The Compass-logo

The Compass

BBC

Surprising stories from unusual places. With ideas too big for a single episode, The Compass presents mini-series about the environment and politics, culture and society.

Surprising stories from unusual places. With ideas too big for a single episode, The Compass presents mini-series about the environment and politics, culture and society.

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Surprising stories from unusual places. With ideas too big for a single episode, The Compass presents mini-series about the environment and politics, culture and society.

Language:

English


Episodes

Forests of folktale and imagination

3/2/2021
Jessica unpicks the profound role that forests play in our imaginative life. We know of course that they feature heavily in the fairy tales and myths we use to navigate life as children, and as we hear from writers like Max Porter, Richard Powers and Melissa Harrison, they also offer ways of understanding the complexities of desire, politics and history in our adult lives. Poet Carl Phillips describes how forests mirror the wilderness within us, while Jinni Reddy tells of how she found...

Duration:00:27:24

Forests of science and knowledge

3/2/2021
Writer Jessica J. Lee outlines the exciting developments that have taken place in our understanding of the ways forests work over recent decades, with science offering radical new ways of recognising these places as communities of mutually supportive trees rather than competitive spaces where individual trees fight one another for survival. She speaks with Peter Wohlleben who is one of the chief communicators of this ‘Wood Wide Web’ idea, and also expert on fungi Merlin Sheldrake about the...

Duration:00:27:50

Forests of hope and the future

3/2/2021
Writer Jessica J. Lee, sets out to describe the myriad ways that forests operate in our lives and the life of the planet. She outlines the exciting developments that have taken place in our understanding of the ways forests work over recent decades, with science offering radical new ways of recognising these places as communities of mutually supportive trees rather than competitive spaces where individual trees fight one another for survival. She speaks with Peter Wohlleben who is one of the...

Duration:00:27:38

The New Arctic: Power

2/23/2021
Contrary to popular opinion, the Arctic is not a pristine, empty white desert. It is home to four million people distributed across eight distinct nation states: The USA, Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Federation. Allan Little looks at how the region is fast becoming fraught with geopolitical tensions. Despite all sides stressing this is still an area of low tension, Russia is building up its military presence and capabilities, with Nato...

Duration:00:28:05

The New Arctic: Tourism

2/16/2021
Allan Little looks at the growing tourism industry above the Arctic circle which is raising complex social, economic and environmental consequences for remote communities. On the one hand, there are sustainable, indigenous-operated businesses that benefit from increasing numbers of visitors in search of authentic reindeer experiences and the Northern Lights, but other regions are experiencing the problem of mass tourism. On the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, we see how the Covid-19...

Duration:00:27:43

The New Arctic: Resource extraction

2/9/2021
Global warming is happening twice as fast in the Arctic. As the ice melts, it poses an existential threat to local communities and indigneous culture, whilst opening up possibilities of economic opportunities. What is the future of mining, of green energy, of tourism in a world that climate change is making accessible for the first time in millennia? And where does power lie? Who will control the rapidly changing icy far north as it thaws? The US Geological Survey estimated the Arctic may be...

Duration:00:27:42

The New Arctic: Communities under threat

2/1/2021
Allan Little investigates how the climate crisis is impacting different communities above the Arctic circle, from infrastructure damage to loss of life, eroding land and endangering thousand-year-old cultures and traditional knowledge. They are our eyes and ears on the speed with which our planet is changing. We look at Nenets reindeer herding on the Siberian tundra, infrastructure damage in Longyearbyen (the world’s most northern town on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard), and a...

Duration:00:27:51

My Perfect City: Communities in Barcelona

1/26/2021
Barcelona has always put strong communities as a key aim of its urban planning. What has it got right, and should other cities follow suit? In the 19th century, Barcelona instigated the City Market system. Every neighbourhood had its own food market, where locals met and mingled, but some fell into disrepair, and new areas didn’t have them. A renewed interest in the past 20 years has seen new ones built and old ones invested in. In another major push, pilot schemes to reclaim public space by...

Duration:00:27:53

My Perfect City: Women entrepreneurs in Kochi

1/19/2021
The cosmopolitan port city of Kochi is the commercial capital of the southern state of Kerala, which has a special track record when it comes to gender equality. Female literacy and life expectancy rates are among the highest in India, and greater access to economic opportunities has made Kochi a hub for women-led businesses, which not only boosts the economy but has lasting development benefits for society as a whole. The newly elected Mayor of Kochi, M Anil Kumar, is keen to make female...

Duration:00:27:54

My Perfect City: Integration in Rotterdam

1/12/2021
Rotterdam is lauded for its policies on integrating immigrant populations into the city. What exactly has it got right? The second biggest city in The Netherlands is like many port cities. Over the decades it has been a magnet for immigrant workers, whose descendants now number more than 50 percent of the population and tend to live in certain neighbourhoods. Racial tensions brought the problem of integration to the top of the political agenda. Today, holistic approaches tackle education and...

