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Pope Francis to take part in ‘rethink the world’ programmes

by Press Association

Pope Francis is among those taking part in a series of radio programmes on how to "rethink the world" after the pandemic.

BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 Live and the World Service will ask how society and lives can improve after the crisis.

Tennis champion Sir Andy Murray, world wide web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Baroness Hale, former president of the Supreme Court, are also involved.

The Pope challenges "hypocritical" political leaders to wake up to inequality in his talk, while Sir Andy discusses the future role of sport.

Others taking part in Rethink include poet Caleb Femi, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, novelist Mohammed Hanif, Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, former US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and pharmaceutical boss Pascal Soriot.

The programming launches next week with short essays from around 30 thinkers, while listeners will be invited to share their views.

Radio 4 controller Mohit Bakaya said: "Rethink will interrogate how this pandemic has dramatically challenged the assumptions we make about the world around us, shine light in the corners where we might most need radical new ideas, and explore what we could change, individually and collectively, to improve our lives and the landscape around us."

Radio 5 Live controller Heidi Dawson said: "I can't wait to hear our listeners' ideas for how we should rethink the world as we emerge from lockdown and the pandemic...

"Thoughts and ideas we gather from this week of content could genuinely help to deliver change."

World service controller Mary Hockaday said: "The profound implications of the coronavirus pandemic are being felt across the globe.

"Many believe it is indeed time to rethink how we could live together."

The essays will also be available as a podcast on BBC Sounds.

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