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

Our Understanding of Life

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Professor Stefano Mancuso, founder of the study of plant neurobiology, and co-founder of the LINV (the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology). We discuss the very fundamental questions surrounding life itself and the profound discoveries he and his team have made about the nature of intelligence in our own ecosystem.

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How Technology and Innovation Drive Global Development

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Dr. Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation with the Rank of Cabinet Minister. Dr. Pitroda takes us on a very personal journey on India’s technology driven revolution looking at areas ranging from the impact of the phone, through to the sweeping changes in economics, social-structure and even national security.

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The Moral Hazard of Asymmetric Information

Regardless of whether one agrees with the rationale behind Wikileaks‘ release of thousands of diplomatic cables, one certainty is that their appearance has opened a necessary debate on moral hazard’s in our own democracy. Manifesting Moral Hazard Information Asymmetry is an important concept, usually noted in transactional situations, where one party has more (or better) information than another- creating an imbalance of power (or influence) in a transaction- affecting the outcome.  “Moral Hazard” is a…

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The Dangers of Economic Inequality

The Guardian, along with many major news agencies around the world have been reporting the tragic story of how, “South African police chiefs have called for residents of a township near Cape Town to help track down the “useless scoundrels” who on Saturday killed a bride on honeymoon with her British husband. Anni Dewani, 28, a Swedish-born engineer, who had been married for less than two weeks to 31-year-old Shrien Dewani from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, was…

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The Role of Nuclear Weapons in Global Security.

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Joseph Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund and expert advisor to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. We discuss the role of nuclear weapons in global security, the threat they pose to humanity, and why we must move towards a world free of the nuclear threat.

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Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

At a very fundamental level, war is about defending against a perceived or actual threat.  Such aggressions have been frequently used throughout history to defend ideas, ideologies and territories- but more recently, economies. Unlike any other defence environment, the theatre of nuclear war exists in a state of near-permanent checkmate.  Every participant (a participant being a nation who openly, opaquely, or otherwise have nuclear weapons capability) knows their weapons capability acts as the ultimate defensive…

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Unethical Economics

Hypothetical News, 2013 “Deep in a London slum, 25 people were arrested by the authorities today for not paying their air-bill.  A. Person, spokesman for air-aid said, ‘the government must act on this- it is ridiculous that we have a society where some people can afford air, and some people can’t.  How long are we going to sit by while more people die?’.  Meanwhile, traders at the Singapore Global Air Exchange [SGAx] racked up record…

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Learned Helplessness in Democracies and Economies

In my article of September 01st 2010 “Thinking Ourselves Into Another Recession” I discussed how psychology plays a critical role in the well-being of an economy.  Using the paradigm of eating disorders, we discussed how: “…When we talk of economic confidence, business confidence, or even confidence in global markets, we are talking of the mindset of the majority of participants in that market.   In a ‘booming’ market, participants feel happy, with little sense of risk-…

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Basel III – Thicker Gloves in a Boxing Match

As the Economist reported, “On September 12th the Basel Committee, a club of supervisors and bank regulators, finally reached agreement on how much extra stuffing needs to go into the cushions [of banks] to absorb losses and buffer the financial system against the next crisis.” The “Basel III” recommendations set out the revised global minimum capital requirements for banks.  As Felix Salmon (Reuters) analyses, “Possibly the most important thing here is the existence of the…

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Thinking Ourselves into Another Recession

Reporting on the increased perceived risk of a double-dip recession, the Huffington Posted noted how there is “..a growing sense of doom among some prominent economists“.  They went on to cite Nouriel Roubini, the cofounder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics and a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who stated the, “Risk of a double dip recession in advanced economies (US, Japan, Eurozone) has now risen to 40%.” along with Mohamed…

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