Video files from LSE's autumn 2009 programme of public lectures and events, for more recordings and pdf documents see the corresponding audio collection.
Broke: voices from the edge
Contributor(s): Various Speakers | Throughout his long life Professor Peter Townsend - a great friend of the Centre, advocate of human rights, and emeritus professor at LSE - worked hard first to prove the existence of poverty in Britain and then to persuade our society not to take such deprivation for granted. Peter Townsend died in June this year and this performance of 'Broke' by Ice and Fire, Actors for Human Rights, is dedicated to his memory. Using dialogue from real-life interviews with people living in poverty in the UK, the actors explore the dismal side-effects of such gross disadvantage - the homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, the unemployment, the debt, and much else besides. The plight of the poor on its own doorstep mocks Britain's aspiration to be an ethical force in the world and a beacon of human rights standards at home. Often unseen and unheard, this performance gives the poor a voice.
The Financial Crisis: How Europe can save the world
Contributor(s): George Soros, Guy Verhofstadt | This public discussion marks the publication of Guy Verhofstadt's latest book The Financial Crisis: How Europe can Save the World. George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC. He was born in Budapest in 1930. He survived the Nazi occupation and fled communist Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He then settled in the United States, where he accumulated a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed. Mr Soros has been active as a philanthropist since 1979, when he began providing funds to help black students attend Capetown University in apartheid South Africa. He has established a network of philanthropic organisations active in more than 50 countries around the world. These organisations are dedicated to promoting the values of democracy and an open society. The foundation network spends about $400 million annually. Mr Soros is the author of ten books. His articles and essays on politics, society, and economics regularly appear in major newspapers and magazines around the world.
The End of Lawyers?
Contributor(s): Richard Susskind | Public figures who were once lawyers or law students will speak about how, if at all, their experience of studying, teaching or practising law has been of value to them in their other careers. Richard Susskind is an independent adviser on information technology.
Cyprus: The Settlement Process
Contributor(s): Mehmet Ali Talat | Mehmet Ali Talat is the Turkish Cypriot Leader. Mehmet Ali Talat was born in Kyrenia on July 6, 1952. Completing his primary and secondary education in Cyprus, Talat graduated from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey with an M.Sc.degree in Electrical Engineering.
Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for Christmas
Contributor(s): Professor Joel Waldfogel | Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. BUT - How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Waldfogel illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste - over £50 billion each winter. He provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before we start on our Christmas shopping extravaganza. When we buy for ourselves, every pound we spend produces at least a pound in satisfaction, we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Whilst recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers some alternative gift-giving suggestions.
Happiness around the World: the paradox of happy peasants and miserable millionaires
Contributor(s): Professor Carol Graham | The determinants of happiness are remarkably similar around the world, in countries as different as Afghanistan, the U.S, and Chile. Income matters to happiness but only so much; friends, freedom, and employment are good for happiness, while crime, poor health, and divorce are bad. Paradoxically, however, people in places like Afghanistan can be as happy as those in much wealthier and safer ones like Chile. One explanation is the remarkable human capacity to adapt to adversity and hardship. While adaptation may be a good thing for individual wellbeing, it can also result in collective tolerance for bad equilibrium which are difficult for societies to escape from.