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

Forming a board or similarly high-level leadership team is an inevitable part of your entrepreneurship journey. Often it can happen organically, as part of the normal growth of your business- or sometimes, particularly in the case of businesses attracting external investment, it can be something which is done early- before…

Thought Economics

How Creativity, Animation and Stories define us. In these exclusive interviews we speak to Ed Catmull (Co-Founder of Pixar Animation, and President of Walt Disney Animation Studios), Nick Park (Oscar Winning Writer, Director and Animator with Aardman Animation) and Jonathan Gottschall (A world expert in storytelling and Distinguished Research Fellow in the English Department at Washington & Jefferson College). We discuss the fundamental role of storytelling in human existence, and learn the secrets of creativity, animation and great stories.

Thought Economics

With very few exceptions, those in leadership roles (whether they be entrepreneurs, senior corporate figures, or those with positions of great responsibility) tend to be the type of individuals that thrive under stress.

Thought Economics

Scientists, scholars and academics have yet to define genius, yet the concept is rightly applied to those exceptional individuals who, through their art, their science or their enterprise, create unique changes in our thinking, or our broader-world. Genius carries a certain mystical quality, distancing it from even that which we…

Thought Economics

By: Vikas Shah, Originally Published at AllAboutAlpha.com Factory farming is a brutal endeavour.  In this environment, chickens (and other animals) are given a variety of feeds and chemicals (stimuli) designed to make them grow as big as possible as fast as possible and hence maximise output.  In truth, factory farms…

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Moisés Naím (Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Minister of Trade and Industry for Venezuela and Executive Director of the World Bank) and Admiral James Stavridis (Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO). We discuss the fundamental nature of power, how it shapes our world economically, politically, socially and how it impacts the lives of every single individual on the planet.

Thought Economics

By Vikas Shah (Originally for AllAboutAlpha.com) Modern markets are hugely complex environments.  CME Group for example, trades over 3 billion contracts (with a notional value of over U$1 quadrillion) each and every year.  Alongside this, many of the world’s largest companies such as Google, Alibaba and Amazon (with market capitalisations…

Thought Economics

In entrepreneurship, delegation is often seen as perhaps something akin to a four-letter-word. I have met countless founders over the years who have been nothing short of insistent that they should know every last detail about every part of the business. We’ve all met the sort before, the archetypal ‘micro manager.’ The problem remains however, that as businesses scale… the want to know everything may not leave you, the ability surely will. A key part of every entrepreneur’s toolkit therefore has to be the ability to delegate.

Thought Economics

“Macroeconomics has not done well in recent years…” writes Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, “The standard models didn’t predict the Great Recession; and even said it couldn’t happen. After the bubble burst, the models did not predict the full consequences.”  In a hugely relevant recent paper titled “Reconstructing Macroeconomic Theory…

Thought Economics

Each and every year, I have the pleasure of judging at the Rice Business Plan Competition. Tens of thousands of enterprising students from around the world compete, with a handful making it to the finals in Houston, Texas. At this incredible event, student entrepreneurs pitch to the crème-de-la-crème of global…

Thought Economics

In this exclusive series of interviews, we speak to Javed Abidi (Chair, Disabled People’s International DPI), Sir Philip Craven MBE (President, International Paralympic Committee IPC) and Professor Hugh Herr (Head of the Biomechatronics research group at MIT Media Lab and Founder of BiOM Inc). We discuss the human rights and social injustices faced by the those living with impairments and disabilities around the world, look at issues ranging from economics and politics to culture and sport and discuss opportunities for the future and whether technology could even end disability.

Thought Economics

Money is a strange phenomenon. Our modern notion of it mean that (in essence) it is intrinsically useless apart from as a medium of exchange. Our government, regulators, law and communities agree that phenomena (whether a physical banknote or an electronic ledger such as a bank account) have certain value,…

Thought Economics

  Many of recent history’s most significant market events have manifest in what was (previously) the extreme of the market.  These “bubbles” and “crashes” follow power laws, meaning that (in theory) they could reach any size and fundamentally threaten the functionality of the entire financial system. Typical central-bank and policy…

Thought Economics

It’s quite conceivable that the grandparents (or even parents) of the future will be  made to feel even more archaic as the young of that generation look at them quizzically and state “…are you serious? You used to use bits of paper as money?!” Money is a cultural abstract.   It…

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Dr. Julio Frenk (Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, and former Minister of Health of Mexico), Sir Richard Thompson (President of the Royal College of Physicians), Baron Peter Piot (Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Dame Sally Davies (The United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer). We talk about the concept of public health, the most important health challenges the world currently faces, and opportunities for the future.

Thought Economics

The perception that we learn from our mistakes is just one in a long-list of cognitive and behavioural biases that exist in the human mind. As WIRED reported in 2009, “Researchers from MIT have shown that the brain learns more after a success than a failure. This study indicates, contrary…

Thought Economics

To really understand how economies behave, we must therefore understand the psychology of entrepreneurs and other key market participants.  To learn more, I spoke with Professor Daniel Kahneman, who is widely regarded as being the world’s most influential living psychologist.  In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty”, work he undertook with the late Amos Tversky.   Kahneman is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview, we speak with Prof. Jill Tarter (Co-Founder and Bernard M. Oliver Chair of the SETI Institute). We discuss her lifelong work with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute and look at mankind’s quest to answer the fundamental question of whether we are alone in the universe.

Thought Economics

“Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies…” wrote David Simon,  “Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible.  I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what…

Thought Economics

Originally Published in Entrepreneur Country, July 2013 “Throughout much of history… ” writes  Prof. Edward Barbier,  “a critical driving force behind global economic development has been the response of society to the scarcity of key natural resources, such as land, forests, fish, fossil fuels and minerals.  Increasing scarcity raises the cost of exploiting…

Thought Economics

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