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

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

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally Published at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2013/06/17/the-truth-about-executive-pay/ There is little doubt that we are facing tough times for the economy.  Rising unemployment, austerity and many other factors have meant that the average person feels considerably worse off…

Thought Economics

Originally published in Global ARC. Vikas Shah interviews Alan S. Blinder (the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University) who served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from June 1994 until January 1996. In this position, he represented…

Thought Economics

An interview with Eileen Bartholemew, Vice President of Prize Development at the X Prize Foundation. “For most of history…” notes Rachael King, “the thrill of solving life’s thorny problems has provided ample incentive for inventors. Yet the promise of fortune and fame doesn’t hurt. Over the past few centuries, governments…

Thought Economics

An interview with Carlos Warner of the federal public defender’s office in the Northern US District of Ohio, which represents 11 of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay Prison The idea that as innocents, we are free, would seem a logical moral conclusion to any discussion around justice.  It would also…

Thought Economics

An interview with Tim Berry, a world expert on business planning Plans are the DNA of business, containing all the base information needed to form a strategic framework for the growth, direction and shape of an enterprise. Whether you are launching a new business, growing an existing enterprise, or even…

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Michel Sidibé (Executive Director, UNAids), Dr. Stefano Bertozzi (Director of HIV at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall(Director of HIV Department at WHO – World Health Organisation), Dr. Robert Gallo (Founder of The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) who became world famous in 1984 when he co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS) and Brian West (Chair of the European Aids Treatment Group, who has been living with HIV for over 25 years). We look at the very nature of the virus, its impact on society and culture globally, and discuss the opportunities to move to a world free of HIV/AIDS.

Thought Economics

Diamond’s are one of the world’s most precious natural resources.  These unique stones are almost as old as the Earth itself, and have become culturally, socially, economically, politically and even  scientifically significant.  Figures from the World Diamond Council state that each year, around US$13 billion of rough-diamonds are mined (65%…

Thought Economics

Guest article written for AllAboutAlpha.com – the official publication of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Originally posted at: http://allaboutalpha.com/blog/2012/12/20/managing-risk-in-fixed-income-markets/ At any given time, almost US$100 trillion is outstanding on the global bond market. This is roughly twice the size of the world’s equity markets combined, amounting to almost…

Thought Economics

On December 14th 2012 Newtown, Connecticut– a small town with just 27,000 residents- became the scene of one of the most horrific mass-murders in modern US history.  A lone gunman first took his own mother’s life, before brutally taking the lives of 20 children and 7 adults at Sandy Hook…

Thought Economics

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