An unmissable talk with Harvard Classics Professor, Richard F. Thomas on Why Dylan Matters. In 2016 Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize… for Literature. Everyone was happy – except some in the literary world, which was confused and divided. The word in Stockholm was that Dylan had given‘new poetic expression to the great American song tradition’. But is it poetry, or is it poetry by special pleading? We love Dylan: his ups and downs, his capacity to make it simple, to say it straight. We love him also for being an enigma, a shape-shifting ‘Jewish Amerindian White Negro’ who speaks in tongues. Either way, his words have echoed in our minds – more intimately, more provokingly – than those of any other song-writer. But writing about Dylan, as against listening to him, is not easy. So do we really need to hear from the Professors, whose interest in Dylan has been considerable, if unreciprocated? Do his songs need interpreting? Or are they consummately self-reliant and uncategorizable, changing our lives but giving us little to say? In Why Dylan Matters, Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas will answer these questions, and will show how much there is to say and why it needs saying: about a genius who came late enough in the tradition to freely plunder its storehouse – of American folk music, English ballads, minstrel songs, blues, the Bible, the Greek and Latin classics. Join us for an evening exploring Dylan’s allusive and compound art of song, where words, music and voice make a unity and, mysteriously, create a community of past and present. Read more.
Liv Boeree, currently the top ranked European player in the world, with over $3.5m in live tournament winnings, comes to the how to: Academy with a talk on Poker that will include strategy tips, hand analysis and stories from the table. Liv will also outline some introductory game theory and the applications of poker-player thinking in everyday life. A member of Team PokerStars, she is the only female player to win both the World Series of Poker and European Poker Tour titles. With a first-class degree in Astrophysics, this promises to be a fascinating exploration of poker at the highest level. Read more.
A perfect post-Christmas talk by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, the star of the BBC One series Doctor in the House, which will transform the way you think about health and provide a simple framework for changing your life. Dr Chatterjee divides health into four pillars: diet, rest, sleep and movement. By making small, easily achievable changes in each of these key areas you can find and maintain good health – and avoid illness. You don’t need to excel at any one pillar; what matters is the balance across all the things you do. Based on cutting edge research and his own experience as a GP this talk on the 4 Pillar Plan will inspire you to make the adjustments needed to lead a longer healthier life. Read more.
Additional date now available Clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, one of the world’s most popular public thinkers, whose talks have been seen by tens of millions of viewers comes to the how to: Academy with a talk on 12 Rules for Life: The most valuable things everybody should know. Jordan Peterson has profoundly influenced the modern understanding of personality. His lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology are watched by a million viewers a month. In an era of unprecedented change and polarising politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world. In this talk , he will set out twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence. Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, cutting edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity’s oldest myths and stories, Peterson will take us on an intellectual journey like no other. Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, his 12 Rules for Life will offer an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems. Read more.
In this talk Johann Hari, whose TED talk on addiction – and the animation based on it – has been viewed over 8.5 million times online, will present a radical reappraisal of depression arguing that depression isn’t caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains but by crucial changes in the way we are living. For Johann this opens up 7 new paths out of depression and anxiety- ones that are very different to the paths we have been offered up to now. Hailed as “life-changing” by Elton John, a “game-changer” by Davina McCall, and “extraordinary” by the Daily Mail’s Dr Max Pemberton, and with glowing advance praise from Alastair Campbell, Brian Eno, Naomi Klein, Russell Brand and many others, this talk promises to be literally life-changing. Join us Live at the Conway Hall. In association with Head Talks . Read more.
