Prof. Vikas Shah MBE Interviews the world's leading thinkers, and the people shaping the century.

A Conversation with Slack Co-Founder, Stewart Butterfield

Slack launched in 2014 and has become the fastest growing business application in history- allowing millions of people in tens of thousands of organisations around the world to get work done. I caught up with Slack Co-Founder, Stewart Butterfield to learn more about his entrepreneurship journey, and the changing global workplace.

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A Conversation with Alfred Lin, Partner, Sequoia Capital

My conversation with Alfred Lin, Partner at Sequoia Capital- who have partnered early and at every stage of growth with the founders of companies that now have an aggregate, public market value of over $3.3 trillion.  Some of the firm’s most successful investments have been Apple, Google, Oracle, PayPal, Stripe, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo! and WhatsApp.

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A Conversation with Sheryl Sandberg on Resilience

Sheryl Sandberg is a remarkable person.  Alongside leading a $500 billion business, with 24,000 employees and 2 billion monthly active users, she has mobilised millions of women around the world to achieve their ambitions and fight for a more gender equal society.  Sheryl’s own story of resilience came to light following the sudden death of her husband in 2015, and her subsequent journey to recover, rebound and flourish again. Sheryl is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, Founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org and I caught up with her to learn about resilience.

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Understanding Democracy

In these exclusive interviews we speak to Jüri Ratas (Prime Minister of Estonia), Guy Verhofstadt (Former Prime Minister, Belgium & EU Chief Brexit Negotiator), Vicente Fox Quesada (Former President of Mexico), Noam Chomsky (Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who – with over 150 books published – is regarded as ‘one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today’), Alastair Campbell (Communicator, Writer and Strategist), Glenn Greenwald (Multi Award Winning Journalist, Constitutional Lawyer and Author), Lawrence “Larry” Lessig (Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School), Professor Yanis Varoufakis (Economist and Former Minister of Finance of Greece), Professor A. C. Grayling (philosopher, thinker, author and educator; Master of the New College of the Humanities, Matthew d’Ancona (Journalist & Broadcaster) and Congressman Ted Lieu (Representing California’s 33rd District).  We discuss the state and future of democracy around the world, together with the role that government, corporations and the media play in shaping our lives.  We also look at the global war on terror, globalisation, populism, and the forces changing our world.

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Entrepreneurship

In this exclusive interview series, we speak to some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs: Sir Richard Branson (Founder of Virgin Group), Robin Li (Founder of Baidu), Sir James Dyson (Founder of Dyson), Professor Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Grameen Bank), Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Founder of Biocon), N. R. Narayana Murthy (Founder of Infosys) Tim Draper (Founding Partner, Draper Associates and DFJ), Jamal Edwards MBE (Founder, SBTV), Nathan Myhrvold (Founder & CEO, Intellectual Ventures), Wendy Kopp (CEO & Co-Founder, Teach For All), Tory Burch (Chairman & CEO, Tory Burch), Steve Case (Co-Founder,  America Online – AOL &  Revolution), Jerry Yang (Co-Founder, Yahoo!), Tony O. Elumelu (Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation), Dave McClure (Founder, 500 Startups), David Cohen (Co-Founder, Techstars), Ricardo Salinas (Founder & Chairman, Grupo Salinas),Vladimir Potanin (Founder & President, Interros), Gary Vaynerchuk (Founder, VaynerMedia), Troy Carter (Founder & CEO, Atom Factory), Dr. Michael Otto (Chairman, Otto Group), Jack Welch (Former CEO of GE and Executive Chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute), Naveen Jain (Founder of InfoSpace, Intelius, Moon Express and Blue dot), Weili Dai (Co-Founder, Marvell Technology Group), Steve Ballmer (Co-Chair of Ballmer Group & Owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA Basketball Team), will.i.am  (Entrepreneur, Entertainer and Innovator), Donna Karan (Founder of DKNY and Urban Zen)Laurence Graff OBE (Founder & Chairman, Graff Diamonds), John Caudwell (Entrepreneur & Philanthropist), Dr. Frederik Paulsen, JR (Chairman, Ferring Pharmaceuticals), Thor Björgólfsson (Founding Chairman, Novator), Kanya King MBE (Founder, MOBO Organisation), Dennis Crowley (Co-Founder, Foursquare), Kevin O’Leary (Shark Tank), John Sculley (CEO of Apple from 1983-1993), Alfred Lin (Partner, Sequoia Capital & Former Chairman, Zappos) and Stewart Butterfield (Co-Founder, SLACK). We look at the characteristics of great entrepreneurs, how some of the world’s most successful companies have succeeded, and discuss wealth, philanthropy and the realities of business in a global economy.

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A Conversation with Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary

Since 2009, entrepreneurs have raised investment capital of over $70 million after entering the shark tank. Kevin O’Leary is a Canadian-Irish serial-entrepreneur and investor who has been a shark since series 1 first aired.  I caught up with him to learn about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

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A Conversation with the First Astronaut to Paint in Space, Nicole Stott.

Nicole Stott is an artist, and an astronaut.  She is a veteran of 2 spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS).  Nicole is also the first astronaut to paint in space, and I spoke with her to learn more about the art she found from 400km in the sky. 

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America & The Gun: A Conversation with Nicholas Kristof

The United States of America, home to 323 million people, and 300 million guns.  To put that another way, with less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States is home to roughly 50% of the entire world’s civilian-owned guns. Nicholas Kristof is a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist who has covered US gun violence extensively; and I caught up with him to learn more about the relationship between the United States, and its guns.

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A Conversation with San Francisco Mayor, Edwin M. Lee

San Francisco stands out, not just for its economic and cultural success story; but for the way it is approaching resilience, sustainability and dealing with the challenges every modern, globalised region is feeling.  To learn more about the past, present and future of San Francisco I spoke to Edwin Lee, the 43rd Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco.

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On Diversity: A Conversation with June Sarpong, MBE

June Sarpong, MBE has spent over 20-years at the forefront of broadcasting in the UK and USA.  She has also become a fierce advocate for diversity and equality, working extensively with HRH Price Charles as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, and as Co-Founder of WIE Network (Women: Inspiration & Enterprise) which has drawn partners and speakers including Melinda Gates, Arianna Huffington, Queen Rania and Nancy Pelosi.  Her recent book and campaign, Diversify ” …examines the research behind diversity and discrimination while grounding them in personal narratives, highlighting our common humanity.” (Kofi Annan) and I caught up with June to learn more about why we must all fight for a more diverse world.

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