The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication - Swift - solved some big problems with international financial transfers, making them more secure and reliable than ever before. However, as Tim Harford explains, the global political climate means it might now be facing its greatest challenge.
Josiah Wedgwood is arguably the best-known name in the history of pottery - but it's not just his pots that made their mark on history. Tim Harford explains how a business model Wedgwood devised in the 18th Century still underpins the modern fashion industry.
Spectacles have been around for centuries, and have a huge impact on many people's quality of life. So why is it estimated that more than two billion people aren't aware that they need them? Tim Harford considers the difference that seeing clearly makes to the world.
In 1952, economist William Vickrey devised an innovative system of turnstiles to help solve a major problem on New York’s subway network. It never became a reality, but, as Tim Harford explains, the idea behind it has had a major influence on how companies decide what to charge us for goods and services today.
How dependent is the world on GPS - and what would happen if it stopped working? Tim Harford explains why it's not just our ability to navigate that would be affected.