5 speakers, 15 minutes each. It's inspiring, informative, provoking, and above all, entertaining.

Latest episode

  • Marcus du Sautoy and Roger Highfield

    Join Marcus du Sautoy and Roger Highfield for this exciting conversation and shortcut your route to being more creative, strategic, and more efficient.How do you remember more and forget less? How can you earn more and become more creative just by moving house? And how do you pack a car boot most efficiently?Mathematics is full of better ways of thinking, and with over 2,000 years of knowledge to draw on, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy interrogates his passion for shortcuts in this fresh and fascinating guide. After all, shortcuts have enabled so much of human progress, whether in constructing the first cities around the Euphrates 5,000 years ago, using calculus to determine the scale of the universe or in writing today’s algorithms that help us find a new life partner.As well as looking at the most useful shortcuts in history – such as measuring the circumference of the earth in 240 BC to diagrams that illustrate how modern GPS works – Marcus also looks at how you can use shortcuts in investing or how to learn a musical instrument to memory techniques. He talks to, among many, the writer Robert MacFarlane, cellist Natalie Clein and the psychologist Susie Orbach, asking whether shortcuts are always the best idea and, if so, when they use them. With engaging puzzles and conundrums throughout to illustrate the shortcut’s ability to find solutions with speed, Thinking Better offers many clever strategies for daily complex problems.Marcus du Sautoy is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2008 he was appointed to the university’s prestigious professorship as the Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a post previously held by Richard Dawkins. He has presented numerous radio and TV programmes, including a four-part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations bringing science alive for the public, from the Royal Opera House to the Glastonbury Festival.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Mike Leigh and Francine Stock

    The writer-director Mike Leigh is one of world cinema’s pre-eminent figures, a multi-award winning writer-director and one of Britain’s most internationally recognised and critically acclaimed filmmakers. He joins 5x15 to talk about his life and work in an unmissable online conversation with the long-time presenter of The Film Programme, Francine Stock.The subject of a major retrospective this October at the British Film Institute, Mike Leigh is a seven-time Oscar nominee and the winner of five BAFTAs. The only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies) and Venice (for Vera Drake), his tragi-comic cinematic worlds have reflected the times and become part of our nation’s cultural landscape.In Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh, the director reflects on films including his much-loved Mr Turner and recent epic Peterloo; classic films including Nuts In May and Abigail’s Party; his approach to universal themes; his inimitable working method of developing characters through improvisation; and the influences that have shaped his vision.Above all, Mike Leigh is one of our greatest storytellers – passionate, forthright, witty and the maker of a unique body of work. In his critically-lauded films, bleakness and humour comingle, with always unforgettable results.
  • The Last Tree on Easter Island- Penguin Green Ideas with Jared Diamond

    Life on earth has become irrevocably altered by humans. What can we do to acknowledge our impact on the earth and pave the way for a fairer, saner, greener world?Join 5x15 for this urgent and unmissable Penguin Classics series of Green Ideas special event with Jared Diamond who discusses his short book The Last Tree on Easter Island.The Last Tree on Easter Island is Jared Diamond's haunting account of visiting the mysterious stone statues of Easter Island. As the multi-award winning author and geographer proposes in his best-selling book, Collapse, Easter Island is the ‘clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources.’Diamond’s new book hones in on this theme with powerful brevity. In his exploration of how a remote civilization dismantled itself by exploiting its own natural resources he urges us to recognise why we must heed this warning for our own era.Penguin Green Ideas: The Last Tree on Easter Island is in the Penguin Classics series of Green Ideas; twenty short books which bring you the ideas that have changed the way we think and talk about the living earth and together point the way to a fairer, saner, greener world. This Autumn 5x15 is working on a number of talks with the ground breaking authors from the Green Ideas series.Jared Diamond is a Professor of Geography at UCLA and a noted polymath whose books about human societies blend biology, geography, anthropology, linguistics and history. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of Time magazine's best non-fiction books of all time, Collapse, a No. 1 international bestseller, and Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change, among other books.
  • Zakiya Dalila Harris

    Drawing on her first-hand experience of the high-pressure, starkly white world of book publishing, novelist Zakiya Dalila Harris discusses her incredible debut novel, The Other Black Girl. At once a gripping thriller and a witty and shrewd piece of social commentary, The Other Black Girl was an instant New York Times bestseller and is one of the most talked about debut novels of the year. 'The funniest, wildest, deepest, most thought-provoking ride of a book' Attica Locke.
  • Tahmima Anam - The Startup Wife

    Tahmima Anam is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer and Harvard-educated anthropologist. She is also an executive director of ROLI, a music technology startup with offices in New York and London. Her first novel, A Golden Age, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa First Novel Award, and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Her other novels include The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace and most recently The Start Up Wife. Tahmima was named as one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists of the Year in 2013 and was shortlisted for the 2014 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She was also shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2016. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta and the Guardian. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she now lives in London.5x15 brings together five outstanding individuals to tell of their lives, passions and inspirations. There are only two rules - no scripts and only 15 minutes each.Learn more about 5x15 events: 5x15stories.comTwitter:
  • Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke

    Step into the extraordinary and mysterious world of Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Susanna Clarke as she discusses her spectacular novel, Piranesi, with the one and only Neil Gaiman live exclusively for 5x15. An unmissable conversation between two of our best loved, most powerfully imaginative writers.Learn more about 5x15 events: 5x15stories.comTwitter: