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Live At The Southbank Centre: Can We Have Prosperity Without Growth?

As the UK and other countries around the world grapple with a bleak economic forecast and the creeping effects of climate change, the debate over economic growth and its role in our economies has come into sharp focus.

Some argue that growth is the foundation upon which prosperity is built and that it offers a route out of economic decline. Others argue that growth worsens inequality and has devastating impacts on the natural world. Instead, they contend, we should aim to stop or even reverse growth and define prosperity in broader terms than the narrow definition of GDP.

Presented by the Southbank Centre and Intelligence Squared




Kate Raworth

Economist and author of Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

Economist focused on making markets work for the twenty-first century. She is the creator of 'the Doughnut' of social and planetary boundaries, and co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab. Her internationally best-selling book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist has been translated into over 20 languages and has been widely influential with diverse audiences, from the UN General Assembly to Pope Francis to Extinction Rebellion. She is Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, where she teaches on the Masters in Environmental Change and Management. She is also Professor of Practice at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.  

Helen Thompson

Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge University and author of Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century

Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge University and author of Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century. Her research focuses on the political economy of energy and the long history of the democratic, economic, and geopolitical disruptions of the twenty-first century. She used to host the Talking Politics podcast with David Runciman and is a columnist for the New Statesman.  

Bim Afolami

Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden since 2017

Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden since 2017. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Group for International Conservation and is member of both the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Climate Change and the Conservative Environment Network. In 2020 he authored the report Unlocking Britain: Recovery and renewal after COVID-19, looking at ways in which Britain’s economy can recover after the COVID-19 pandemic in a climate-friendly manner.

Kamal Ahmed

Journalist, author and former BBC News Editorial Director

Journalist who has been Editorial Director of BBC News and BBC Economics Editor. He has also held senior roles at The Telegraph Group, The Observer and The Guardian. He recently co-founded The News Movement, a start-up dedicated to tackling misinformation. He is the author of The Life and Times of a Very British Man.