The sometimes murky business of philanthropy - giving away large sums of money - has become a hot topic, as some of the world's most high profile donors and institutions have become mired in controversy.The most obvious example has been over donations to the arts and culture organisations made by some members of the Sackler family. Some of the family wealth was founded on the US company Purdue Pharma, the maker of an opiod painkiller. But it is not just the Sackler riches that have come under attack - sponsorship of museums and art exhibitions by oil companies have also been criticised recently.
Ed Butler and guests discuss the ethics of giving. How should donors decide where to put their money and how do museums and arts organisations decide which money they should accept?
(Photo: Photographer Nan Goldin leads a demonstration at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to protest the benefactor of the Sackler Art Museum (Credit: Erin Clark/Boston Globe/Getty Images)
India's silent killer
As the Indian election gets underway, should politicians be turning their attention to India's silent killer? Join Devina Gupta and guests in India as they sit outside in one of the country's most polluted cities to consider how poor air quality is affecting people's lives, businesses and health. Should air pollution be one of the biggest election issues? In the Balance joins forces with WorkLifeIndia to hear from residents, activists and business people in one of the world's most polluted cities.
Presenter: Devina Gupta
Contributors: Anumita Roychowdhury, air pollution expert, Centre for Science and Environment; Barun Aggarwal, CEO, Breathe Easy; Asheer Kandhari, student activist
(Picture: Students head for their school during cold weather and smog. Delhi, December 2018. Credit: Getty Images)
Is the Green New Deal too ambitious?
As the warnings around the risks of climate change increase, some in the left, led by US democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are trumpeting an economic solution called the Green New Deal. The idea is that a massive public injection of money could fix the shortfall in green tech in the US, turn America into a zero-emissions economy and tackle poverty all at the same time. But how would such a plan work? Do the numbers add up or is it just fantasy economics?
Joining Ed Butler to discuss this are Ellen Brown, author and activist and the founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to the creation of publicly run bank; Alex Douglas, a lecturer in philosophy at the University of St Andrews and the author of the book, The Philosophy of Debt; and George Selgin, director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at The Cato Institute in Washington DC.
(Image: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressing a crowd. Credit: Getty images)
How China Curbs Online Gaming
Online gaming and e-sports are huge industries, but there are concerns about over-use and addiction and the way gaming takes up the time of young people. China is forcing some of its biggest games companies to put restrictions on the number of hours a day under 18s can play. But do such curbs make any difference, both to the young gamers and to the gaming business itself? Rory Cellan-Jones hears from a gaming expert and former professional e-sports player, a former online gaming addict and an expert in China's gaming industry.
(Photo:Visitors uses console at the Cyber Games Arena (CGA) eSports venue in the Mongkok district of Kowloon in Hong Kong. January 2019.. Credit: Getty Images)
Brexit: Planning in Uncertain Times
The UK parliament has rejected the Brexit deal struck between the government and the European Union. As the clock ticks to the deadline for the UK to leave the EU at the end of March, In the Balance hears how businesses are planning in times of deep uncertainty. Ed Butler asks business people in the EU and in the UK how they will manage to continue to export and import goods between the UK and the European Union if there is no deal after March 29? And Ed hears from a former senior UK civil servant on the risks ahead for trade - and what would be the best way out of the Brexit impasse?