Mon, 11 July 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST


Authenticity – How to Fight Back Against Counterfeit Culture

Alice Sherwood In Conversation With Hannah MacInnes

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Our world is full of people and products that are not what they seem. We no longer know whether we are talking to a person or a machine. But we can fight back.

We live in an age when the pursuit of authenticity – from living our ‘best life’ to eating artisan food – matters more and more to us, but where the forces of inauthenticity seem to be taking over. Alice Sherwood joins us to argue that, although our counterfeit culture is shaped by the most powerful forces of evolution, economics, and technology, we can still come together to reclaim reality.

Along the way, she will introduce us to the world’s greatest impostor, who finally became what he’d pretended to be; the wartime counterfeiter who fooled a nation; nature’s most outrageous deceivers; the artist who encouraged people to forge his pictures; and the ‘authentic’ brand that was anything but. But we also meet people living unexpectedly rewarding lives in virtual worlds, and foot soldiers in the ‘armies of truth’ who are taking down today’s conspiracies and cons.

You’ll never think about deception and reality in the same way again.

Praise for Alice Sherwood’s Authenticity:

‘Brilliantly witty, profoundly illuminating, Alice Sherwood is a master storyteller’ Simon Schama

‘This wise, quirky, funny, wholly original book is an authentic delight. I loved it.’ Tim Harford

‘Alice Sherwood is the real deal’ Marcus Du Sautoy

‘Fascinating and hugely entertaining’ Brian Eno

‘Beautifully written, hugely readable and completely fascinating – a book for smart thinkers everywhere.’ Mary Ann Sieghart, author of The Authority Gap

‘This is a trailblazing book.’ Rory Sutherland

‘Authenticity demonstrates that although those who wish to deceive us sometimes seem to have the upper hand, it’s down to the individual to fight for authenticity.’ Eliot Higgins, author of We Are Bellingcat

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Alice Sherwood

Award-winning Author

Currently a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London and a director of an open source intelligence company, Alice Sherwood has undergraduate degrees in philosophy and in chemistry, an MBA from INSEAD, and an MA in literary criticism and narrative non-fiction. She has worked in business, investigative television documentary making, and education and multimedia production at the BBC. She is chair of the Rising Tide women’s network, and has served as a trustee of the Hay Festival Foundation and the London Library. She lives in London and Wales.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.