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

Stop Taking So Much Advice

Before I start, let me be clear that I realise the irony of an entrepreneurship-advice column which advocates taking less-advice.  However, wrapped in that paradox is an important element of truth. The Plague of Uncertainty In the past few years, I’ve seen a disturbing trend amongst CEOs and start-up-founders that I work with.  Many very competent and very driven people who have built businesses based on their instinct are coming to me with very similar…

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It’s OK to LOVE WINNING!

I have spoken at a few conferences lately where I’ve noticed entrepreneurs focus completely on the ‘social good’ of their business, as opposed to the ‘old school’ factor of making money. Now… I’m going to start this piece with a huge caveat.  I am a huge advocate for social-enterprise, charity, philanthropy and spend around half my time on those pursuits but that simply wouldn’t have been possible without the successes I’ve had in the ‘for…

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Are Women Suffering the Greatest Injustices in Human History?

In this exclusive interview series, we talk to: Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Peace Prize Winner), Leslee Udwin (Director of ‘India’s Daughter’ and Founder of Think Equal), Sheryl WuDunn (Co-Founder, Half the Sky Movement), Dr. Anne Summers (Feminist, Author), Professor Michael Kimmel (Founder, Men & Masculinities), Amy Richards (Founder, Third Wave Foundation & Soap Box Inc), Natasha Walter (Director, Women for Refugee Women), Professor Naila Kabeer (Professor of Gender and Development at the LSE Gender Institute), Laura Bates (Founder, Everyday Sexism), Dr. Dubravka Šimonović (UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women), Jessica Valenti (Feminist, Author) and Inna Shevchenko (Leader, FEMEN).  We discuss the realities faced by women around the world, together with the subversion of women’s rights, and look at issues ranging from education, to global conflict, economics, health and policy.  We discuss differences in women’s challenges between the developed and developing world, and look at possible solutions for this malignancy in our societal structure.

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Being Authentic Entrepreneurs

Authenticity is one of the most commonly uttered buzz-phrases at any management or leadership seminar, and while this ubiquity may banish it to the realms of ‘blue sky thinking’ (aka management-meeting-related-drivel), the truth is that authenticity is hugely important for entrepreneurs. A Philosophy Lesson In the classics, if we examine existentialist philosophy and aesthetics we see that authenticity is espoused as one of the highest virtues; it means your ‘work’ is faithful to your own…

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The Pitch

We’ve all seen the TV shows… Nervous start-ups go up against a panel of investors, giving their elevator-pitch followed- almost instantaneously- by a round of severe grilling.  The lucky few survive, with more cash, less equity and hopefully a brighter future. The phenomenon of ‘the pitch’ however, once exclusively the prevail of start-up land, is now part of business life.  Clients that I advise, ranging from early-stage companies, to research scientists looking to raise huge…

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Charity, Philanthropy and Society

In these exclusive interviews, we speak to Jeff Raikes (Founder, Raikes Foundation and former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Eli Broad (Founder of the Broad Foundations), Sir Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group), Anousheh Ansari (Trustee of the X Prize Foundation, and title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize), John Paul Dejoria (Philanthropist and Entrepreneur, Founder of Paul Mitchell and The Patrón Spirits Company), Craig Newmark (Founder, craigslist and craigconnects), Michael Holthouse (Entrepreneur & Founder of  Holthouse Foundation for Kids & Lemonade Day), Robert Tjian (President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller (Chair, Wellcome Trust), Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. (President, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation), Jacquelline Fuller (Director, Google.org) and Darren Walker (President, Ford Foundation).  We discuss the fundamental nature of charity and philanthropy- looking at why these phenomena exist together with their role and impact on society. We also talk about their individual journeys in philanthropy, and how their organisations are aiming to tackle some of society’s greatest problems.

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Unlocking the Universe.

In these exclusive interviews, we talk to Professor Neil Turok (Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and member of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council), Professor Gerry Gilmore (Professor of Experimental Philosophy, in the Institute of Astronomy, at the University of Cambridge) and Professor Adam Riess (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist, Thomas J. Barber Professor in Space Studies at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences). We discuss some of the most fundamental questions about the origins of life, the universe, and look at some of the profound ways in which physics could be about to change our world.

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Networking

It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, how driven you are, how much money you have to invest or even what your track record is; your next venture, deal or project will only be as good as the people involved. For many, ‘networking’ conjures up images of awkward forced rooms full of sweaty-palmed sales people playing an elaborate game of collecting business cards.  For many more, the world of networking seems like a never-ending…

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Philanthropy

“Growing up in Los Angeles at the age of two it was just my mother, brother and I.” John Paul Dejoria told me, “We had very little but didn’t know it. We had a very loving mother. At 6 years old, my mom took my brother and I downtown for Christmas to see the store window displays, trains, puppets and holiday festivities. She gave my brother and I a dime and asked us each to…

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Who Are We?

In these exclusive interviews, we speak with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE (Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace), Prof. Yuval Noah Harari (Author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind) and Dr. Carl Safina (Prize-winning author, ecologist and MacArthur Fellow).  We look at the fundamental nature of humanity, how our species has grown to become dominant, and what the future holds for mankind.

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