Mary Robinson delivers the opening lecture of the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2012, arguing that women leaders are better placed than men to sort out the crises of the 21st Century.
Mary Robinson has had a pioneering political career. She was the first female President of Ireland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders. Now she is a member of The Elders, along with Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter, the group of global leaders who campaign together for peace and human rights, and is President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, a centre dedicated to helping marginalised victims of climate change.
Mary Robinson's talk about women leaders was recorded earlier tonight in front of an audience at The Sage Gateshead and presented by Matthew Sweet. It marks the start of three weeks of Free Thinking broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
This year's festival theme is "Them and Us": exploring whether the world is becoming a more divided place, discussing social inequality, difference and how we define ourselves in relation to others.
Speakers include Michael Igatieff, Lee Hall, Philippa Gregory, Antony Beevor, Amos Oz, Tom Holland, Mona Siddiqui, Jeremy Bowen, Julie Bindel, Tony Harrison, Polly Toynbee, Colm Toibin and Andrew Marr.
Plus new drama by Simon Armitage about Olympic torchbearers to be broadcast live from the Baltic.
Now in its seventh year, the Free Thinking Festival of ideas takes place at The Sage Gateshead 2-4 November and is produced and broadcast by BBC Radio 3. It's a platform for today's innovative thinkers, who debate the ideas shaping our world.
Go to www.bbc.co.uk/freethinking for more details.