Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris spent three years as a Google Design Ethicist developing a framework for how technology should “ethically” steer the thoughts and actions of billions of people from screens. He is now co-founder & president of the Center for Humane Technology, whose mission is to reverse ‘human downgrading’ and re-align technology with humanity. Additionally, he is co-host of the Center for Humane Technology’s Your Undivided Attention podcast with co-founder Aza Raskin. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce notes that, “Tristan Harris is probably the strongest voice in technology pointing where the industry needs to go. This is a call to arms and everyone needs to hear him now.” In this exclusive interview I spoke to Tristan Harris about how the technologies of social media and the smartphone are destroying our society, and what we can do to pull it back from the brink.

Thought Economics

Jaron Lanier is a renaissance man, and one of the most profoundly important thinkers of our age on the relationship of technology to humanity. He is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. He has been on the cusp of technological innovation from its infancy to the present. A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, and led teams originating VR applications for medicine, design, and numerous other fields. Officially, Jaron is Microsoft’s “Octopus”, which stands for Office of the Chief Technology Officer Prime Unifying Scientist.. He was a founder or principal of startups that were acquired by Google, Adobe, Oracle, and Pfizer. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jaron Lanier about the very essence of the relationship between technology and humanity, and why we need to evaluate the ethics of our platforms and our relationship to social media.

Thought Economics

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt is one of the world’s foremost computer scientists. He is chairman of the Open Data Institute which he co-founded with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence and was one of the originators of the interdisciplinary field of web science. He is Principal of Jesus College Oxford, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and a visiting Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Sir Nigel about open data and artificial intelligence are transforming humanity.

Thought Economics

The philosophy of science has sought to introduce order into the chaos of existence by replacing supernatural and mystical with reason, logic and frameworks. Like most of our progress as a species- this isn’t a smooth curve, but unpredictable leaps forward in our knowledge that create platforms from which humanity can never go back. Quantum mechanics represents one of those fundamental leaps; a change in our understanding of everything that will have far reaching implications ranging from the future of technology, to the very understanding of who we are. In these exclusive interviews I speak to Sean Carroll (Research Professor of Physics at Caltech and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute), Jim Al-Khalili (University of Surrey Distinguished Chair, Professor of Physics and Public Engagement in Science), Brian Greene (Professor of Physics & Mathematics at Columbia University) and Carlo Rovelli (Director of the quantum gravity group of the Centre de Physique Théorique (CPT) of the Aix-Marseille University)

Thought Economics

Steven Pinker (Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard) is a remarkable thinker. He is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” In this exclusive interview, I speak to Steven Pinker about the ideas contained within his most recent book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – which has been described by Bill Gates as ‘my new favourite book of all time…’

Thought Economics

Formula One (F1) racing is an incredible sport.  Some of the brightest minds in the world of engineering and human performance, equipped with multi-billion-dollar budgets, create staggeringly high-performance cars, run by similarly high-performance teams and drivers.  Nico Rosberg raced in Formula One for eleven years, claiming the title of World Champion in 2016 with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.  Since then, Rosberg has embarked on a career as an entrepreneur and investor in green technologies and mobility.  He is an early investor in numerous successful start-ups including Lilum, What3Words, Tier, Lyft and Formula E.  He is also co-owner of mobility engineering company TRE, and Co-Founder of the GREENTECH FESTIVAL; a global platform for cutting-edge green technologies.  In 2020, he became an official judge of the TV show Die Höhle der Löwen (the German edition of the BBCs Dragon’s Den) with the aim of investing-in and supporting sustainable startups. In this exclusive interview, I caught up with Nico Rosberg to learn about his life in F1, entrepreneurship and investment.

Thought Economics

To learn more about the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic, and to learn more about what we can do now, and in the future, to respond to virus outbreaks, and pandemics, I spoke to the world’s foremost experts: Professor John Oxford (The UK’s top expert on influenza and Emeritus Professor of Virology at the University of London), Professor Christian Bréchot (Professor at the University of South Florida & President of the Global Virus Network), Professor Harish Nair (Professor & leader of Respiratory Viral Epidemiology research programme, University of Edinburgh), Dr. Roberto Consentini is Emergency Medicine Chief of the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Professor Michael T. Osterholm (Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy CIDRAP), Gideon Lichfield (Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review), Yonden Lhatoo (Chief News Editor, South China Morning Post, in a personal capacity), Trish Greenhalgh (Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford), Matt Strauss (Former Medical Director of Critical Care at Guelph Hospital, Canada & Asst. Professor at Queens University), Dr. Zaher Sahloul (President of MedGlobal & Critical Care Doctor) and Vincent Racaniello (Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University).

Thought Economics

Martin E. Hellman is a remarkable man.  He is perhaps best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography- the technology which (amongst other uses) enables secure internet transactions and is used to transfer trillions of dollars each day.   His work has been recognised by numerous honours including his election to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and most recently- receiving the 2015 ACM Turing Award, the most prestigious honour In computer science. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Professor Hellman on how, as our capabilities accelerate, our society must approach the ethics of technology.

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut and the first person to tweet from space. Mike is one of the most accomplished astronauts of the US space program, a best selling author, Professor of Engineering at Columbia University and Senior Adviser for Space Programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Thought Economics

To understand more about the exponential changes affecting our culture, economy and society; I spoke to entrepreneur, author and thought leader, Peter H. Diamandis – Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, Executive Founder of Singularity University  and Co-Founder of BOLD Capital Partners.  Peter was recently named by Fortune as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” and is one of the world’s foremost experts on technology and change – a topic he covers in his recent book, The Future is Faster Than You Think.

Thought Economics

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