VPRO‘s weekly, 50-minute, Future Affairs- program, balances on the edge of storytelling and journalism. It focuses on our globalized world in which societies, economies and cultures seek a new equilibrium. Backlight aims to grasp the quintessence of prominent trends and developments.


  • The Bitcoin Gospel

    The Bitcoin Gospel

    10-nov-2015 11:14:44

    Is bitcoin the blueprint for a bankless currency, or a succesful hype?

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  • The Smart State

    The Smart State

    10-nov-2015 10:54:42

    We think new technology is developed by hip companies like Google and Apple. But is this true?

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  • TTIP: Might is Right

    TTIP: Might is Right

    20-okt-2015 11:53:12

    The proposed free trade agreement between the US and Europe (TTIP) causes concern about the European right to self-determination. The most controversial part of TTIP is ISDS: investor-state dispute settlement. ISDS will make it possible for companies to sue governments that damage their investments. But is this arbitrage system where a few investment lawyers decide over billions of taxpayers money a protection of our business interests, or a threat to our democracy?

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  • Branding Europe

    Branding Europe

    20-okt-2015 11:31:06

    There is an increasing urgency for Europe to restate its raison d'être. A clear and emotional story about what we are and what that is worth to us.

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  • Greece for sale

    Greece for sale

    20-okt-2015 10:47:03

    Now that a Grexit seems to have been averted, and the strictest cutbacks ever have been announced, Greece is entering a new chapter. The welfare state is dismantled even further and all state property is weighed and sold. What dangers are lurking, and how will the Greek sellout change the country?

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  • Who owns football

    Who owns football

    20-okt-2015 10:42:58

    The battle against inequality has started. Not in an Occupy square this time, but on the football field, where supporters massively start to object to their clubs being taken over.

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  • Zero Days

    Zero Days

    14-jul-2015 15:07:24

    There is new gold to be found on the internet, and possibly in your own computer. Secret backdoors, that do not have a digital lock yet, are being traded at astronomical amounts.

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  • The Human Robot

    The Human Robot

    15-jun-2015 16:35:20

    In this VPRO Backlight story director Rob van Hattum investigates the frameworks that determine the boundaries of how we see smart and social robots.

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  • Money for free

    Money for free

    15-jun-2015 16:28:52

    Around the globe, experiments are conducted with alternatives for the existing social security system that has become stuck. In many places and using many different methods they are experimenting with handing out free money.

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  • E-stonia - A startup country

    E-stonia - A startup country

    12-jun-2015 16:05:41

    In the very north-east of Europe, on the border of Russia, lies the small country of Estonia. Per capita, Estonia has the most start-ups; internet access is considered a human right and all Estonians have free wifi.

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  • The new wisdom of Ricardo Semler

    The new wisdom of Ricardo Semler

    12-jun-2015 15:56:44

    We are smarter than ever, but have we also grown wiser? According to Ricardo Semler, the Brazilian top entrepreneur and philosopher who became immensely rich by making his employees happy, our economy has gone completely off the rails and capitalism has failed to create equality anywhere, ever.

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  • Mobile Gold

    Mobile Gold

    12-jun-2015 15:50:38

    Our waste is worth money. Recovering it has started up a new global industry worth billions. It is called Urban Mining and it appears to be the solution for many of our environmental problems and our energy needs. And it is hot.

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  • Digital Food

    Digital Food

    12-jun-2015 15:43:52

    Modern food production is largely dependent on fossil fuels. Now that we are beginning to reach the end of them, the main question remains: How will we feed a global population of 9 billion people in 2050?

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  • Access to Africa

    Access to Africa

    12-jun-2015 15:35:39

    The urge of technological giants to connect everyone and everything literally has no limits. Africa is joining the traffic on the digital highway.

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  • Cybertopia


    25-jan-2015 13:37:00

    What is the vision of cyber-utopists in Silicon Valley? They are responsible for a revolution that shapes our lives on all levels. A portrait from Cybertopia.

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  • Changemakers


    18-jan-2015 13:48:26

    The rockstar of this time writes intellectual books. French enonomist Thomas Piketty and Canadian social activist Naomi Klein travel around the world as super stars to spread their ideas.

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  • Digital Amnesia

    Digital Amnesia

    This episode can only be watched outside The Netherlands

    7-sep-2014 10:35:51

    Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that reads 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable.

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  • Wall Street Code

    Wall Street Code

    A thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street

    4-nov-2013 20:03:49

    From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street. Could mankind lose control of this increasingly complex system?

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  • The Tax Free Tour

    The Tax Free Tour

    25-mrt-2013 18:05:43

    "Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?" Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman ('Quants' & 'Money & Speed'), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.

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  • Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box

    Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box

    20-mrt-2013 17:16:10

    Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box is a thriller based on actual events that takes you to the heart of our automated world. Based on interviews with those directly involved and data visualizations up to the millisecond, it reconstructs the flash crash of May 6th 2010: the fastest and deepest U.S. stock market plunge ever.

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