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

Ally Brooke is an astonishing talent. Following her time in Fifth Harmony (described by Billboard as the biggest girl group of the 2010s’), the multiplatinum singer-songwriter kicked off her solo career with back-to-back Top 40 charting singles and an impressive resume of collaborations including “All Night” with Afrojack which marked her first #1 as a solo artist on US Dance Radio. A life-long entertainer, Ally competed on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars before embarking on her debut headline Time To Shine Tour in early 2020 with scheduled stops including a sold out show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre. She also appears in numerous Nickelodeon shows including Blue’s Clues & You and The Casagrandes, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title for an Animated Program and plays the role of “Alissa.” With total career streams already in the billions, Ally is only just getting started. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Ally Brooke about her incredible career in music, following her dreams, what we can all learn from her journey, and why she decided to chronicle her life in her fantastic new book Finding Your Harmony: Dream Big, Have Faith, & Achieve More than You Can Imagine.

Thought Economics

Jade Jagger is a visionary artist, creative director and jeweller. Her childhood coincided with the halcyon days of the New York pop art scene and Andy Warhol once famously said, “I love Mick and Bianca, but Jade’s more my speed. I taught her how to colour and she showed me how to play Monopoly. She was four and I was forty-four.” In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jade Jagger about her passion for jewellery, her creative process and what it takes to create some of the world’s finest jewels.

Thought Economics

Dr. Gad Saad is a remarkable public intellectual. Alongside hosting the Saad Truth (his hugely popular YouTube show) he is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), and former holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption. In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Saad often writes and speaks about idea pathogens that are destroying logic, science, reason, and common sense.  His fourth book The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense exposes the bad ideas—what he calls “idea pathogens”—that are killing common sense and rational debate. Incubated in our universities and spread through the tyranny of political correctness, these ideas are endangering our most basic freedoms—including freedom of thought and speech. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Gad Saad about idea pathogens, how they are infecting society, the consequences, and what we can do to immunise ourselves and fight for truth and the freedom of thought and speech.

Thought Economics

Over 3,500 businesses around the world, including household names such as Danone, Innocent and Patagonia, have taken the journey to become Certified B Corporations- committing to the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Andrew Kassoy is the cofounder and CEO of B Lab Global, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement. In this exclusive I spoke to Andrew about the role of business in society, the story of the B Corp movement and how businesses can balance profit with purpose.

Thought Economics

David Miliband is President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in over 20 United States cities. In 2019 alone, the IRC provided 1,474,900 children with schooling and education opportunities, provided 1,756,000 people with clean water infrastructure, admitted 122,100 children for urgent nutrition treatment, provided vocational and livelihood support to over 226,100 people, helped 151,700 mothers deliver new-borns and offered safe space to over 165,000 women and children. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with David Miliband about the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and how we can create a better world for individuals fleeing conflict and disaster. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with David Miliband about the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and how we can create a better world for individuals fleeing conflict and disaster.

Thought Economics

Professor Ngaire Woods is one of the world’s preeminent experts in global government, and governance. She is the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University. Her research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organizations, the challenges of globalization, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Ngaire Woods about the impact of globalization on global governance, the realities of international trust and cooperation, and how we can build better governments, and governance for the future.

Thought Economics

The moving image has been with us as long as we have made art. From prehistoric shadowgraphy, through to shadow puppetry and camera obscura- we have been fascinated by creating and observing moving depictions of culturally and socially significant aspects of life. It was not until the mid 1800s as technology became sufficiently advanced that we started to see film as we would recognise it being produced as inventors and artists started to not just document life but create narratives to tell stories. There is something primal and comforting about how we connect to moving images; perhaps as we are hard-wired to detect and respond to motion in our environment. That direct connection from moving image to emotional response perhaps explains why film and cinema dominate culture. In these exclusive interviews, I speak with two of the world’s most remarkable and accomplished film makers. Paul Greengrass (Noted For: Bloody Sunday, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne, United 93, Green Zone and Captain Philips), Ken Loach (Noted For: Cathy Come Home, Kes, Land and Freedom, Sweet Sixteen, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Looking for Eric, The Angels’ Share and I, Daniel Blake) and Tosca Musk (Director, Producer & Founder of Passionflix).

