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Yanis Varoufakis and Brian Eno on Money, Power and a Call for Radical Change

In November 2019 Intelligence Squared brought to its stage two of the world’s great radicals – Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister and legendary music producer Brian Eno.

Video coming soon.

The liberal order is under threat. Increasing inequality, the rise of far-right nationalism and the climate emergency pose unprecedented challenges. It’s time for some radical thinking.

In November 2019 Intelligence Squared brought to its stage two of the world’s great radicals – Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister known for his trademark leather jacket, motorbike and self-described erratic Marxism, and legendary music producer Brian Eno, known for his progressive politics and human rights activism.

Varoufakis and Eno are friends and political allies, both involved in the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, whose goal is to create a truly democratic European Union, accountable to its people. In conversation with the BBC’s Ritula Shah, they tackled how our global financial system, with its kleptocrats, money launderers and tax evaders, has established a stranglehold on our society, enriching the few and impoverishing most of the rest. And they discussed the radical change that is needed in order to achieve a more democratic, egalitarian society.

Since entering politics during the Greek financial crisis in 2015, Varoufakis has become a globally recognised figure, both admired and loathed for his excoriating attacks on the international economic establishment. Eno, one of the world’s most original and influential musicians, began his career playing synth with Roxy Music in the 1970s and has produced music for acts including David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay. In everything he does his goal is to overturn established ways of thinking and spark creativity, whether in the world of music or in his political activism.



Ritula Shah

Journalist and presenter on Classic FM

Presenter of Calm Classics on Classic FM. She was previously the main presenter of the World Tonight, BBC Radio 4’s main evening news programme.


Speakers are subject to change.


Brian Eno

Musician, record producer, visual artist and theorist

Musician, record producer, visual artist and theorist, generally considered to be one of contemporary music's most influential and innovative figures. After recording two albums with Roxy Music, he left the band in 1973. He began recording solo and developed what he called ‘ambient music’. He has worked with artists such as David Bowie, David Byrne, Grace Jones and Damon Albarn. In 1975 he co-created Oblique Strategies, a card-based method for breaking creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. He is a human rights campaigner and political activist.

Yanis Varoufakis

Economist, politician and bestselling author, whose latest book is Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present

Bestselling author of Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present; Talking to My Daughter: A Brief History of Capitalism; Adults in the Room, a memoir of his time as finance minister of Greece; and an economic history of Europe, And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered politics. He is co-founder of the international grassroots movement DiEM25 and, since 2019, he is leading its parliamentary party in Greece's Parliament. He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.