300 episodes

Series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society

Four Thought BBC

    • Society & Culture

Series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society

    The Empathy Equation

    The Empathy Equation

    Anne-Marie Douglas discusses her own experience of empathy-infused services, and why we need to see more of them.

    Anne-Marie's charity, Peer Power, works with children, young people and adults who have experienced significant trauma and adversity, using an empathy-focused approach to support them. In this powerful, personal talk, she outlines how her own experiences prompted her to focus on this approach.

    Producer: Giles Edwards.

    • 23 min
    More Than a Game

    More Than a Game

    Lydia Furse looks at the personal and political benefits of playing women's rugby.

    Lydia has long played rugby, and in this passionate talk discusses the harmony of bodies working together, a well-executed try, and how being in a scrum has made her feel differently about her physical image. She argues that women's rugby - much more than a game - is empowerment, it is boundary breaking, and it needs to be feminist.

    Producer: Giles Edwards.

    • 22 min
    Class of 2020

    Class of 2020

    Rufaro Mazarura discusses what the graduating class of 2020 have learned from the pandemic.

    A year ago, Rufaro carefully marked 23rd March in her diary - the day on which she'd be printing out and handing in her final year dissertation, and starting the transition to her new life, out of full-time education. But when the day arrived, she instead submitted her dissertation by email, and travelled home on an empty train, arriving just before the coronavirus lockdown. Rufaro has always been interested in transitions, and so she decided to make a podcast about the experiences she had in common with fellow members of the Class of 2020. In this talk, Rufaro shares some of the insights which she gleaned, and in particular the way in which their proximity to the edge may have shaped their worldview.

    Producer: Giles Edwards

    • 21 min
    Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

    Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

    Ann Morgan, who read a book from every country in the world to broaden her homogeneous reading habits, commends the challenge of reading outside your comfort zone. "When you break out of that hall of mirrors and open yourself up to what the world's stories offer, amazing things can happen."
    Presenter: Olly Mann
    Producer: Sheila Cook

    • 24 min
    Craftivism: Gentle Protest

    Craftivism: Gentle Protest

    Sarah Corbett explains the power of 'craftivism', a form of activism which uses craft to create gentle protest. Activists craft objects which communicate respectful messages calling for social change. She explains how words embroidered on a handkerchief, for example, can be just as effective as louder forms of protest.

    Presenter: Olly Mann
    Producer: Sheila Cook

    • 23 min
    In Defence of Embarrassment

    In Defence of Embarrassment

    Tiffany Atkinson rehabilitates the concept of embarrassment, seeing its potential to be a positive force in social encounters, in contrast to the negative power of shame. "Sometimes shame may be appropriate, but we do not have to file all errors and pratfalls and misunderstandings under shame. Is this a healthy way to live with others? Would an embarrassment culture not be a useful counterbalance?"

    Presenter: Olly Mann
    Producer: Sheila Cook

    • 23 min

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