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

Tracey Emin CBE, RA is one the foremost artists of our generation.  Her work is provocative, introspective, beautiful and challenging – and has achieved iconic status not because of the art establishment, but in spite of it.  Tracey is a fighter- and has defending her art and her method at every stage of her career, refusing to adapt to the parameters of the art market, but instead ensuring that she speaks form a place of creative honesty and truth. In this exclusive interview, I had the privilege of speaking to Tracey Emin to learn about her work, creative process and the role of art in our lives.

Thought Economics

Formula One (F1) racing is an incredible sport.  Some of the brightest minds in the world of engineering and human performance, equipped with multi-billion-dollar budgets, create staggeringly high-performance cars, run by similarly high-performance teams and drivers.  Nico Rosberg raced in Formula One for eleven years, claiming the title of World Champion in 2016 with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.  Since then, Rosberg has embarked on a career as an entrepreneur and investor in green technologies and mobility.  He is an early investor in numerous successful start-ups including Lilum, What3Words, Tier, Lyft and Formula E.  He is also co-owner of mobility engineering company TRE, and Co-Founder of the GREENTECH FESTIVAL; a global platform for cutting-edge green technologies.  In 2020, he became an official judge of the TV show Die Höhle der Löwen (the German edition of the BBCs Dragon’s Den) with the aim of investing-in and supporting sustainable startups. In this exclusive interview, I caught up with Nico Rosberg to learn about his life in F1, entrepreneurship and investment.

Thought Economics

To learn more about the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) ‘Coronavirus’ pandemic, and to learn more about what we can do now, and in the future, to respond to virus outbreaks, and pandemics, I spoke to the world’s foremost experts: Professor John Oxford (The UK’s top expert on influenza and Emeritus Professor of Virology at the University of London), Professor Christian Bréchot (Professor at the University of South Florida & President of the Global Virus Network), Professor Harish Nair (Professor & leader of Respiratory Viral Epidemiology research programme, University of Edinburgh), Dr. Roberto Consentini is Emergency Medicine Chief of the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Professor Michael T. Osterholm (Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy CIDRAP), Gideon Lichfield (Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review), Yonden Lhatoo (Chief News Editor, South China Morning Post, in a personal capacity), Trish Greenhalgh (Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford), Matt Strauss (Former Medical Director of Critical Care at Guelph Hospital, Canada & Asst. Professor at Queens University), Dr. Zaher Sahloul (President of MedGlobal & Critical Care Doctor) and Vincent Racaniello (Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University).

Thought Economics

Hamdi Ulukaya is the founder and CEO of Chobani, one of the fastest growing food companies of the last decade.  The company has annual sales of US$2billion and has become the gold standard for corporate social responsibility.  30% of Chobani’s 2,000 employees were born outside the United States, and several hundred are resettled refugees.  From the start, Chobani has donated a portion of profits to charity and has worked to reduce income and wealth inequality.  In 2016, the business launched the Chobani Food Incubator to mentor and support socially responsible food entrepreneurs. Outside Chobani, Hamdi is a philanthropist and humanitarian.  He founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees to mobilise the private sector to improve the lives of more than 25 million refugees around the world. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with Hamdi Ulukaya to learn more about the role of business in society, what CSR really means, and how we can build more responsible businesses.

Thought Economics

Chip Wilson is the entrepreneur & philanthropist who is widely credited with the creation of ‘athleisure’ as a retail category (now worth over $400-billion globally).  He is perhaps best known for being the founder of luluemon, the yoga-inspired technical athletic apparel company he started in 1998 which- today- has over 15,000 employees and a market capitalisation of close to $30billion. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with Chip about the lululemon journey, building powerful brands, investing, and what it takes to be an innovative fashion entrepreneur. 

Thought Economics

Dr. Mario Capecchi has had a remarkable life. At four-and-a-half years old, during World War II, his mother was sent to Dachau concentration camp leading-eventually- to Mario living as a street child for nearly four years, coming in and out of orphanages and almost dying of malnutrition. From this hugely challenging start in life, Mario went on to flourish eventually becoming joint recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery “of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.” In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Dr. Capecchi about his life, his struggles through the war, and what he’s learned about life from his incredible journey.

Thought Economics

Martin E. Hellman is a remarkable man.  He is perhaps best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography- the technology which (amongst other uses) enables secure internet transactions and is used to transfer trillions of dollars each day.   His work has been recognised by numerous honours including his election to the National Academy of Engineering, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and most recently- receiving the 2015 ACM Turing Award, the most prestigious honour In computer science. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Professor Hellman on how, as our capabilities accelerate, our society must approach the ethics of technology.

Thought Economics

Jocko Willink is a retired US Navy SEAL officer, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, Dichotomy of Leadership, host of the top-rated Jocko Podcast, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer, leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jocko about his learnings on leadership, resilience and ownership.

Thought Economics

Brian Grazer is a true renaissance man, he is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning producer and #1 New York Times bestselling author. His films and television shows have been nominated for 43 Oscars® and 195 Emmys and he won the Best Picture Oscar for A Beautiful Mind.   Grazer has been honored by numerous organizations and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”  He has also been the author of two influential books on curiosity and human connection “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” and “Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection”. In this exclusive interview, I caught up with Brian to learn more about how curiosity and human connection can change our lives.

