If the government gave everyone the same minimum income, would that be an unaffordable frivolity? Or the foundation of a fairer, happier and more productive society?
Finland has just completed a two-year experiment in doing just that. Manuela Saragosa speaks to one of the grateful recipients of the pilot project, freelance journalist Tuomas Muraja. A similar approach has already been taken for many years by some charities in the developing world, as Joe Huston of the GiveDirectly explains.
So how does it work? Anthony Painter of the Royal Society of Arts in London says the financial security it provides allows people to be more creative and invest more in themselves. But Professor Ian Goldin of Oxford University is sceptical, saying there are more effective and affordable ways of helping those most in need.
(Picture: Money falling on people; Credit: stocknroll/Getty Images)
Ukraine's troubles with Mariupol
Ed Butler reports from Mariupol port in eastern Ukraine. The port has lost a third of its fleet and up to 140,000 tonnes of exported metal products a month since Russia's construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait in May 2018, and restrictions on the size of ships that can pass underneath.
Cargo vessels are being delayed by up to a week, and the cranes on the dock stand idle. Larger international shipping firms have simply stopped coming.
Hundreds of jobs depend on the work here - Mariupol is Ukraine's second port - and local businesses are desperate for the blockade to be lifted. But that is not the only problem - corruption and proximity the front line create a whole host of issues. Mariupol was at the eye of the storm when Russian-backed rebels launched an armed struggle against the Ukrainian government five years ago.The airport connecting the city with the rest of the country has been shut ever since.
This programme was produced by Anna Noryskiewicz
PHOTO: The bridge from Russia to annexed Crimea opened in May and heightened tensions with Ukraine. Getty Images
Is humankind on the verge of disaster?
To follow the world's headlines these days - from fake news to murderous terror attacks, from disease pandemics to global warming - you might be forgiven for thinking the world is becoming a pretty scary place. But is it really? Harvard University cognitive psychologist and author Steven Pinker tells us that is measurably not the case. As he argues in his new book Enlightenment Now, we are in a golden age of human existence.
But, David Edmonds meets academics who are putting Pinker's ideas to the test, concluding that with climate change and overpopulation, there is a 10% chance of humans not surviving the 21st Century.
(Photo: Activist at a climate change protest in Spain. Credit: Getty Images)
The periodic table turns 150
Are chemical elements critical for the modern economy in dangerously short supply? It's a question that Justin Rowlatt poses a century and a half after the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev published the original periodic table.
Justin speaks to two chemists - Andrea Sella of University College London explains the significance of Mendeleev's scheme to the modern world, while David Cole-Hamilton talks us through an updated version of the table he has just published that highlights chemical elements that could run out within the next century unless we learn to make better use of them.
However, perhaps we don't need to worry just yet, at least not for two of those red-flagged elements. Thomas Abraham-Jones describes how he happened across the world's biggest reserve of helium in the African savannah, while Rick Short of Indium Corporation explains why the metallic element his company is named after is in abundant supply, so long as you don't mind sifting an awful lot of dirt for it.
(Picture: Manuscript of Mendeleev's first periodic system of elements; Credit: Science & Society Picture Library/SSPL/Getty Images)
As the UK parliament votes to delay Brexit beyond 29 March, businesses brace for yet more uncertainty. But will the EU even be willing to grant a delay?
Manuela Saragosa speaks to companies on both sides of the English Channel. British Barley farmer Matt Culley says he now has to plant his coming year's crop with no clue whether or how he will even be able to export his produce to breweries in Germany come harvest time.
Meanwhile Chayenne Wiskerke, who runs the world's biggest onion exporting operation from the Netherlands, expresses her exasperation that with two weeks to go, every possible outcome - from delay, to cancellation, to the UK leaving without any agreement at all - remains on the table.
But fear not says David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project at the European Centre for International Political Economy. He explains why he thinks a year's delay is the most likely outcome.
(Picture: A pro Brexit supporter holds up a placard that reads 'Just Leave' outside the Houses of Parliament; Credit: John Keeble/Getty Images)