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Business Daily


The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.


United Kingdom




The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.




Big Data, conspiracy theories and ‘Magical Thinking’

Filmmaker Adam Curtis questions the value of Big Data in society. In his latest BBC series, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head', Curtis explores "Love, power, money, ghosts of empire, conspiracies, artificial intelligence – and You." Curtis spoke to Business Daily's Ed Butler about how the rise of artificial intelligence, Big Data and targeted advertising have come to shape the way we see our world and caused us to feel helpless within it. He also explains that the psychological experiments which...


Is the digital ad market overvalued?

Large companies have slashed their digital marketing budget. Airbnb and Procter & Gamble made such a cut in recent years, after coming to believe the cost doesn’t necessarily translate to increased sales. They follow in the footsteps of eBay who, in 2013, announced it would cease paying for ad sponsorship on Google. Economics professor Steve Tadelis, who led eBay’s research into this, explains how they came to conclude advertising wasn’t worth it. Also in the programme, brand safety advocate...


Can Biden woo the world on climate change?

President Biden hosts a virtual summit this week as the US seeks global climate action. But can he convince the rest of the world to go further and faster on cutting carbon emissions when the country has been out of the game for the past four years? Justin Rowlatt asks former US climate envoy Todd Stern and Isabel Hilton, founder of China dialogue. And, in a world where some countries are rolling back protections, can consensus still be found? We hear from the heart of the Brazilian...


Demille and the gig economy

In 2016 when producer Georgia first met him, Demille was a cycle courier in his early twenties, taking his company to a tribunal over better working conditions. He was fired-up, political, and excited about a case he would go on to win. For the past five years, Georgia and Demille have been meeting and recording. Demille’s story is one of being young and trying to stay afloat in the gig economy; of resilience and hope and trying to find control over his city and life.


Meeting expectations

Every day 55 million meetings take place in the United States. But just how effective are they at actually getting stuff done? British comedian David Mitchell has been investigating how the meeting evolved and the "meeting-isation" of society. (Picture: a man boring colleagues during a meeting. Credit: Getty Images.)


Business Weekly

The US is making overtures to China about working together to save the planet. On Business Weekly, we hear what concessions each side would like the other to make as they try to put aside their diplomatic differences for the sake of the environment. We also hear from climate activist Greta Thunberg, who tells us what her vision for the future is and what she’d like to see politicians doing. As the cargo ship Ever Given remains in the Suez Canal - this time impounded by the Egyptian...


A part-time return to the office?

A hybrid model mixing home working with office time is being favoured by major companies. But critics worry it will create divisions in the workplace. Small business owner and columnist Gene Marks explains why managing remote workers presents such a challenge, and Darren Murph from GitLab, a tech firm of 1,300 employees and no office, tells us why having a mix of home and office work could be the worst of both worlds. Economist Nicholas Bloom discusses the risk of discriminating between...


President Biden and his strategy for China

Will the US President continue with an increasingly hostile attitude towards China? Or does economic common sense demand that Washington should back off from Beijing? Ed Butler asks Diana Choyleva of Enodo Economics, and he chairs a debate between David Sacks of the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC and Kishore Mahbubani, a distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore. (Picture: US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Getty Images.)


Boom time for scammers

During the Coronavirus pandemic, people have been spending more time at home, and online, than ever before. This has given online scammers a golden opportunity to find new victims. And it’s worked. We’ll hear from Danielle in Illinois, who was caught up in just such a scam and lost thousands of dollars from her savings. And she’s not the only one. Craig Jones, Director of Cyber Crime at Interpol, describes the rise they’ve seen in all types of online scams during the pandemic. But why does...


A conversation with Greta

The world’s most famous climate activist has just turned 18 and is as uncompromising as ever. In an extended interview, Justin Rowlatt asks Greta Thunberg how she intends to continue campaigning, now that she is back in school and living under lockdown at her family home in Stockholm. Before the pandemic, the Swedish environmentalist had spent several months travelling around America in an electric vehicle lent to her by Arnold Schwarzenegger. A TV documentary crew shadowed her as she...


