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

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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The Role of Art & Design in Humanity’s Story.

In these exclusive interviews, we talk to two Philippe Starck and Olafur Eliasson, two of the world’s most prominent artists, designers and innovators. We explore the very fundamentals of why we design, why we make art and explore the relationship of art and design to our culture, economy, society and experience of the world.

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On Mental Health & Cities – A Conversation with The First Lady of NYC, Chirlane McCray

In 2015, New York City announced an unprecedented commitment to create a mental health system that works for all the city’s residents, and a commitment to empower citizens’ mental health and well-being.  This initiative was titled to match its desired outcome: ThriveNYC. To learn more about how New York City is empowering the mental health of its citizens, and becoming an international leader in creating a mental health friendly city, I spoke with theFirst Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray.

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A Conversation with Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street.

My conversation with Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street who- in the 1990’s – built one of the most dynamic and successful sales organizations in Wall Street history. During that time, he soared to the highest financial heights, earning over $50 million a year, a feat that coined him the name “The Wolf of Wall Street.” As the owner of Stratton Oakmont, Belfort employed over 1,000 stockbrokers and raised over $1.5 billion and started more than 30 million-dollar-companies from scratch. Along the way, he succumbed to some of the traps of the high-flying Wall Street lifestyle, going through a spectacular—and well-publicized—fall from grace. Taking invaluable lessons from the mistakes he made and the prices he paid, he has re-emerged as a globally recognized potent force behind extraordinary business success.

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David Blaine: The Magic of Making the Impossible, Real.

My interview with David Blaine, described as “…the greatest magician who ever lived” and has performed endurance feats ranging from being entombed in a plastic box between a three-ton water tank for seven days with no food and little water to encasing himself in a block of ice for almost three days, holding his breath for over 17 minutes, and receiving over one million volts of electricity through his body- continuously- for 72 hours from seven Tesla coils.

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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) and John Sculley (CEO of Apple from 1983-1993).  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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The Role of Music in Human Culture

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Moby (Multi Award Winning International Recording Artist, DJ and Photographer), Hans Zimmer (International Award Winning composer and music producer who has composed music for over 100 films), Rita Ora (multi award winning singer & actress), and Rusty Rueff (Chairman Emeritus of The GRAMMY Foundation).  We discuss the fundamental question of ‘what’ music is and the role of music in human culture.  We also explore the business of music, and how technology has impacted the production and consumption of music around the world.  Digging deeper, we discuss the secrets of what makes a great piece of music and look at why music is fundamental to our very experience of being human.

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