Thought Economics

Critical theories have a distinctive aim amongst the methods by which we evaluate our society. They ostensibly wish to unmask the justifications for some form(s) of social or economic oppressions as being ideology and thus contribute to the ending of that oppression. The noble aim of critical theory therefore is to provide enlightenment about social and economic life that leads to emancipation – firstly by giving oppressed people the tools to understand that oppression, and secondly by giving a mechanism for activism to free those people. Dr. James Lindsay is an American-born author, mathematician, and political commentator. He has written six books spanning a range of subjects including religion, the philosophy of science and postmodern theory. He is the co-founder of New Discourses and has published essays in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Time. His recent books Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody and How to have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide have provided essential guidance to millions on how to navigate this new world of activism and in this exclusive interview, I spoke to James about how critical theories are shaping our world, the consequences, and how we can build a more resilient society.

Thought Economics

In 2009, Kickstarter was born from a singular mission to help bring creative projects to life.  Since then, 18.4 million people have collectively pledged over $5.23 billion into more than 186,000 projects. The Kickstarter mission extends to the very fabric of how the business is structured. In 2015, they became a Public Benefit Corporation (a for-profit company that prioritizes positive outcomes for society as much as their shareholders). Perry Chen is the creator and principal founder of Kickstarter. In this exclusive interview, we talk about the connection between arts & entrepreneurship, and the story of Kickstarter.

Thought Economics

Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and a Deputy Under Secretary of State. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Prof. Nye on the changing dynamics of power in our world.

Thought Economics

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has led an incredible career in diplomacy, peacebuilding and human rights. He was the UN human rights chief from 2014-2018, was awarded the Stockholm prize for human rights in 2015 and the Tulip prize in 2018.  In January 2014, he served as president of the UN Security Council. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein about human rights, the role of diplomacy in our world, and why we so urgently need the tools of diplomacy and peacebuilding in our world right now.

Thought Economics

Professor Gary Hamel is one of the world’s most influential and iconoclastic business thinkers. He has been on the faculty of the London Business School for more than 30 years and is the director of the Management Lab. Hamel has written 17 articles for the Harvard Business Review and is the most reprinted author in the Review’s history. His landmark books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Fortune magazine describes Hamel as “the world’s leading expert on business strategy,” and the Financial Times calls him a “management innovator without peer.” Hamel has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker and is a fellow of the Strategic Management Society and of the World Economic Forum. For over a decade, Gary has been researching how bureaucracy can be replaced by something better. In his forthcoming book Humanocracy, he lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings within them… organizations that are anchored around motivation, models, mindsets, mobilization and migration. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Gary Hamel about how we can dismantle the bureaucracy of the industrial age and replace it humanocracy – a management system fit for the future and fit for human beings.

Thought Economics

Hailed as a “modern day musical genius” by The Line of Best Fit, internationally renowned composer, pianist, producer and collaborator, Max Richter is one of today’s most influential artists. Through his ground-breaking works, captivating recordings and innovative performances, he has forged new paths in contemporary music and culture – garnering awards, critical acclaim and surpassing a billion streams and a million album sales. Richter’s distinct melodic language has allowed him to hold a series of bold, emotive and thought-provoking musical discussions. The latest of these is Voices­ – reacting to the political and social upheaval that has rippled through many societies around the globe over the past decade – a unique musical space in which to examine, question, absorb and meditate on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Max Richter about his music, and how the power of music can help educate us, and change the world.

Thought Economics

Baroness Ruth Hunt was the Chief Executive of Stonewall; the UK’s largest charity campaigning to improve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In her fourteen years with the organisation, she worked with more than 700 organisations in the UK and globally, as well as with schools, grassroots campaigners, and senior government Ministers, and led high profile, impactful campaigns. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Ruth Hunt about the realities of discrimination against LGBT+ communities, and what we can do to move the needle forward, towards a more equitable and just society.