Thought Economics

India is a beautifully diverse place. It is a place where 1.4 billion inhabitants share thousands of years of history, speak over 19,000 mother tongues, and express life and culture through a stunning array of food, dance, ceremony, faith, music and literature. It is perhaps no surprise that a country so steeped in mythology and religion holds storytelling close to its soul, and nowhere is this better expressed than through Bollywood. In these exclusive interviews, I speak to Ritesh Sidhwani (Co-Founder of Excel Entertainment), Vidya Balan (Multi award-winning actress), Sunny Leone (Actress & Entrepreneur) and Siddharth Roy Kapur (MD of Roy Kapur Films and President of the Producers Guild of India).

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut and the first person to tweet from space. Mike is one of the most accomplished astronauts of the US space program, a best selling author, Professor of Engineering at Columbia University and Senior Adviser for Space Programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Thought Economics

To understand more about the exponential changes affecting our culture, economy and society; I spoke to entrepreneur, author and thought leader, Peter H. Diamandis – Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, Executive Founder of Singularity University  and Co-Founder of BOLD Capital Partners.  Peter was recently named by Fortune as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” and is one of the world’s foremost experts on technology and change – a topic he covers in his recent book, The Future is Faster Than You Think.

Thought Economics

Siddharth Roy Kapur is an eminent film producer, founder and MD of Roy Kapur Films and the President of the Producers Guild of India. He has been the former Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company India and UTV – Studios. Siddharth’s filmography includes some of the highest grossing Indian films of all time like Dangal, PK, Chennai Express, Kick and Rowdy Rathore as well as genre-defining films like Rang De Basanti, Barfi, Dev D, A Wednesday, Kai Po Che and ABCD. I caught up with Siddharth to learn more about Bollywood and how he’s made some of the most iconic films of Indian cinema.

Thought Economics

Steven Kotler is one of the world’s foremost experts on high performance. He is a New York Times bestselling author, a multi award-winning journalist and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. He is also at the bleeding-edge of research around how technology and innovation will be impacting the future of human performance, a topic he covers in his forthcoming book The Future is Faster Than you Think (Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler, 2020).
In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Steven to learn more about elite performance, his learnings from working with the world’s most elite performers, and how we can apply those learnings to our own lives.

Thought Economics

For a few days, a ‘city’ of more than 250,000 people emerges onto 900 acres of countryside, joined by viewers from 40 countries around the world; together they form the largest outdoor green fields event in the world, the Glastonbury Festival. 2020 marks 50 years since the start of the festival, and Emily and her Dad Michael chronicle their journey in their new book Glastonbury 50. I had the pleasure of catching up with Emily Eavis (Co-Organiser of the Glastonbury Festival) to learn more about the Glastonbury Festival, and being a part of a unique, global, family business.

Thought Economics

To learn about the role of food in our lives, I spoke to six of the world’s most successful Chefs and culinary minds; Vikas Khanna, Alain Ducasse, Heston Blumenthal, Dominique Crenn, Michel Roux Jr. and Ruth Reichl. We discuss everything from the social and cultural nature of food, the role of the chef, the science of gastronomy and the culinary arts.

Thought Economics

An exclusive guest post from Manny Pacquiao – his story begins as a stow-away on a boat bound for Manila, determined to pursue his dream of becoming a boxer and fighting to free his family from abject poverty. To millions of people around the world, Manny’s story validates their own determination to work hard and overcome the obstacles in front of them. Manny has always done everything he can to give back and fight for the less fortunate. He has devoted himself to public service and donated more than one-third of his career earnings to charity. It is his goal to be an instrument of hope and change around the world. Even those who do not follow boxing cannot help but be inspired by an icon whose humility and heart for people transcend the world of sport.

Thought Economics

The Most Important Tool We Have. In these exclusive interviews we speak to Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn (scientist, writer and meditation teacher), Matthieu Ricard (Buddhist monk, photographer and author), Andy Puddicombe (Founder of Headspace), Dr. Danny Penman (award winning writer, journalist and meditation teacher) and Mallika Chopra (media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author). We explore the concepts of mindfulness and meditation, learning about how they impact every aspect of our lives, and discuss how mindful approaches can help us reach our full potential as human beings.

Thought Economics

Leadership sits at the very heart of everything we do as a civilisation, and to understand more we spoke to a group of the world’s foremost experts on leadership across the military, business, government education and research: General Stan McChyrstal (Founder, McChrystal Group & former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan), Tony Hsieh (Founder & CEO, Zappos.com), General Richard Myers (President of Kansas State University, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), John Kotter (Chairman, Kotter International & Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership – Harvard), General Sir Peter Wall (Chief of the General Staff, the Professional Head of the British Army), General Sir Richard Shirreff (Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, NATO), Professor Stewart Friedman (Founding Director, Wharton Leadership Programme & Wharton Work/Life Integration Project), Drew Povey (Headmaster & Leadership Expert)and Trevor Moawad (Mental Conditioning expert and strategic advisor to some of the world’s most elite performers).

Thought Economics

For centuries, great artists, scientists, writers, entrepreneurs and thinkers have seemingly tapped into somewhere else, beyond the realities faced by ‘the rest of us,’ to do the seemingly unimaginable – from creating great works of art, to solving complex problems or even building multi-billion-dollar businesses.  To understand more about this mindset and approach I spoke to Dr. Deepak Chopra, a world-renowned pioneer in the fields of integrative medicine and personal transformation, who is called upon by many of the world’s most influential leaders to guide them on their journeys.  Alongside being a world-renowned medical doctor, he’s co-founder of The Chopra Foundation co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and has authored more than 85 books, translated into over 43 languages, which have sold millions of copies worldwide. 

Thought Economics

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