• CBC Radio
159 episodes
IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.


The Buffalo, Part One
2020 Sep 2354m 9s
In the mid-1870s, buffalo roamed across North America in the millions. A few short decades later, there were only 300 left. Using both science and storytelling, this series tells the story of the buffalo and its relationship to the Indigenous people who revere it. (This series originally aired in 1992 and is narrated by novelist, Thomas King.)
Dear Leader: Notes from the time of cholera
2020 Sep 2254m 9s
Leading in the time of COVID-19 is to lead when a virus is calling the shots. In 1892, Hamburg had its own devastating cholera outbreak. According to historian Sir Richard Evans, how authorities navigated the pandemic offers surprisingly relevant lessons for leaders today. *Originally aired on April 28, 2020.
Beethoven's Scowl
2020 Sep 2154m 9s
Beethoven was born 250 years ago this year. Since his death, he’s been used as a symbol of big ideas, from liberalism to nationalism to manliness. This documentary examines the shifting image of Beethoven, and his malleability as a symbol.
Into the Wild: Anthropologist Wade Davis
2020 Sep 1854m 9s
Ancient wisdom in the modern world can save us from the dangers of climate change, argues Wade Davis. The Canadian anthropologist has spent a lifetime looking into what Indigenous peoples of the world can teach us. Now, 10 years after his 2009 Massey lectures called 'The Wayfinders,' he looks back on what has changed on our planet — for better and for worse. *Originally aired on February 18, 2020.
The History of Serial Killers: Peter Vronsky
2020 Sep 1754m 9s
What goes on in the mind of a serial killer? After two random encounters with serial killers, historian and professor Peter Vronsky is trying to answer that very question — who they are, what motivates them, and in the age of true crime fanaticism — why we're so obsessed with them.
How jeans became one of the most polluting garments in the world
2020 Sep 1654m 9s
Blue jeans evolved from being the uniform of cowboys to a symbol of rebellion, and are now the most popular — and possibly the most polluting — garment in the world. Ideas contributor and fashion expert Pedro Mendes explores the 150-year history of jeans and the 'authenticity' they are supposed to represent.
The Identity of Me, The Community of Us
2020 Sep 1554m 9s
In this time of upheaval, what does the future look like? When we think about marginalized groups in society, and issues of gender, race, and poverty — how do we work toward making a better world? Rinaldo Walcott, Monia Mazigh and Micheal Vonn explores these questions in conversation with Nahlah Ayed.
The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism: Anne Applebaum
2020 Sep 1454m 9s
The left may be dominant in cultural spheres. But the right is dominant in politics, where real power is exercised. That dominance, however, has derailed political conservatism throughout the Western world, where authoritarian "strong man" leadership and values have become increasingly mainstream. Historian Anne Applebaum, author of Twilight of Democracy joins host Nahlah Ayed to talk about how the right went wrong.
The Common Good: The Politics of Belonging
2020 Sep 1154m 9s
Left-wing and right-wing governments around the world have fallen into the same trap, a failure of leadership to inspire a cohesive vision of society that ordinary citizens can share. What is to be done? Author George Monbiot joins Nahlah Ayed to point toward a new way of conceptualizing the common good, and forging a politics of belonging.
The Common Good: The Next Great Migration
2020 Sep 1054m 9s
“Migrant” evokes images of desperate people surging at closed borders. But they are us. Science writer Sonia Shah argues that a deep human instinct has been politicized as disruptive and troubling. In fact, migration is our ancient survival response to crisis.