Thought Economics

Peter Tatchell is one of the most significant human rights, democracy, LGBT+ freedom and global justice campaigners of our generation. For over 50 years he has been campaigning for LGBT+ and other human rights an is currently the director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.  He has been described as “…a national hero” by the Sunday Times and “…a civil rights campaigner we can all applaud” by the Sunday Telegraph. In 2009, he co-proposed a UN Global Human Rights Index, to measure and rank the human rights record of every country – with the aim of creating a human rights league table to highlight the best and worst countries and thereby incentivise governments to clean up their record and improve their human rights ranking. He has proposed an internationally-binding UN Human Rights Convention enforceable through both national courts and the International Criminal Court; a permanent rapid-reaction UN peace-keeping force with the authority to intervene to stop genocide and war crimes; and a global agreement to cut military spending by 10 percent to fund the eradication of hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment and homelessness in the developing world. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Peter Tatchell about the injustices faced by the LGBT+ community, why it’s important to take a human rights approach to justice, and how we can move the needle forward on LGBT+ rights.

Thought Economics

Dexter Dias QC is an award-winning international human rights lawyer who has acted in some of the most high-profile cases in recent years involving freedom of expression, murder, crimes against humanity, terrorism, FGM and genocide.  He is a prize-winning scholar of Cambridge University, where he remains a Visiting Researcher, and was recently Visiting Fellow at Harvard.  His bestselling book The Ten Types of Human is based on his research into the interface between human rights and human psychology.  He was chief author of a report to Parliament that helped change the law on FGM to better safeguard thousands of at-risk girls in the UK.  He is Special Adviser on human rights to UNICEF UK, and Chair of the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.  He is advising the UN on a global social justice project around Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality, and is co-presenter and co-creator of The 100 Types of Human podcast. Twitter: @DexterDiasQC. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Dexter about the concept of race, and the reality of racism in our society.

Thought Economics

Sophia Amoruso is the Founder of Girlboss, a professional network for ambitious women. Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller #GIRLBOSS, which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2017. Sophia is also the author of Nasty Galaxy and the Girlboss Workbook. She has been featured on the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company Most Creative People in Business lists, and named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women, covering its June 2016 issue. In this exclusive interview I speak to Sophia about her journey in scale-up entrepreneurship, building resilience, and redefining success.

Thought Economics

Afua Hirsch is a former barrister, journalist and documentary maker. Her current projects include a 6-part series with Samuel L Jackson, a major BBC series about African art, and another about whiteness and an Audible original series We Need to Talk About The British Empire. She regularly writes, reports and speaks on international current affairs, and has published two bestselling books, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, and Equal To Everything, about the UK Supreme Court. Afua was a judge on last year’s Booker Prize and is currently the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Afua Hirsch on race, identity and empire. 

Thought Economics

Jacqueline Novogratz has made a remarkable impact on our world. Her work began in 1986 when she quit her job on Wall Street to co-found Rwanda’s first microfinance institution, Duterimbere. In 2001, she founded Acumen which has invested $128 million of patient capital to build more than 130 social enterprises across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. These companies have leveraged an additional $611 million and brought basic services like affordable education, health care, clean water, energy and sanitation to more than 308 million people. Acumen has also built a global community of more than 500,000 moral leaders who together are driving solutions enabling millions of low-income people to change their lives. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jacqueline Novogratz about why we need a moral revolution in our world.

Thought Economics

Carlo Ancelotti has coached some of the most successful football teams of all times including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, Chelsea, Milan, Everton and Juventus. Widely regarded as one of the greatest football managers of all time, with five Champions League titles to his name, he is currently the manager of Premier League club Everton. Carlo’s unique approach could not be further from the aggressive theatricals favoured by many of his rivals. His understated style has earned him the fierce loyalty of players like David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo. In seminal book Quiet Leadership, Ancelotti revealed the full, riveting story of his managerial career—his methods, mentors, mistakes, and triumphs—and he took us inside the dressing room to trace the characters, challenges, and decisions that have shaped him. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Carlo about what we can all learn from Quiet Leadership. 

Thought Economics

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