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

I have spoken at a few conferences lately where I’ve noticed entrepreneurs focus completely on the ‘social good’ of their business, as opposed to the ‘old school’ factor of making money. Now… I’m going to start this piece with a huge caveat.  I am a huge advocate for social-enterprise, charity,…

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview series, we talk to: Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Leslee Udwin (Director of ‘India’s Daughter’ and Founder of Think Equal), Sheryl WuDunn (Co-Founder, Half the Sky Movement), Dr. Anne Summers (Feminist, Author), Professor Michael Kimmel (Founder, Men & Masculinities), Amy Richards (Founder, Third Wave Foundation & Soap Box Inc), Natasha Walter (Director, Women for Refugee Women), Professor Naila Kabeer (Professor of Gender and Development at the LSE Gender Institute), Laura Bates (Founder, Everyday Sexism), Dr. Dubravka Šimonović (UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women), Jessica Valenti (Feminist, Author) and Inna Shevchenko (Leader, FEMEN).  We discuss the realities faced by women around the world, together with the subversion of women’s rights, and look at issues ranging from education, to global conflict, economics, health and policy.  We discuss differences in women’s challenges between the developed and developing world, and look at possible solutions for this malignancy in our societal structure.

Thought Economics

Authenticity is one of the most commonly uttered buzz-phrases at any management or leadership seminar, and while this ubiquity may banish it to the realms of ‘blue sky thinking’ (aka management-meeting-related-drivel), the truth is that authenticity is hugely important for entrepreneurs. A Philosophy Lesson In the classics, if we examine…

Thought Economics

We’ve all seen the TV shows… Nervous start-ups go up against a panel of investors, giving their elevator-pitch followed- almost instantaneously- by a round of severe grilling.  The lucky few survive, with more cash, less equity and hopefully a brighter future. The phenomenon of ‘the pitch’ however, once exclusively the…

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Jeff Raikes (Founder, Raikes Foundation and former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Eli Broad (Founder of the Broad Foundations), Sir Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group), Anousheh Ansari (Trustee of the X Prize Foundation, and title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize), John Paul Dejoria (Philanthropist and Entrepreneur, Founder of Paul Mitchell and The Patrón Spirits Company), Craig Newmark (Founder, craigslist and craigconnects), Michael Holthouse (Entrepreneur & Founder of  Holthouse Foundation for Kids & Lemonade Day), Robert Tjian (President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller (Chair, Wellcome Trust), Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. (President, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation), Jacquelline Fuller (Director, Google.org) and Darren Walker (President, Ford Foundation).  We discuss the fundamental nature of charity and philanthropy- looking at why these phenomena exist together with their role and impact on society. We also talk about their individual journeys in philanthropy, and how their organisations are aiming to tackle some of society’s greatest problems.

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we talk to Professor Neil Turok (Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and member of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council), Professor Gerry Gilmore (Professor of Experimental Philosophy, in the Institute of Astronomy, at the University of Cambridge) and Professor Adam Riess (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist, Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences). We discuss some of the most fundamental questions about the origins of life, the universe, and look at some of the profound ways in which physics could be about to change our world.

Thought Economics

It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, how driven you are, how much money you have to invest or even what your track record is; your next venture, deal or project will only be as good as the people involved. For many, ‘networking’ conjures up images of awkward forced…

Thought Economics

“Growing up in Los Angeles at the age of two it was just my mother, brother and I.” John Paul Dejoria told me, “We had very little but didn’t know it. We had a very loving mother. At 6 years old, my mom took my brother and I downtown for…

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE (Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace), Prof. Yuval Noah Harari (Author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind) and Dr. Carl Safina (Prize-winning author, ecologist and MacArthur Fellow).  We look at the fundamental nature of humanity, how our species has grown to become dominant, and what the future holds for mankind.

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Russell Simmons (Co-Founder of Def Jam, Chairman & CEO of Rush Communications – described by USA Today as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years”) and Tricia Rose (Professor of Africana Studies and Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University). We discuss the story of hip-hop, its growth into a global phenomenon and how hip-hop reflects the extreme social realities of urban culture globally.

Thought Economics

When I’m mentoring or consulting with entrepreneurs, I’m always intrigued by what they’re reading… Why? It gives me a great indication of where they’re getting their inspiration from; and I’ve noticed a real change in the past few years.. The Cult of the Business Book! A passing examination of the…

Thought Economics

In diverse industries from banking to entrepreneurship and medicine to engineering, it’s no accident that those who excel share the sports analogy of being, ‘at the top of their game.’   The world is so constantly-on, so global, and so demanding- that those with an eye on the pinnacles of their…

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview series, we talk to Jaan Tallinn (Co-Founder of Skype and Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk), Professor Sir John Beddington (Senior Advisor, Oxford Martin School & the UK Government’s former Chief Scientific Adviser) and Sir Crispin Tickell (former diplomat and advisor to successive UK Prime Ministers, who is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on climate change and environmental issues).  We tackle the question of how vulnerable our species really is and explore threats ranging from climate change and natural disasters to food, energy and water security, technology, artificial intelligence, near earth objects and the biggest threat to humanity… humans themselves.

Thought Economics

In this article, we exclusively talk to four of the world’s leading experts on Justice. The Rt. Hon Lord Woolf of Barnes (Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2000-2005), Susan Herman (President of the American Civil Liberties Union ‘ACLU’), Professor David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression) and Widney Brown (Director, Physicians for Human Rights). We look at the very concept of justice itself, and explore issues ranging from the concept of democracy itself to free speech, civil liberties, war and terrorism, human rights, social justice and more.

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews we speak to Col. Artur Suzik (Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, NATO CCD COE), Ambassador Gábor Iklódy (Director of Europe’s Crisis Management and Planning Directorate), Professor Sadie Creese (Professor of Cybersecurity at Oxford University and Director of the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building at the Oxford Martin School) and Professor Howard Schmidt (Partner at Ridge Schmidt Cyber and Former Cyber Advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush). We discuss the threats posed to nations, their economies and societies from the internet and networks that form cyberspace.

Thought Economics

Our Quest for Immortality – In this exclusive interview series, we speak to Prof. Jack Szostak (Nobel Prize winning Geneticist), Dmitry Itskov (billionaire founder of the 2045 Initiative), Aubrey de Grey (Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation), Prof. Ezekiel Emanuel (Bioethicist and Fellow at the Centre for American Progress) and Prof. George Church (Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School). We discuss the fundamental essence of life itself, why we die, research into extending lifespans, and whether we will ever overcome our mortality.

Thought Economics

In a world dominated by the information economy, it’s perhaps easy to assume that ‘unicorns’ (businesses that achieve that elusive billion dollar valuation) can only be found in the realm of apps, software and platforms. The truth however, is that the economy of things (engineering, manufacturing and production) is very…

Thought Economics

For many entrepreneurs, the billion dollar valuation or exit, is the non-negotiable target they set for themselves. As of 2015, there are just over 1,800 (known) dollar billionaires in the world, with a combined wealth of over $7 trillion-which is growing fast (the same list had a combined wealth of…

Thought Economics

Outside the [wonderful] ‘bubble’ of the creative industries, businesses often see ‘design’ as a cost, as something that the marketing department does in between espressos and yoga. The truth however, is that the vast majority (if not all) of the most successful businesses I have ever seen place design thinking at the head-table of conceptual pillars for their enterprise; alongside financial and strategic.

Thought Economics

My first business was a very successful digital agency and consultancy, it gave me almost a decade-long adventure, taking me around the world and enjoying the thrill of being on top of my game, it was my life. The .com crash however, slaughtered this business in spectacular fashion- and once…

Thought Economics

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