Human rights activist and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Nadia Murad is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, is a harrowing account of the genocide against the Yazidi ethno-religious minority in Iraq and Nadia’s imprisonment by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Nadia’s peaceful life was brutally disrupted in 2014 when ISIS attacked her homeland in Sinjar with the goal of ethnically cleansing all Yazidis from Iraq. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women, in particular, have suffered greatly as victims of sexual violence. After escaping captivity, Nadia began speaking out on behalf of her community and survivors of sexual violence worldwide. In 2016, Nadia became the first United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. That year, she was also awarded the Council of Europe Václav Havel Award for Human Rights and Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In 2018, she won the Nobel Peace Prize with Dr. Denis Mukwege. Together, they founded the Global Survivors Fund. In 2019, Nadia was appointed as a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate. In this interview, I speak to human rights activist and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Nadia Murad, about how communities are destroyed in conflict, how sexual violence becomes a weapon of war, and importantly – how we can build peace, rebuild communities, and give hope for a better future.

Thought Economics

Reggie Fils-Aimé is a gaming legend. He was President & COO of Nintendo of America Inc, and from his humble childhood as the son of Haitian immigrants fleeing a dictatorship, he rose to become one of the most powerful names in the history of the gaming industry. In this capacity, he helped bring the Nintendo DS, the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch to the global marketplace. He retired in April 2019 and in October 2019 was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame. In his new book Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, Reggie tells the incredible story of his unlikely rise to the top, and shares his gameplan and leadership lessons for anyone looking to beat the odds and achieve success. In this interview, I speak to Reggie Fils-Aimé about leading successful innovation and culture. We talk about what it takes to succeed, grit, perseverance, and why relentless curiosity, taking risks, and the ability to challenge the status quo really matter.

Thought Economics

How different are the sexes? Is gender uniquely human? Where does gender identity originate?
Frans de Waal is a distinguished primatologist. He has spent nearly half a century working with and studying primates. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on primate behaviour, and the links between human and primate society. In this interview, I speak to Frans de Waal about what his near half a century of studying primate species can teach us about gender, identity, power, and ourselves. We discuss the astonishing closeness between us and our primate ancestors, and what observing primates can teach us about humanity.

Thought Economics

Gary Rosen is one of the world’s foremost celebrity and corporate publicists. Over the last 20 years, Gary has fostered excellent relationships with major Fortune 500 companies, studios, celebrities, authors, and musicians. GRC’s clients include Judge Judy Sheindlin, Presiding Judge on Judy Justice, on Amazon freevee. The company also handles CBS Media Ventures’ Hot Bench, the syndicated courtroom hit. GRC repped CBS’s Judge Judy, which wrapped a historic 25 year-run as one of the most successful programs in the history of television. The company also served as the spokesperson and oversaw publicity for NBC Universal’s Maury, hosted by Maury Povich; The Jerry Springer Show; The Steve Wilkos Show, and The John Walsh Show. Additionally, Gary Rosen has generated publicity for more than 25 national television shows including Extra, The People’s Court, The Montel Williams Show, Hard Copy, Geraldo, Leeza, A Current Affair, Real TV, and The Joan Rivers Show. Rosen lectures about public relations and the entertainment industry at UCLA, NYU, and Fordham University. In this interview, I speak to Gary Rosen, Founder & CEO of Gary Rosen Communications (GRC). We talk about the power of good communication, how to handle a crisis, and what he has learned from representing some of the world’s most recognised celebrities and brands.

Thought Economics

Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control. Often, we think that successful people—and successful companies and organizations—are simply luckier than the rest of us. Good fortune—serendipity—just seems to happen to them. Is that true? Or are some people better at creating the conditions for coincidences to arise and taking advantage of them when they do? How can we connect the dots of seemingly random events to improve our lives? In The Serendipity Mindset, Dr. Christian Busch explains that serendipity isn’t about luck in the sense of simple randomness. It’s about seeing links that others don’t, combining these observations in unexpected and strategic ways, and learning how to detect the moments when apparently random or unconnected ideas merge to form new opportunities. Busch explores serendipity from a rational and scientific perspective and argues that there are identifiable approaches we can use to foster the conditions to let serendipity grow. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Christian Busch about serendipity, how it works, and how we can all train our own serendipity ‘muscle’ to turn the unexpected into opportunity. Once we understand serendipity, Busch says, we become curators of it, and luck becomes something that no longer just happens to us—it becomes a force that we can grasp, shape, and hone. Busch’s serendipity mindset offers a clear blueprint for how we can cultivate serendipity to increase innovation, influence, and opportunity in every aspect of our lives.