Telegram in the spotlight

After becoming the most downloaded non-gaming app earlier this year, Telegram messaging app has amassed half a billion users – a quarter of WhatsApp’s and rising. Owned by the elusive Russian exile Pavel Durov, Telegram has been used to coordinate global protest movements - from Belarus to Iran and Hong Kong. It’s also been accused of tolerating the extremist channels behind ISIS and the Capitol Hill riots. But in its home country, Russia, misogyny appears to be permitted on the platform....


Business Weekly

Voters in Greenland have backed a party which opposes a rare earth mining project. On Business Weekly, we ask what this means for the security of the global supply of rare minerals and hear why this project was so controversial. From the ice to the ocean, where the race to extract minerals is on. But environmentalists are concerned that deep sea mining could hurt the world’s oceans, even if they are being mined to help the environment in other ways. You may have heard of the term...


Mega ships

After the Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal last month, we ask: are container ships too big? How much bigger can they get? To answer those questions we speak to Aslak Ross, head of marine standards at the world’s largest container shipping line, Maersk. Jan Hoffman, head of trade and logistics at the UN's Conference on Trade and Development, explains that economies of scale have led to the ships getting bigger and bigger. And Evert Lataire, head of maritime technology at Ghent University,...


Mining the ocean

How rocks on the ocean floor could be key to the transition to electric cars. Justin Rowlatt speaks to Gerard Barron, boss of DeepGreen, a company that wants to gather rocks from the ocean floors rich in the metals essential for making electric car batteries. He tells us why this kind of mining is crucial to transitioning away from fossil fuels. Louisa Casson, senior campaigner with Greenpeace, warns of the environmental devastation this could cause. And zoologist Adrian Glover tells us how...


Tracing cotton’s DNA

Can technology help eradicate forced labour from global cotton supplies? A confrontation continues to rise between Western powers, global brands, and the Chinese authorities over the use of forced labour and human rights abuse in cotton production in the western region of Xinjiang. Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, explains why transparency from the Chinese authorities over the whole cotton supply chain is unlikely to be forthcoming. With that in mind, some technology...


Where art and cryptocurrency meet...

When the world of crypto currencies met with the world of art, they created what's called a non-fungible tokens or NFT. Some say NFTs could redefine what we think of as art while others think it’s just the latest crypto craze that may well end in financial losses and tears. (Picture: Artwork by Jazmine Boykins/ Blacksneakers, courtesy of the artist)


What happens to whistleblowers

How exposing the truth at work can cost you your career. Theo Leggett speaks to whistleblowers Ian Foxley and Bianca Goodson, both of whom found it impossible to get a new job after exposing wrongdoing at their respective employers. Psychotherapist David Morgan describes the emotional toll on those who choose to expose wrongdoing, and why the majority stay silent. And whistleblower lawyer Mary Inman, partner at the law firm Constantine Cannon, argues that companies need to start seeing...


Business Weekly

Some of the world’s biggest investment banks have been left exposed as a hedge fund collapsed, leaving multi-billion dollar losses in its wake. Archegos Capital Management was a secretive personal wealth fund - we find out why banks like Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Nomura dealt with it. We hear why a European Union ban on palm oil in biofuel has left both Indonesia and Malaysia upset and as Bangladesh celebrates its 50th birthday we ask whether the textile industry will be able to...


How to complain

In this programme, Elizabeth Hotson looks at the art of demanding good service. From dealing with customer services to having conversations with chatbots, we’ll be giving some practical tips for getting what you want. Whilst some people love making their voices heard, Dr. Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University in South Carolina explains why some people’s personalities make complaining a nightmare. Meanwhile, Sabine Benoit, Professor of Marketing at Surrey Business...


Josephine's story: Bouncing back

Josephine is a single mother of four in Kibera, the sprawling slum in Nairobi, Kenya. At the beginning of the pandemic she was working as a cook, but soon, like many Kibera residents, lost her job, and when the BBC's Ed Butler spoke to her a year ago her situation was dire. In this final episode in the series, Josephine looks to the future, and how she might retrain herself to find new ways to put food on the table. We’ll also hear from Kibera community organiser Kennedy Odede, how...