Duration:00:27:35

My Perfect City: Housing in Vienna

1/5/2021
In Vienna housing is considered a basic human right. Is it a model other cities should follow? In the Austrian capital, 60% of citizens live in subsidised social housing. Rent is affordable and developments are built to a high design and environmental specification. Many include swimming pools, schools, medical and sports facilities, while people from all walks of life live side by side, encouraging social cohesion. Fi Glover and panellists Greg Clark, urbanist and global city adviser, and...

Duration:00:27:22

My Perfect City: Mental health in Singapore

12/29/2020
People who live in cities are more likely to experience mental health problems than their rural counterparts. Has Singapore found a solution to improving its citizens’ wellbeing that other cities should follow? Greening urban areas, creating therapeutic gardens and high amenity public spaces, encouraging physical exercise as well as housing security and social services aim to reduce rates of common disorders such as OCD, anxiety and depression. Fi Glover and panellists Dr Ellie Cosgrave,...

Duration:00:28:59

My Perfect City: Employment in Toronto

12/22/2020
Fi Glover returns with panellists Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, and global city adviser Greg Clark to test the credentials of the most pioneering city initiatives around the world. Who is leading the way when it comes to solving humanity’s most pressing problems? With unemployment rising around the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the team assesses Toronto’s long-term strategy to boost employment. Following the decline of the manufacturing sector in...

Duration:00:28:37

Finders Keepers: A house that came home

12/15/2020
What chance do communities have of getting looted artefacts back, and what lessons do the world's museums need to learn? Stijn Schoonderwoerd and Wayne Modest describe how the Netherlands are trying to decolonise their museums. Maori elders Sir Hirini Moko Mead and judge Layne Harvey led a successful campaign for the return of a sacred tribal meeting house, stolen over a hundred years before - what can others learn from their experience?

Duration:00:27:29

Finders Keepers: Icons and empire

12/8/2020
Calls for the return of objects, looted from around the world are growing ever louder. Actor and musician Kema Sikazwe travels to London to see the Broken Hill Skull at the Natural History Museum. At the launch of the Return of the Icons campaign, V&A director Tristram Hunt explains how he is responding to Ethiopia’s formal restitution claim. Children’s author, Kandace Chimbiri describes how her writing fills gaping historical hole and French art historian Didier Rykner is convinced that...

Duration:00:29:00

Finders Keepers: A photograph, a pipe and a skull

12/1/2020
Actor and musician Kema Sikazwe is no historical expert. A young Zambian who now lives in northern England, he hasn’t even set foot inside a museum since he was ten years old. All that changes when Kema learns about the movement to return stolen objects back to where they came from. Should these priceless parts of history be returned? And if so, what’s at stake? Kema measures the scale of the problem on a visit to Newcastle’s Great North Museum. Curator JC Niala shares her experience of...

Duration:00:28:14

Can Germany Save the World?: Stepping up on the world stage

11/25/2020
Because of its war history, Germany remains frightened of being assertive on its own. Yet it holds the key to enabling Europe to become the third global pole to China and America. This programme looks at Germany’s current place in the world: the facts, the psychology and the consequences. John Kampfner visits Duisburg in the gritty Ruhr area with its ambition to become “China City”. He goes to the former East, where businesses are desperate for closer ties with their former ally, Russia. He...

Duration:00:28:10

Can Germany Save the World?: Building a post-Covid society

11/17/2020
As governments around the world rethink their economies and societies after Covid, addressing the environment, towns and cities and the way we live, is it possible that Germany is closer to finding the answers? In this programme, John Kampfner looks at where they’re getting it right, and where they are going wrong. The contradictions are many. Why is a country with one of the most powerful and longest-established green parties struggling to meet its climate emissions targets? Given their...

Duration:00:28:48

Can Germany Save the World?: Mutti and her crisis management

11/10/2020
A year ago, many Germans were dismissing Angela Merkel as beyond her sell-by date. Her motto, "langsam aber sicher" (slow but sure), was seen as outdated. Covid has transformed that. It is not that she has particularly changed, it is just that the world has come to respect traits that had previously been derided. Germany has now dealt with three crises with extraordinary agility – from unification 30 years ago, to the influx of a million refugees in 2015 and now the pandemic. John Kampfner...

Duration:00:28:17

Climate Wars: Central and Northern America

11/3/2020
Will Robson investigates the impact climate change is having on human security in Central and Northern America. He examines how global warming is leading to mass migration across the region, and how a spike in freak weather events is undermining basic social infrastructures. He also hears why the avocado has become a “conflict commodity” in Mexico, and how climate change threatens the resilience of the USA’s power grid and its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Duration:00:27:47