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Social Economics


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The Brexit result, the ascendance of anti-establishment figures like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the rise of minor parties … across the Western world we’re seeing signs of growing frustration with the status quo. How, exactly,  did we get here? What can we learn from past mistakes? What can we learn from past successes?

In a sweeping discussion, presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival, we’ll hear from two writers who favour the long, broad view in their writing about economics: New Yorker staff writer George Packer and veteran Australian journalist George Megalogenis. In their recent books, The Unwinding (Packer) and Australia’s Second Chance (Megalogenis), both Georges have considered the slow, tectonic shifts in society driven by economics, politics and history. Packer’s book describes how economic upheavals in the past three decades have impacted on the lives of individual Americans, while Megalogenis’s looks all the way back to 1788 to trace Australia’s economic and demographic history.

In conversation with Sally Warhaft, join two outstanding Georges for a conversation about the bigger economic picture.



George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades’ experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Austral... Read more

George Packer

George Packer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003, covering the Iraq war, American foreign policy, domestic politics, and books. He is the author, most recently, of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (2013), a New York Times bestseller, ... Read more

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more


The Edge, Fed Square

The Atrium Flinders Street Federation Square Melbourne Victoria 3000

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