Thought Economics

Alan Murray is CEO of Fortune Media. Fortune Media Group are a multinational company that publishes Fortune magazine, Fortune.com and other business media including the Global Forum, Most Powerful Women and Brainstorm conference. Alan has spent four decades at the forefront of business journalism, getting to know the most influential businesses and business leaders on the planet. In this interview, I speak to Alan Murray about the origins and meaning of stakeholder capitalism. We look at how businesses are activating and helping to solve, some of the greatest challenges our world faces from climate to inequality.  We look at why businesses need to engage with broader stakeholder groups, the business case for it, and how tomorrow’s corporate leaders will need fundamentally different skills than today.

Thought Economics

Inauthenticity is a uniquely 21st century issue, which has become an increasing part of society on every level – from governments and big tech, down to our everyday purchases. It seems like there’s never a week without a media storm about some aspect of authenticity, and we are fascinated by it – from NFTs to Barnard Castle and ‘Partygate’ lies, to Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler, and of course most recently the propaganda used to justify Russia’s war in Ukraine. The lines between reality and illusion are increasingly blurred; the need to distinguish between the two is an urgent daily challenge. Alice Sherwood is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London and a director of an open-source intelligence company, Alice spent 5 years extensively researching the subject, culminating in the witty, timely, and insightful new book, Authenticity: Reclaiming Reality in a Counterfeit Culture. In this interview, I speak to Alice Sherwood about what authenticity means, why our culture has become so obsessed with authenticity, impostor syndrome, the dangers of authentic leadership, and how we truly can be more authentic in our lives.

Thought Economics

Benjamin Sledge is a wounded combat veteran with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving most of his time under Special Operations (Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command). He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and two Army Commendation Medals for his actions overseas. He was at the front line of some of the deadliest battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, served in Special Operations Command, on the Pakistan border after September 11, and eventually in the deadliest city battle of the Iraq War, Ramadi. In this interview, I speak to Benjamin Sledge about the realities of war, how soldiers prepare for combat, and what war reveals about the best, and worst, of humanity. In this conversation, Sledge reveals an unflinchingly honest portrait of war that few dare to tell.

Thought Economics

Frédéric Gassita is a Gabonese pianist, composer, and record producer best known for his musical work combining jazz, classical music, and African music. He was the third African student admitted to Berklee College of Music and the first Gabonese. Gassita is a founding member and president of the African Music Institute in Libreville. Gassita has recorded six orchestral music albums. The double album “Frédéric Gassita With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” includes pieces from his opuses released between 2004 and 2008, which were rearranged for the new release. “Symphonic Visions From Gabon”, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, also a double album, incorporates African music influences. In this interview, I speak to Frédéric Gassita about the deep connection we have with music, the power of African rhythms, the beauty of connecting genres, and what music does for us.

Thought Economics

It’s easy to overlook the underlying strategic forces of war, to see it solely as a series of errors, accidents, and emotions gone awry. It’s also easy to forget that war shouldn’t happen—and most of the time it doesn’t. Around the world, there are millions of hostile rivalries, yet only a fraction erupt into violence, a fact too many accounts overlook. Christopher Blattman is the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at the University of Chicago. He is co-lead the university’s Development Economics Center and the Obama Foundation Scholars Program. In his new book, Why We Fight, Christopher Blattman reminds us that most rivals loathe one another in peace. War is too costly to fight, so enemies almost always find it better to split the pie than spoil it for everyone or struggle over thin slices. In those rare instances when fighting ensues, we should ask: What kept rivals from compromise? He combines decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to lay out the root causes and remedies for war, showing that violence is not the norm; that there are only five reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers turn the tides through tinkering, not transformation. In this interview, I speak to Professor Christopher Blattman about why we fight, the root causes of war, and how we can effectively move to peace. We talk about how to build resilient societies, how best to detect fragility, and the remedies that shift incentives away from violence and get parties back to dealmaking.

Thought Economics

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