The Arctic Circle is a remote, beautiful, and critical part of our planet. Covering one sixth of the Earth’s surface, and over twenty-four time zones, this region is home to more than four million people, and is critically important to keeping our world’s climate, weather, and oceans in balance. Like most everywhere in the world, the Arctic is being shaped by the forces of globalisation and is seen as a frontier of new economic opportunity, but perhaps more than anywhere on Earth, the Arctic is at the front-line of climate change. In this interview, I speak to H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (Chairman of the Arctic Circle; President of Iceland, 1996-2016) on the crucial role of the Arctic Circle in the future of our planet, why we need to act now on climate change, and the huge economic, social, and cultural opportunities presented by the region if we engage in dialogue and cooperation.

Thought Economics

Disasters are inherently hard to predict. But when catastrophe strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all. Yet the responses of many developed countries to a new pathogen from China were badly bungled. Why? While populist rulers certainly performed poorly in the face of the pandemic, Niall Ferguson argues that more profound pathologies were at work – pathologies already visible in our responses to earlier disasters. Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics and network science, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe offers not just a history but a general theory of disaster. As Ferguson shows, governments must learn to become less bureaucratic if we are to avoid the impending doom of irreversible decline. In this interview, I speak to Niall Ferguson about how we should think about disasters & catastrophe and how society can (and should) be better prepared.

Thought Economics

It is in Bertrand Piccard’s DNA to go beyond the obvious and achieve the impossible. From a legendary lineage of explorers who conquered the stratosphere and the abysses, he made history by accomplishing two aeronautical firsts, around the world non-stop in a balloon, and more recently in a solar plane without fuel. Pioneer in his way to consider ecology through the lens of profitability, he began working in the early 2000s to promote renewable energies and clean technologies. Solar Impulse was born to carry this message around the world. His dual identity as a psychiatrist and explorer makes him an influential voice heard by the largest institutions which today consider him as a forward-thinking leader on the themes of innovation and sustainability. Founder and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, he has succeeded with his team to identify 1000 efficient solutions to protect the environment in a profitable way. In a third round-the-world tour, he will bring them to decision-makers in order to help them meet their environmental targets while ensuring clean economic growth. In this exclusive interview I spoke to Bertrand Piccard about his journey as an explorer, and how he’s bringing together the worlds of ecology, technology and the economy to solve the most pressing challenge of our time – climate change – and to ensure the quality of life on Earth.

Thought Economics

Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges and is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries. Her internationally acclaimed framework of Doughnut Economics has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists, and she has presented it to audiences ranging from the UN General Assembly to the Occupy movement. Her book, Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist was published in 2017 and has been translated into 18 languages. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Kate Raworth, the creator of Doughnut Economics, about why we need to rethink economics, for the sake of all of our futures.

Thought Economics

James Thornton is a remarkable individual who has dedicated his life to fighting for climate and environmental justice. As a Wall Street lawyer, he won over 80 cases to force the Reagan Administration to clean up polluted water. It was in 2007, when he moved to Europe that ClientEarth was formed with a mission to change the way environmental protections are made and enforced. Now operating globally, ClientEarth uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time – including nature loss, public health and climate change. In the last decade alone, ClientEarth has led an EU-wide law banning illegally harvested rainforest timber, setup the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, won numerous cases against governments for failing to tackle air pollution, and forced many nations and corporations to create sustainable change in their policy and strategy for the benefit of the climate and environment. James and his team use the most effective tool in the arsenal for change, the law. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to James Thornton about how we can tackle one of the greatest challenges our species has ever faced, climate change.

Thought Economics

Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and an internationally recognized leader on climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010 to 2016. During her tenure at the UNFCCC, Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and NGOs to jointly deliver the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, in which 195 sovereign nations agreed on a collaborative path forward to limit future global warming to well below 2°C, and strive for 1.5°C, in order to protect the most vulnerable. In this exclusive interview, I spoke with Christiana Figueres about her lifelong commitment to building a sustainable future for our planet.

Thought Economics

How Climate Change and Environmental Damage Threaten Humanity, and What We Can Do to Protect Our Future.  In this exclusive interview series, we speak to H.E. Mohamed Nasheed (Former President of the Maldives), H.E. Anote Tong (Former President of Kiribati),  Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme UNEP), Professor Brian Schmidt (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist), Professor John Knox (United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment), Professor Robert Bullard (Dean of the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University), Professor Sir Martin Rees (Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge – Astronomer Royal to the UK), Yann Arthus-Bertrand (photographer, reporter, journalist and environmentalist), Laurie David (Author, Producer & Environmental Advocate) and Zac Goldsmith (Politician, Journalist & Environmental Campaigner).  We discuss the fundamental workings of our climate and environment, the potential impact of climate change and environmental pollution, and how we can change outcomes for the future.

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview series, we talk to Jaan Tallinn (Co-Founder of Skype and Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk), Professor Sir John Beddington (Senior Advisor, Oxford Martin School & the UK Government’s former Chief Scientific Adviser) and Sir Crispin Tickell (former diplomat and advisor to successive UK Prime Ministers, who is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on climate change and environmental issues).  We tackle the question of how vulnerable our species really is and explore threats ranging from climate change and natural disasters to food, energy and water security, technology, artificial intelligence, near earth objects and the biggest threat to humanity… humans themselves.

Thought Economics

In this exclusive series of interviews, we speak to Ertharin Cousin (Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme), Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University) and Carlos Pérez del Castillo (Chair of the Board of the CGIAR Consortium). We look at the true scale and nature of global hunger, exploring issues ranging from poverty to climate change, conflict to politics, economics to education and more. We discuss the realities of hunger in our world and how we can end it.

Thought Economics

In this interview we talk to Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace. We discuss, in detail, the profound issues affecting our earth, including energy and climate change, food security, oceans, forests, international trade, economics, the structure of society, technology and more.

Thought Economics

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