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

In 2009, Kickstarter was born from a singular mission to help bring creative projects to life.  Since then, 18.4 million people have collectively pledged over $5.23 billion into more than 186,000 projects. The Kickstarter mission extends to the very fabric of how the business is structured. In 2015, they became a Public Benefit Corporation (a for-profit company that prioritizes positive outcomes for society as much as their shareholders). Perry Chen is the creator and principal founder of Kickstarter. In this exclusive interview, we talk about the connection between arts & entrepreneurship, and the story of Kickstarter.

Thought Economics

Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a Deputy Under Secretary of State. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Prof. Nye on the changing dynamics of power in our world.

Thought Economics

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has led an incredible career in diplomacy, peacebuilding and human rights. He was the UN human rights chief from 2014-2018, was awarded the Stockholm prize for human rights in 2015 and the Tulip prize in 2018.  In January 2014, he served as president of the UN Security Council. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein about human rights, the role of diplomacy in our world, and why we so urgently need the tools of diplomacy and peacebuilding in our world right now.

Thought Economics

Professor Gary Hamel is one of the world’s most influential and iconoclastic business thinkers. He has been on the faculty of the London Business School for more than 30 years and is the director of the Management Lab. Hamel has written 17 articles for the Harvard Business Review and is the most reprinted author in the Review’s history. His landmark books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Fortune magazine describes Hamel as “the world’s leading expert on business strategy,” and the Financial Times calls him a “management innovator without peer.” Hamel has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker and is a fellow of the Strategic Management Society and of the World Economic Forum. For over a decade, Gary has been researching how bureaucracy can be replaced by something better. In his forthcoming book Humanocracy, he lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings within them… organizations that are anchored around motivation, models, mindsets, mobilization and migration. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Gary Hamel about how we can dismantle the bureaucracy of the industrial age and replace it humanocracy – a management system fit for the future and fit for human beings.

Thought Economics

Hailed as a “modern day musical genius” by The Line of Best Fit, internationally renowned composer, pianist, producer and collaborator, Max Richter is one of today’s most influential artists. Through his ground-breaking works, captivating recordings and innovative performances, he has forged new paths in contemporary music and culture – garnering awards, critical acclaim and surpassing a billion streams and a million album sales. Richter’s distinct melodic language has allowed him to hold a series of bold, emotive and thought-provoking musical discussions. The latest of these is Voices­ – reacting to the political and social upheaval that has rippled through many societies around the globe over the past decade – a unique musical space in which to examine, question, absorb and meditate on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Max Richter about his music, and how the power of music can help educate us, and change the world.

Thought Economics

Baroness Ruth Hunt was the Chief Executive of Stonewall; the UK’s largest charity campaigning to improve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In her fourteen years with the organisation, she worked with more than 700 organisations in the UK and globally, as well as with schools, grassroots campaigners, and senior government Ministers, and led high profile, impactful campaigns. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Ruth Hunt about the realities of discrimination against LGBT+ communities, and what we can do to move the needle forward, towards a more equitable and just society.

Thought Economics

Peter Tatchell is one of the most significant human rights, democracy, LGBT+ freedom and global justice campaigners of our generation. For over 50 years he has been campaigning for LGBT+ and other human rights an is currently the director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.  He has been described as “…a national hero” by the Sunday Times and “…a civil rights campaigner we can all applaud” by the Sunday Telegraph. In 2009, he co-proposed a UN Global Human Rights Index, to measure and rank the human rights record of every country – with the aim of creating a human rights league table to highlight the best and worst countries and thereby incentivise governments to clean up their record and improve their human rights ranking. He has proposed an internationally-binding UN Human Rights Convention enforceable through both national courts and the International Criminal Court; a permanent rapid-reaction UN peace-keeping force with the authority to intervene to stop genocide and war crimes; and a global agreement to cut military spending by 10 percent to fund the eradication of hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and homelessness in the developing world. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Peter Tatchell about the injustices faced by the LGBT+ community, why it’s important to take a human rights approach to justice, and how we can move the needle forward on LGBT+ rights.

Thought Economics

Dexter Dias QC is an award-winning international human rights lawyer who has acted in some of the most high-profile cases in recent years involving freedom of expression, murder, crimes against humanity, terrorism, FGM and genocide.  He is a prize-winning scholar of Cambridge University, where he remains a Visiting Researcher, and was recently Visiting Fellow at Harvard.  His bestselling book The Ten Types of Human is based on his research into the interface between human rights and human psychology.  He was chief author of a report to Parliament that helped change the law on FGM to better safeguard thousands of at-risk girls in the UK.  He is Special Adviser on human rights to UNICEF UK, and Chair of the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.  He is advising the UN on a global social justice project around Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality, and is co-presenter and co-creator of The 100 Types of Human podcast. Twitter: @DexterDiasQC. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Dexter about the concept of race, and the reality of racism in our society.

Thought Economics

Sophia Amoruso is the Founder of Girlboss, a professional network for ambitious women. Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller #GIRLBOSS, which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2017. Sophia is also the author of Nasty Galaxy and the Girlboss Workbook. She has been featured on the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company Most Creative People in Business lists, and named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women, covering its June 2016 issue. In this exclusive interview I speak to Sophia about her journey in scale-up entrepreneurship, building resilience, and redefining success.

Thought Economics

Afua Hirsch is a former barrister, journalist and documentary maker. Her current projects include a 6-part series with Samuel L Jackson, a major BBC series about African art, and another about whiteness and an Audible original series We Need to Talk About The British Empire. She regularly writes, reports and speaks on international current affairs, and has published two bestselling books, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, and Equal To Everything, about the UK Supreme Court. Afua was a judge on last year’s Booker Prize and is currently the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Afua Hirsch on race, identity and empire. 

Thought Economics

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