suspects space exploration could do for us in the coming decades [02.02]. Also joining our panel is Dr. Christoph Beischl, Research Fellow at the London Institute of Space Policy and Law. We ask Dr. Beischl about space law and the challenges surrounding the commercialisation of space [03.01]. Mitch Hunter-Scullion, the CEO and founder of Asteroid Mining Corporation, also discusses the new field of asteroid mining and what his company is trying to accomplish [05.01].And finally we are joined by the director of the UK&aposs National Space Academy, Professor Anu Ojha. Professor Ojha tells us why there is a need for a national space academy in the UK and the benefits that it brings to society as a whole [08.20]. For more topics like this subscribe to The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole with these links below. Apple Podcasts, Spotify , Stitcher, Google Podcasts 
13/04/2016m 33s

Episode 5: Happiness

Today on the Agenda we take a look at what makes us happy.  How do we define happiness? Is trying too hard to be happy – in fact making us miserable?To answer these questions We’re joined on the podcast by Dr. Loretta Breuning, a celebrated author and also the founder of the Inner Mammal Institute – an organisation dedicated to highlighting how our brain chemistry can impact our sense of well-being. Dr. Breuning explains how the chemical make-up our brains has a profound impact on how we experience happiness [01:20]. She also explains how its possible to remain happy in an unhappy world [02.36]. I also caught up with Professor Trudy Chalder from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London to see how happiness and sadness are inextricably linked. Professor Chalder goes into detail about why its important to not ignore feelings of depression and anxiety when we discuss what happiness is and means [06.06] I also talk to Mike Wiking from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen about how governments are starting to take the happiness of their citizens more seriously. Mike tells us how politicians are addressing happiness and why the happiness of a population is becoming increasingly important [11:35]. He also explains the six factors that explain the wide divide in happiness between countries across the globe [13.20]. 
06/04/2016m 0s

Episode 4: Debt

Money might make the world go around, but borrowing by governments and individuals has now reached record levels. Now, The Agenda looks at the role debt plays in the global economy and in our daily lives. Debt is now an international problem and today on The Agenda, we discuss how we can address it. We&aposre joined on the podcast by  Dr. Johnna Montgomerie, author of &aposShould We Abolish Household Debts?&apos  and Lynn James - also known as personal finance blogger Mrs Mummypenny, who turned her life around after finding herself nearly $30,000 in debt.
30/03/2013m 38s

Episode 3: The Environment

Environmental issues have shot to the top of many political agendas around the world. It’s no longer a fringe issue that few are passionate about. Now, looking after the environment has become one of the most talked about issues of our time. In this  episode we’ll be talking to an expert from the World Wildlife Foundation about the impact of the wildfires that have devastated Australia in late 2019. We also speak to Professor Alexandre Antonelli, a specialist on biodiversity about the importance of protecting our natural resources. 
16/03/2011m 40s

Episode 2: Opioids

Opioid addiction is a global epidemic claiming hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. It needs an urgent solution. Who is to blame for the alarming rise in addiction? How did it happen? And what can be done to solve the crisis?Joining The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole is Ruth Dreifuss, Former President of Switzerland and now Chair of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy. I also spoke to Nicki Hari, a former prescription drug addict who has turned her life around and become an addiction councellor. 
16/03/2011m 8s

Episode 1: Data

Personal data is big money in the modern world and companies like Facebook and Google are making big money from selling it but the data extracted from us, the consumers, often disappears to places we know very little about.  In this episode we take a look at personal data to determine how what we share in the digital world can have a very impact on our everyday lives. 
12/03/2011m 12s
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