Apr 04, 2023

Current Affairs and Politics Programme

This year’s Guernsey Literary Festival boasts an insight-packed current affairs and politics programme with topics including challenging the power of digital technologies, how to tackle the century’s most pressing problems, what we can learn from the world’s happiest country and examining the devasting attack on Ukraine and setting out what the conflict will mean for the future of Europe.

Jamie Susskind: The Digital Republic — On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century

When: Friday 12 May from 8:00 to 9:30
Where: The OGH Hotel

How can freedom and democracy survive in a world of powerful digital technologies? Not long ago, the tech industry was widely admired, and the internet was regarded as a tonic for freedom and democracy. Not any longer. Every day, the headlines blaze with reports of racist algorithms, data leaks and social media platforms festering with falsehood and hate. In The Digital Republic, acclaimed author Jamie Susskind argues that these problems are not the fault of a few bad apples at the top of the industry. They are the result of our failure to govern technology properly, a failure derived from decades of muddled ideas and wishful thinking.

Kindly sponsored by Butterfield.

Danny Dorling: Finntopia — What We Can Learn from the World’s Happiest Country

When: Friday 12 May from 16:30 to 17:30
Where: Les Cotils

In 2018, and every year thereafter, Finland was ranked as the happiest place in the world and featured in the top-three countries worldwide in over 100 other social indicators. This talk is about the book Finntopia which investigates these claims and asks what other places would have to do to emulate such success.

Guy Hands: The Dealmaker — Lessons from a Life in Private Equity

When: Friday 12 May, 19:30 to 20:30
Where: St James

Guy’s talk will take the audience into the previously very secretive world of private equity, explaining how this multi-billion-pound sector operates and what opportunities it offers, as well as giving an appraisal of the huge deals he has done and the one that almost bankrupted him as a global financial crash loomed on the horizon.

Finally, he will talk about how Covid got him to reassess his life and how Guernsey provided the sense of peace he needed. The talk will be chaired by Literary Festival board chairman Rob Shepherd and is sponsored by Carey Olsen.

The magazine Business Standard said of his book, ‘If you are curious to learn the secrets of these financial alchemists, here is your chance to do so from the very best.’ The Times described The Dealmaker as ‘a brutally honest book about his world of high-stakes deal-making and the emotional fall-out’.

Kindly sponsored by Carey Olsen.

Peter Conradi: Who Lost Russia?

When: Sunday 14 May from 14:30–15:30
Where: St James

Why did Vladimir Putin launch his devastating attack on Ukraine in February 2022? And to what extent is the Western policy towards Russia to blame for the bloodiest war on European soil since 1945? Peter Conradi, Europe Editor of The Sunday Times, analyses the series of mistakes and misunderstandings on both sides since the end of the Soviet Union in this updated version of his critically acclaimed book. Peter will bring the story right up to the present day, examining the events leading to the invasion and setting out what the conflict will mean for the future of Europe.

Kindly sponsored by Rawlinson & Hunter.

If you missed out on the chance to see David Dimbleby and Jeremy Bowen at this year’s festival, make sure to follow us on social media for highlights of the events and upcoming blogs about our key speakers.