In a rare appearance Daniel Pink, the internationally bestselling writer, and one of the top 10 most viewed TED speakers with over 19m views , will show how perfect timing is a science which properly understood will revolutionise WHEN we make decisions and how best to live, work and succeed. Drawing on more than seven hundred studies from the fields of psychology, biology, anthropology, economics and more, Pink will reveal how we can use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule.? When is the best time to take hard decisions? When should you have your first coffee of the day? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? How do we apply the science of timing to our own lives and societies? And when is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers or get married? Join us for a talk that will provide compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives. Read more.
how to: Academy welcomes Buddhist monk and molecular biologist Matthieu Ricard to the stage for a night of conversation with his close friend, the esteemed neuroscientist Wolf Singer. Ricard is a global inspiration and the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama – his TED talk on ‘The Habits of Happiness’ has been viewed 7.5 million times. Singer is the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Founding Director of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. These callings may seem worlds apart yet Buddhism and neuroscience have shared goals: what is this thing we call the mind, and how can we use it to fulfil our destinies? Buddhism for two millennia has pursued its investigations through knowledge of the self. Neuroscience relies on third-person observation. So where do they meet? Can science ever access consciousness as a primary experience? Can Buddhist awareness ever aspire to neuroscience’s precise criteria for conscious and unconscious processes? In this unique conversation, Ricard and Singer will offer their converging but distinct perspectives on the self, consciousness, meditation and free will. Join us for an enlightening and passionate dialogue between Buddhism’s wealth of experiential findings and neuroscience’s abundance of experimental results. Read more.
In this talk Dan Ariely, the world-renowned behavioural economist and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, will delve into the truly illogical world of personal finance to help us better understand why our irrational behaviour often interferes with our best intentions when it comes to managing our finances and what we need to do to make better ones. Join us for what promises to be a fascinating journey deep inside our minds, guided by the 5+million viewed TED speaker, and see the hidden motivations that are secretly driving our everyday choices about money and how to change our financial decision-making. Read more.
A tour by James Bidwell of some of the most extraordinary, exceptional and disruptive business innovations in the world. Ranging from Smart Cities, the Sharing Economy, Sustainability, Entertainment, Health, the Workplace, Communication, Education, to Retail and Travel, the innovations showcased in James’s talk can be digital or analog, capitalist or social, start-up or corporate, developed from an old model or creating a new one. At the end we will learn from the world’s most forward thinking businesses how to disrupt, innovate, collaborate, learn new skills and drive creative solutions in your workplace, office or industry. Read more.
Five years have passed since women were exhorted to ‘Lean In’. But why should anyone ‘lean in’ to a patriarchal system that is out of date? Don’t we need to change it for the good of us all? In this major talk based on her new book, City heavyweight and founder of the 30% Club Helena Morrissey, will set out a bold approach to gender equality which she will argue is more than a moral imperative but essential to economic prosperity and to solving the many problems we face today. For women just starting on the career ladder, for those looking to break through to the next level and for business leaders seeking to effect positive change in the boardroom this must-attend talk promises to be a powerful guide to how to change our work and our lives. Read more.
with various speakers. Chaired by Paul Workman and Karol Sikora.
Cancer affects us all. We can’t avoid it. But treatment has improved dramatically over the last 50 years. New methods of surgery, radiotherapy and drugs have had a massive impact and the majority of patients are cured. Leading experts will consider the future and give their views on how to cure cancer. Read more.
An unmissable conversation between the eminent Harvard Professor Steven Pinker and the author, playwright and comedian Stephen Fry on the challenges we face in the 21st century and what we need to do to defend the values and ideas of the Enlightenment. According to the headlines, the world in the 21st century is sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. The dominant narrative is of society in decline, and prophecies of doom are playing to our worst psychological fears – or temptations. So, are things really getting worse? Not according to Harvard’s world-famous cognitive scientist, Steven Pinker, who has argued eloquently and cogently that the case is other. That our lives have become longer, healthier, freer, safer and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. Epidemics, famine, extreme poverty, childhood mortality, deaths from infection disease and illiteracy are all decreasing – historically and globally. The reason? Because the project of Enlightenment has succeeded, and human life has become more precious. The dream of reason has become our reality. But progress is not an accident, or a cosmic coincidence: it is the consequence of a coherent value system that most of us embrace without even realizing it. These ideas and institutions are fragile, not fixed – and they can change. In a time of fundamentalism and fatalism they need vigorous defense, because they swim against currents of human nature which demagoguery is all too ready to exploit. The Enlightenment project is only a few centuries old. It has succeeded, but it can also fail. We can fall as well as rise. Join Steven Pinker and Stephen Fry for a discussion of the challenges we face, and hear the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st Century. Read more.